An Encounter in the Park

I have absolutely no idea why, after so many months of posting nothing, I have suddenly decided to post this – now. As I type this I am sitting at a picnic table in Riverside Park having just witnessed one of those seemingly insignificant acts of nature that are usually only experienced via a National Geographic special on television. One certainly does not expect one’s supper to be interrupted by such an unexpected observation.

WARNING! The paragraphs which follow contain a somewhat graphic description of, shall we say, intimate insect behaviour. No – I cannot leave the description out of the post as the unfolding of the event is what the whole thing is about; without it the entire experience falls flat. Consider yourself warned.

Like I said, I’m in Riverside Park having my supper. Nothing special; just a grilled bacon and tomato Panini (hold the cheese) and a medium double-double decaf from Tim’s across the street. As I’m eating I notice a pair of small silver winged insects (each no more than ½ inch long) on the table beside me. They seem to be engaged in a tug of war having been securely joined at the tips of their abdomens. Facing away from each other, joined at the (ovipositor? meh!) – ass, they each seem to be struggling to pull the other in their preferred direction.

A brief rundown of the aforementioned National Geographic specials in my randomly accessed memory reveals I am quite likely witnessing two insects (of a hitherto unidentified species) mating. My first thought was, “Wow! I wonder how often there have been mating bugs on my dinner table when I didn’t notice?”

What happens next is the graphic part, so brace yourself. One of the insects, making what for all the world appeared to be a Herculean effort, suddenly tore away from the encounter taking a portion of the other insect’s insides with it!  In that moment, the information from the National Geographic program and my grade 9 biology class coalesced in my consciousness and I realized what I had just witness was the culmination of the sex act; the climax, if you will.

Using reproductive organs obviously designed for the task, the female of the species clamped firmly onto the male’s member and tore away from the encounter ripping his gonads out by the roots and taking them with her!

I was stunned. And so apparently was the male bug as he just sat there motionless for what had to have been at least 20 seconds. Finally, he made a stuttering, halting effort to move, eventually flying away, likely to find somewhere to expire.

My second thought, I am somewhat hesitant to admit, was, “Gee pal, I hope it was worth it!”

I know, not my best moment; but if it’s any consolation I did spend the next minutes musing about the whole procreation thing. The need to reproduce; the need to leave a legacy by continuing our bloodline and the lengths we are driven to by hormones, pheromones and endorphins to acquire a mate and do the deed. I came to no startling conclusions, no great philosophical revelations, only a few harrumphs and the odd heavy sigh.

Besides it wasn’t long until my more profound ruminations were displaced by my media addle-pated imagination which conjured up Bruce Willis sitting on the bench beside me, and having just witnessed the very same scene replayed out in my memory, turned to me and said, in the way only Bruce Willis can…

“You know, that’s exactly what my divorce felt like.”

Moment over.

Cue music.

Fade to black.

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