uglY cOUsin is looking for a mascot, and our first contestant has to be the stink bug. It fits our style. Here are six reasons we think the stink bug is underappreciated, as we are.
- Cilantro, the Laurel/Yanni, white dress/pink dress of the herb world. The same plant creates two completely different sensations in the mouth, depending on whose mouth the cilantro is in. We’re like that. Many people think we taste like soap, while others think we’re a necessary ingredient. The connection? The “stink” of the stink bug is commonly described as smelling like cilantro. Note that it isn’t referred to as stink plant. The bug gets the raw end of the naming deal. Maybe if it were called cilantro bug, half the people would like it. If it were called Laurel, the cilantro bug, millions would tweet about it.
- Marmorated is a pretty cool word, and the stink bug’s full name (for signing mortgages and the like) is the brown marmorated stink bug. At least that’s the one we know. Marmorated means marbled. It is so obviously an underused word that I dare you to find a spell check that thinks it isn’t something different (like mar orated, whatever that would be). We too are like rare words that should be used more often.
- They are harmless like we are. When you have us over to the house, we don’t bite you or eat your food. We’re Bob Seger’s “perfect lodger, perfect guest” sorts of beautiful losers. So, the stink bug can’t really do anything bad to you. They just got lost in your house trying to stay warm over the winter. Sure, if you happen to have an indoor green bean field or peach orchard, they might stay for a healthy snack, but then again, having these things in your house might mean you have more than you need anyway. So since it isn’t their actions that cause the average person’s dislike for them, it is just their appearance and potential for cilantro gas. Don’t hate on your unusual looking or gassy friend. It isn’t nice.
- When they actually decide to fly, they do so pretty much like we would if we had that ability–with no grace and a strong possibility of crashing. Imagine if we humans had wings, like so many popular songs ask us to. We probably wouldn’t glide around and then cut expertly through the sky like an eagle. We’d burst upward and hit our head on the ceiling like our friends the stink bugs. We are kindred souls. Flight buddies.
- Stink bug romance is based on the desires of the female. She puts the awkward male stink bug in his place. This makes us feel better about ourselves. If the male wants to mate, he makes some clumsy moves with his antennae, bumping her in the neck or body. If she’s into him, she makes the move. If not, she whacks him in the bean. If he tries to go to the backside despite her protests, she gives him a swift kick. And here’s the kicker: when she does decide to mate with the bad dancer and they literally hook-up, if he takes too long, she just drags him around, still connected to her, as she wanders around and grabs a bite to eat.
- The stink bug is an immigrant. They came to this country only a couple decades ago from Asia, seeking nothing but freedom and opportunity. They just want to make a living and raise their families like you and me. Just because they have been successful, many want them gone. We have enough of our own bugs! people shout. Can’t we just get along? The story of America is the story of immigration and the story of both is the stink bug. Welcome our new neighbors. Learn from them.
There must be more reasons to appreciate the stink bug. Share yours with us. We might have just found the perfect mascot.