Mantis Attack!

I was going to tell you all about our new cat (Zoe) we got two weeks ago, but Katcha was spectacularly and explosively unwell this past weekend so I didn’t have a lot of time to ponder the post and polish it up to expected level of … something that also starts with a “p” . It’s just as well really because all I had was how I feel like a pirate digging for buried treasure every time I get to clean out the litter box. Only with clumps of cat detritus replacing the doubloons and pieces of eight. After that she’s just sorta a cat. She does cat stuff. Eh. She will hide behind the Little Woman’s sneakers until Lucy strolls by and then jump out to attack her and then run away. That’s kinda funny since you can see her behind the sneakers but Lucy plays along since they’re friends that way. Other than that, nothing.

But I was attacked by a praying mantis yesterday. It was horrible. I feared for my life.

OK, it isn’t that bad since it was only three inches long and I didn’t know it was attacking me until it shook it off, but it could have been scary.

Yesterday I was washing stuff in the driveway. First I got out the pressure washer and cleaned off the boys’ picnic table since it was covered with grunge and it’s been really nice so it seemed like a good idea to eat out on the back porch al fresco. So that called for a de-grunging of the picnic table. After that I had to de-grunge the big picnic table so us grown-ups had a clean place to eat too. Which meant I also had to clean off the chairs so we’d have a place to sit. But I had a power washer, so it wasn’t like it was work.

(Guess whose idea it was to eat outside. Go ahead, guess. Hint: not mine. OK, now guess who changed her mind after I cleaned all the stuff and we didn’t eat outside after all. Hint: again, not me.)

After I power washed, since I had the hose out and everything, I decided I should wash the cars. Both of them. No big since they’re just little cars. And they both really needed to be washed. So I stuck the power washer under a tree and set all the now de-grungified yard furniture in the sun to dry and washed the cars. (I should keep a small bottle of lemon scented dish soap back just for washing the cars. That way they’ll smell all lemony and the garage will smell nice too. We don’t get the lemony scented dish soap regularly since Sam’s Club doesn’t carry it by the bucket. So I need special lemony dish soap for the cars.)

When it was time to put all the junk away, I just grabbed the power washer and wheeled (it has wheels) it into the garage where it goes. Only about halfway in I felt something stuck to my hand. So I let go of the power washer handle and shook my hand to get whatever it was off. A praying mantis (Did you ever watch that super hero show a buncha years ago on FOX, M.A.N.T.I.S.? Or was it just me? The M.A.N.T.I.S. guy is on Alias now, but without the super suit.) shot off my hand and plopped onto my car! It almost skittered off since the car was so squeaky clean. But it caught on and didn’t fall.

I had to go get a scooper out of the sandbox so I could scoop up the mantis and put it outside. If I didn’t, sure as anything it would have crawled into the Little Woman’s car and jumped out at her when she was driving. Then she would totally freak out (probably screaming “A mantis! A mantis” like that) and crash into a big truck on the way to work. No one wants that, so I took the mantis outside and flicked it back under the tree the power washer was sitting under. (My brother, Skippy, says it a “river birch”. I dunno, it just looks like a tree. But if he says so I guess it’s a river birch. Why would he lie about something like that?)

Mantids aren’t all that evil. Heck, I tried (unsuccessfully) keeping them as pets once, and they never once attacked me. Besides, if you ignore the fact that they are canibalistic and the females eat their mates alive, they don’t sound all that scary, do they? :dubious:

My Dad has a power washer. I’m gonna borrow it and power wash sumpin’.

It turns out that this is a slander of mantises. The whole “eat their mates” thing happened because the researchers weren’t feeding the bugs properly and they were starving, so they had to resort to cannibalism. Wimmin mantises are bigger than men mantises, so it was the menfolk who got et. At least they waited until after they got it on. They got their jollies, and the males got sleepy and easier to munch. Mantises gots their priorities straight.

Ex, I think you have your science wrong. Mantiseses gather in large herds and dive off cliffs only to drown in the sea. Lemmings eat their mates if they don’t get enough bugs.

Here I am, keeping my fingers from typing all of the obvious (and in bad taste) jokes.

You can buy mantis egg sacs at garden centers. They eat pests. From an insect’s point of view, it’s like you’re unleashing the cast of Alien vs. Predator on them.

And it’s pretty cool when the egg sac hatches. You get swarms of teeny little mantises. I imagine there are some major freak-outs when an egg sac hatches prematurely in the store.

Count yourself lucky. At least you weren’t attacked by MANT!!

I should get one of them little eggy-sacs so my cats could plsy with mantises. Except the bugs would win.

MissTee, how was the meeting with Swampbear?

