I’m No Scientist Or Anything But This Is Weird

There’s a lot about Tennessee that’s a little different from Texas, the Motherland from whence I came.  What passes for TexMex in Tennessee, for instance, we’ve covered this here before, grieves my spirit.  Then there are the laws, like the one which guarantees a Tennessean’s right to eat roadkill.  Glad Senator Jethro got that one through committe – saved our society right there, yes he did.  Also, there are seasons – there are four of them here in Tennessee and during one of them – I believe the natives call it “winter” – there’s this white stuff that floats all strange like down from the sky and hangs out on the grass and and trees and such for a few days.  Very odd indeed.

But strangest of all I think are the bugs.  They’ve got some weird bugs here in Tennessee.  For instance, one day not too long ago we were sitting in the front yard in our folding chairs, like the rednecks we’re proud to be, when I noticed something fluffy and white on Becky’s shirt – A piece of moss or fuzz or lint maybe. Never passing up a legitimate opportunity to graze my wife’s chest area, I brushed it away.  And when I did, the little fur ball flew.  The thing flew!


Over the next week or so, these little guys multiplied like Tribbles. (Nerd bonus for knowing what a Tribble is, by the way.) And everything in our yard got really really sticky – the grass, car, us.  Everything. I immediately started reading the Left Behind series just to get to the bottom of this strange phenomenon. (Evangelical subculture bonus for knowing what Left Behind is.  Subtract a million points for owning the soundtrack, DVD, poster, action figures or video game.)

Thank God for Google and Redneck Neighbor’s Blackberry – we did some digging and soon learned that the little pieces of white flying ash were actually bugs called Woolly Aphids.  Hypothetically, if you were to catch a Whooly Aphid and you were to rub it’s “fur” off, hypothetically, what you’d find underneath is a teeny tiny green dot the size of a pin head…with legs…and no wings because, hypothetically, they’d get rubbed off with the fur.  And, hypothetically, this wouldn’t make you feel guilty because stuff without a discernible face isn’t, hypothetically, cute and can’t scream.


We also learned that these suckers were drawn to our yard because of the hackberry trees littering it.  We don’t know why we haven’t seen them here sooner, but they love our hackberry’s this year.  What are they doing in our hackberry trees?  Glad you asked – and you won’t be.  According to real live scientists, these critters are doin’ it in our hackberry trees (a lot), eating the sap of our hackberry trees, and “dispensing” “honeydew” from their tiny furry bodies (I’ve chosen not to research the orifice from whence it is dispensed).  This honeydew is all over our stuff.  And us.


And this troubles me.  I have miniature Tribbles doin’ it in my trees and peeing honey on my stuff.  Anybody need a soft rock star in Texas?  I’m about ready to move now.