The Sciences

Eat. Pray. Loathe.

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitSep 11, 2010 4:06 PM

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So I'm sitting at my desk and looking at people's pictures from Dragon*Con when I feel an itch on my leg. Huh. Feels like my cat is down there rubbing against me. I look down, but my cat's not there. What the...? So I take a closer look, bending over to peer at my leg, and realize a 7-centimeter-long praying mantis is perched on my calf, clinging to the hairs. OK. I did what any reasonable adult would do: I shake my leg violently and suppress myself from screaming like a little girl. The mantis falls off, and then looks up at me. It's not happy. Ever had a praying mantis glare at you? It will haunt my dreams. Anyway, it crawled up onto my shelf, so I took this picture just in time for Caturday.

[Click to atomically THEMinate.] I have a very healthy respect for praying mantises. Many years ago I either picked one up or it landed on my hand or something. I looked down at it in amazement, and without even flinching it used its front leg like a frakking nutcracker and squeezed my index finger. I bled like something from a horror movie. Those knives it carries under its arms are sharp. I'll admit, this guy was little and actually cute. I also have no doubt that it would emotionlessly and methodically eat me in my entirety after first tearing me apart cell by cell. And the worst part? I know that for the next three days every itch I have will be a phantom mantis. Mocking me.

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