Poppy Champlin: Buggin Out


Praying Mantis Mania

I moved home to Rhode Island from Los Angeles ’cause my Dad passed, and left me a little house, in the woods, with my brother, who lives in the basement. A little slingblade-ish, but it’s home.

Living in the woods, there is an enormous array of insects to contend with. It was hard getting used to the mosquitoes, fleas, flies, bees, ants and wasps. Well, the wasps are my family. (I have a carpenter ant and an uncle who is a louse). But the list goes on and on.

I don’t normally kill things, but after a month of taking stink bugs out of my house on a piece of paper, (they actually started taking advantage of my kindness and would flag me down, like I’m some sort of insect taxi, “How’s about a lift out Poppy?”), I started killing them.

I went on a killing spree.

I told them, “Anything with more than four legs that’s in this house is dead”.

Spiders started timidly walking by me, up on two “Just the two Poppy.”  Oh no you don’t.  Dead spider walking. Then, I accidently killed a baby praying mantis –Aaugh.  By the time I realized what it was, it was too late. I felt terrible. And since they are a protected species, according to Rhode Island law, I could have been incarcerated for my heinous crime. Why are there so few?  Well, besides, the fact that I kill them, I have a theory. We all know that after the mantises mate, the female cannibalizes the head right off the male. (One for our side.)

So, it stands to reason that the males are getting hip to this female culinary peccadillo, and they are all turning gay.  I can see it now, they’re out in the garden and she approaches, slowly, okay, she stalks him, and says,  “ How’d you like to have some of this, big boy?” and he, snarkely answers “Oh, I’m all set with that, miss thang. I’m going with Jiminy Cricket, it’s disco night by the bug zapper – Chirp Chirp – Oh, and don’t you know, it’s chew and screw, not screw and chew – Tootles.”

So one day, I decided to get away from them all and go to the city for a spa treatment. You know, get a little of my LA glamour back. So, I’m all relaxed, being pampered, and as the hairdresser is shampooing my scalp, guess what she finds? …A tick! – Augh!  That’s it. I’m done!  I’m going back to Hollywood – At least there, when I go out, I get dressed, put on a little Angel perfume and I’m fabulous.  Not here, in R.I. when I go out, I get dressed, I have to put on a little frontline! Three drops right down the back of my neck. I’m wearing a Hartz collar on my ankle at all times. I’m buggin out.