Food With Attitude
John A. Ward



We sat on the restaurant’s outdoor deck and talked about eating bugs.  I started it by saying, “I read an article about the protein value of bugs. There were three that were the best, grasshoppers, termites and crickets.”

“I feed crickets to my class,” said Michelle.

“Do you fry them?”

“I bake them at 250 degrees and dip them in chocolate.”

“What do they taste like? Don’t say chicken.”

“The taste I get is peanuts, for raw crickets,” she said.

“You eat them raw?” asked Emma.

“No, I meant without chocolate.” Michelle waved a fly away from her crème brule.

“With chocolate, do they taste like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups?” I asked.

“I never thought about it,” said Michelle.

“Do you use regular crickets that you find on the street, or in the field, or do you buy them?” I asked. An ant snatched a crumb off Emma’s plate and scooted off to tell her friends. Emma didn’t notice. “I have a student who won’t feed her reptiles anything but crickets from Pet Smart,” she said.

“Why not?”

“Because she’s not sure what the wild crickets eat.”

“It’s the parasites she’s concerned about,” said Michelle. “Crickets carry brain worms. They get into your head and make you forget who you are.”

The ant returned with a dozen friends, or maybe it was thirteen other ants, who picked up the scent trail. Emma brushed them off the cheese cake and squished them with her napkin. The pheromones that they emitted in their agony must have alerted the colony and soon the table was swarming with ants.

“They’re biting me,” cried Emma.

Michelle came to her defense, but soon she was covered with the pugnacious pismires.

They never touched me. I don’t eat bugs. I think they sensed that.


First published: May 2018
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