Leave it to The Stranger to find a prurient angle for any story. To wit, BRENDAN KILEY's treatise on bedbugs, which begins with a disquisition on the violent mating habits of Cimex lectularius, complete with pornographic descriptions of how "a male bedbug's penis is literally a weapon" and how the female bedbug has evolved to survive the "mating wound" that can result from such an impressive piece of insect anatomy. Why does Mr. Kiley spend so much time and ink hyping the power of tiny phalluses found on tiny invertebrates? What does it say about his own inadequate anatomy (up to and including his lack of spine)? These are matters for him and his masculine mentors to take up. Let us speak of them no more, and let us instead speak of what Mr. Kiley's "investigation" utterly fails to do, which is grab the reader by his lapels and shake him until he understands that Cimex lectularius must be eradicated from this planet now, without mercy.
I say this because I have done serious and violent battle with an infestation of these creatures at the Sequim compound—an infestation that began, my investigators have told me, after a wayward male relative brought a loose woman into contact with his woolen pajamas. Let that be a lesson to all of you about woolen pajamas. The problem is not that they make physiques such as those possessed by the Steen men impossible to resist. The problem is that, over time, the itchiness of these pajamas inures one to minor dermatological annoyances of all kinds, which in turn retards one's realization that bedbugs have invaded one's space—and skin. Fortunately, I concluded decades ago, back when pansy environmentalists began banning DDT to protect egrets or some such nonsense, that I would be wise to keep a significant stockpile of the substance, either for personal use or for selling at considerable profit on a supply-starved, bug-infested market. As it turned out, a few dozen canisters did the trick at the Sequim compound—and for a certain price, I would be willing to share my armory with the afflicted. Contact me at the twit mail address below.
In other pestilence, DOMINIC HOLDEN unleashes volume MCXXXIII in his series on just how much he likes marijuana, which will interest or surprise absolutely no one; PAUL CONSTANT reviews a book called The Death and Life of American Journalism and, of course, fails to appreciate the irony of his review appearing in the pages of the paper in America that is working hardest at bludgeoning journalism to death; and DAVID SCHMADER, an avowed vegetarian, is sent to review a hot-dog stand. In the ladies' auxiliary, JEN GRAVES—joined by the equally inconsequential ERIN LANGNER—rhapsodizes yet more about local finger-painters, BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT compares one of our city's finest dining establishments to a shopping mall, ERICA GRANDY fawns over some assuredly execrable hippity-hop, and LINDY WEST brings her shirking to new heights by failing to produce even her customary lackluster film section.
On the whole, this issue is an invitation for a wider application of DDT if there ever was one.