Don’t look a stink bug in the mouth

The point is moot.

Last week, I posted online an open letter to October that prompted a brief exchange of opinions on whether to call a potential World Series between the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles the “Beltway” or “Parkway” series.

One reader (the only one, for all I know) suggested I should have called it the “Parkway” series.  She apparently took the view of those who say “Parkway” makes more sense because the Baltimore-Washington Parkway actually connects the two cities, while the two beltways don’t have much, if anything, to do with each other.

The debate over what to call such a series was fun while it lasted, but it hardly matters now. The Nationals have been knocked out of Major League Baseball’s postseason, leaving me to conclude once again that October is a capricious month.

While I still look forward to the cooler temperatures and the browns, reds, yellows and golds of autumn, October has left my 16-year-old son and me without a dog in the MLB hunt.

It has also brought the enemy back to the gates.

Stink bugs.

I found one hanging around my front door last week. And since then, a few have broken through my defenses and have attempted to set up camp inside my once tranquil home.

I like to think of myself as a mild-mannered sort of fellow, but stink bugs bring out The Terminator in me. They are to me what squirrels are to our dog Rodney, something to be mercilessly chased out of our back yard.

But since my bark is not quite as startling as Rodney’s and since my wife would likely object if I armed myself with a shotgun like Arnold Schwarzenegger does in the movies, I have to make do with a spray bottle filled with soapy water. A spray bottle may not have the same kick as a shotgun, but at least it’s not as messy.

Our exterminator (as opposed to Schwarzenegger’s Terminator) told me a few years ago that soapy water is about as good as anything else at getting rid of stink bugs. It’s supposed to clog up the bug’s pores and suffocate them.

Once doused, I generally toss their little stink bug carcasses outside or flush them down the toilet, but after what a friend recently suggested, discarding them so carelessly seems wasteful.

He said I should throw them in a frying pan and eat them as a snack as people do in other parts of the world. Apparently, they “taste like bubble gum.”

Bubble gum?

I didn’t need to know that.

But come to think of it, maybe harvesting stink bugs makes more sense than flushing them.

I’m told they are full of protein. I could even use them to add an unusual flavor to the pot of chili I’m thinking of whipping up this weekend. And better yet, I could save some money on snacks for our always hungry son.

He probably won’t notice, anyway. He’s still distracted by baseball’s postseason.


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