One day recently, I came across this headline:
7 Charged after 72,000 Ladybugs Released in High School as Senior Prank
My first thought upon seeing this was. “Well, at least they used cute bugs.” I mean, they could have released 72,000 cicadas. That would have meant a lot of loud chirping and disgusting crunches with every step, although, on the plus side, the school lunch might have improved.
My second thought after seeing that headline was: How the hell do high school seniors manage to get their hands on 72,000 ladybugs? To get the answer, I had to take the unprecedented step of actually reading the article attached to the headline. And there it was, five paragraphs down:
“One suspect ordered the ladybugs online.”
Well, of course he did. Why did I even ask myself? It’s probably the easiest thing in the world to purchase 500 gross of ladybugs online. Or even 500 gross of a grosser bug. I’m sure you can just go to bugs.com and request a quantity discount. But in the interest of journalistic integrity, I took the uncharacteristic step of doing further research. So I went to bugs.com. And I was disappointed to see that it was the website of an exterminator–the very opposite of what I wanted.
Maybe acquiring thousands of ladybugs online isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I tried Googling “Ladybugs for sale,” and discovered that acquiring thousands of ladybugs online is exactly as easy as I thought it would be. Because you don’t even have to go to a specialized site; you can get them from…wait for it…
Of course, I don’t mean the Amazon, although I’m sure it is home to many, many bugs. No, sir, I mean Amazon.com, where, for a mere $25.05, you can get:
4500 Live Ladybugs – Good Bugs – Ladybugs – Guaranteed Live Delivery!
The listing also informs potential buyers that “1,500 adult pre-fed ladybugs, covers aprox. 500 sq.ft.”
This raises the obvious question: 500 sq. ft of what?
If we’re talking about a floor, I’m pretty sure I’d rather have carpeting, although you can probably have the ladybugs installed without padding. Also, I’m guessing you only have to vacuum the ladybugs once.
In case you’re wondering why someone would need 4,500 ladybugs other than for the purpose of infesting a high school, the listing helpfully (if not grammatically) offers some suggestions:
“Ladybugs are good bugs great for kids, birthday parties, school projects!”
Wow! And the whole time our daughter was growing up, we’d just get a few pizzas for her birthday parties.
Okay, so the senior pranksters spent roughly $400 (plus $116 shipping and handling) on their school project and obtained enough ladybugs to cover 24,000 square feet of high school (assuming the bugs were “pre-fed”). And that brings me to my third thought after seeing the headline: How will they get all those ladybugs out of the school? You can’t really just give them diplomas and send them out into the world.
I suppose they could release a bunch of toads. Toads eat ladybugs. But, unfortunately (and surprisingly) Amazon doesn’t sell toads. No, for that you have to go to ReptileCity.com, where you can purchase an Asian Black Spiny Toad for only $9.99 plus $29.99 shipping, plus emergency care for the UPS guy when he faints because the box he’s delivering suddenly starts ribbeting.
But how many toads do you need to eat 72,000 ladybugs? And how do you get rid of the toads after dinner?
I suppose a more humane solution would be to just make the ladybug the school’s mascot and call it a day.
The high school in question, by the way, is Chopticon High School in Morganza, Maryland. Its current motto is “Pride inside,” so it would be a simple change to make it “Pride inside and also ladybugs.” Their sports teams are called the Braves, and they have one of those offensive Native American logos that they should probably get rid of anyway. And while calling their sports teams the Ladybugs might not be popular with the football team, it would somewhat offset the name of the school, which sounds like a large gathering of horror film fanatics. Go, Chopticon Ladybugs!
Meanwhile, I was impressing myself with my journalistic endeavors. I had read the article. I had done research. And then I spent another whole minute following up on the story to learn that charges against the students were eventually dropped in exchange for 100 hours of community service each. That’s 700 hours in total. Which I guess lets us know exactly how long it takes seven high school seniors to get rid of 72,000 ladybugs.
See you soon.