Annie Dillard, in Pilgrim at Tinker’s Creek, has a nice bit that goes something like this:

The male mantis’ head is saying, “No, you fool, run away, she is going to eat you!” while the rest of him is saying, “Yes, yes, now and forever, yes!”

The ultimate fate of a male mantis: coming and going at the same time…

:dubious: vunderbob

I don’t have any mantis stories although I did rescue a little lizard that was stuck between my screen and windows. He woulda been toast if I hadn’t had to open windows all over the house cause a stupit hurricane left me without no power what ya need to keep cool down here. :frowning:

Shibb held it together so nicely…aaaaaand here comes vunderbob in to say what we’re all thinking and trying to be refined by not saying. :smiley:

If I lived closer, I’d sneakily drive into Rue’s driveway and park my car with theirs. Then maybe he’d just be on autopilot and would power wash my car for me so it would be lemony fresh. I mean, it’s a Golf, so it’s a small car. That wouldn’t be too much extra work, would it?

It needed to be said. :smiley:

Besides, I was playing nice. If you look back, my opening reply was asking about a well publicized Doper meeting that happened this weekend. I could have, and I thought about it, been crass right out of the blocks…

Neighbor next door bought a snifty new power washer.

Proceeded to remove most of the finish off the passenger side panel of his 2004 F-150. Oops.

FWIW, school shopping went ducky. LilMiss will be fashionably outfitted. I will be styling sack cloth dresses due to having no funds left. Actually, I bought two new outfits (Clearance! Yeah!) and while she now had 8 new shirts, she only has one new pair of pants. We both scored shoes also, but her one pair of tennies ran almost as much as my two outfits. LilMiss also scored “Grown Up Girl” items, her first. Her poor dad. When we got home she called him and proudly said “GUESS WHAT? I’M WEARING A BRA!!”. He now feels real old. Heh.

I wish I lived somewhere that had Mantises and Lizards. All we have in Saskatchewan are boring garder snakes, and some truely creapy bugs, like spruce beatles, horse flys, and little no-see-ums that bite you.

Just be sure to avoid leaving out barrels of toxic waste. It’s all fun and games until your mantids grow to collossal size and eat Akron.

I didn’t do any power washing or car washing, but my sweetie and I painted the basement. I started with the easy part - the new sheetrock. Two coats and it was just luverly. He started by spraying the block walls. Coverage was marginal at best. So we ran to Lowe’s and bought another roller handle and another 5 gallons of masonry paint and applied a second coat. Better, but some gray still showed thru.

Since we were both pooped, we cleaned up and decided to do the third coat on Sunday. Right.

I retired to this room to surf a bit while FCD was watching TV. Then I heard some sounds from the basement. A little while later, he came up and declared that he’d put on the third coat. The man just refuses to relax!! But the basement is nice and white, making the lights more effective.

Yesterday, we were going to order the cabinets for the kitchen, but I was having second thoughts, so we just bought some electrical conduit and outlets. He played electrician and I got on CAD and did some redesigning. The only thing that stays the same is the sink location. I changed everything else. But I wound up with a bigger kitchen and less major construction.

I do have a little trouble visualizing the layout, so we took some masking tape and marked on the floor where the cabinets will be. We both decided it was a better design. So tonight, we will order the cabinets. And maybe the appliances, too.

And for the record, if you recall the ugly house, I’m happy to report that the blue curtains that weren’t on windows are no longer hanging. Anybody want 4 pairs of blue drapes for the cost of shipping? Seriously. Email me!

That’s all I got. No mantises here. But I did see a squirrel in the yard yesterday. He didn’t attack me.

Hey! I just washed my car too. Well, really all I did was hand over the keys and then pay for it. But still, clean car! It’s monsoon season here so my car was like a leopard with spots there was so much dirt gunked on it. Keep your fingers crossed it doesn’t rain for a couple of days, so I get some use out of this wash. You know, whenever I say it’s monsoon season, I feel I should be wearing a sari.

Also, I never knew mantissises were considered evil when I was a kid, and it came as a great shock when I was told. They’re just bugs, trying to get along and since they obligingly eat pest bugs in your garden, I must conclude that this is just a case of lookism. Like how we all loooove the cute dolphin but nobody sheds a tear over the ugly tuna. If baby seals looked like cockroaches…

You know, I really need to get back to work. Yesterday I spent a good ten minutes thinking that sphere is likely to soon be pronounced spere, the way language is going in this world. Then another ten thinking maybe not. FairyChatMom, may I come over to your place and help out? It would be mutually beneficial I think.

or does the thought of mantises warp into the Mantis Falcon, the fastest ship this side of Space Ghost? Heck, it did the Kessel run in just under 0.8 parsecs. With Zaphod Beetlebrox at the helm. Being chased by Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet in an old black and white spaceship.

… yeah, it’s probably only me. I’ll shaddap now.