Very shortly, we decided this arrangement was not going to work. So, we took two of the recliners and put them in the back yard, with a table between them. This worked out just fine, since it allowed us to sit in the backyard at midnight, drink beer and watch shooting stars.
One night, while we were doing this, he said to me, "Do you see what I see over there on the pavement under the streetlight?"
I did, but from that distance we couldn't make out what was going on. From where we sat it looked like some sort of dark, moving, swirly-pattern. When we walked over to investigate, what we saw were about half-a-dozen cockroaches apparently having a square-dance. We just stood there with our beer bottles in our hands, staring at them in disbelief. It felt like we were in a dream.
Now these weren't the little one-half-inch ones that college students find on the bathroom sink waving their antennae. These were the big two-inch Terminator ones. These guys weren't going to go down the drain with a little water from the faucet.
I had only seen one of these Intergalactic Death Roaches once before in my life, when a woman caught one in a jar and showed it to me. Now I was looking at maybe six of them. My friend had never seen ones this size, and had a look on his face that would have fit just fine on a character in a Stephen King novel when he finds the door to the Bioweapons Laboratory ripped open from the inside.
We weren't about to stomp on these creatures because a) if we succeeded there would have been a horrible mess that required throwing our shoes away because we weren't going to clean them, or b) not succeeding and possibly being body-slammed to the ground by these things, which then would probably get an ankle-lock on us.
These sonsofguns were living in our back yard, right under our noses. Maybe even under our recliners. It was like something out of one of those stories were two universes intersect and you find that in one of them cockroaches really did outlast mankind.
To this day neither of us know what those roaches were doing. Maybe it was a mating ritual, or maybe they just were having the roach version of a rave. I've never bothered to research it, and neither has he. We've been content to know that for a few minutes we stepped into a Far Side cartoon, which was enough for both of us until we decided to return to the civilized world of booze and Barcaloungers.
Whenever I think of that episode (along with the one in which I found a garter snake swallowing a toad while the toad was screaming), the next thought that often occurs to me is how foolish and naïve are those Noble Savage nitwits who idealize nature and think it's our friend.
Primitive man certainly didn't think nature was his friend. He wanted to get as far from it as fast as he could. Nobody put a hat on Smokey the Bear until the 20th century, when the free market and technology had advanced civilization enough that people could go camping with sleeping bags, tents and .45 caliber semi-automatics in case real bears, as opposed to cartoon ones, decided that humans were the ursine version of Cheesy Poofs. And even with all our technology, we still can't do much when Trailer Court meets Tornado.
Nature is certainly beautiful on the surface, with mountains and blue skies and sunshine and cute little prairie dogs but underneath is a different story. It's a good thing insects aren't any bigger than they are; the wars they have with each other would make our 20th century look like kids' dirt-clod fights. I'd hate to have to keep a Tommy gun in the house in case one crashed through the door looking for bread crumbs.
Animals are a lot better than insects only because we've semi-tamed them. But we'll never completely domesticate them. My parents had a cat that would consistently bring home live birds and mice, all of them held daintily in his mouth. When I asked a vet why he was doing this he answered, "You're supposed to kill them and eat them."
It turns out a lot of animals bring home live prey to their young so they can learn to kill them. Our cat was treating us like we were kittens. When I shooed away the mice and birds he probably thought I was nuts, the way human parents might think something is wrong with their kid if he always threw Oreos and milk out the window.
And yet now, we have people – environmentalists – worshipping the earth and all the serial-killer bugs and animals inhabiting it. Although, I suspect, in their minds, they don't really see it that way. The two-inch roaches and cats with the birds and mice don't really figure into their calculations. All they can see is humans as some kind of skin cancer growing all over the surface of the earth.
One of the things I decided a long time ago is that religion will never be gotten rid of, contrary to the claims of the materialists and the secular humanists (both of which are themselves religions). For one thing, as far as I am concerned, everything is religion. Some are just better than others. Others aren't worth anything at all.
We can either search for the truth or take the easy way out and believe in lies and superstition. The problem is discerning which is which. I don't think it's that hard. The Earth and what inhabits it are not to be worshipped. That prohibition is up at the top of the Ten Commandments.
One of the lies that people believe in, a Strange God they worship, is environmentalism. For those who believe in it, it is a religion, although they don't see it as one. They see it as the truth, separate from religion.
The late writer Michael Crichton has called environmentalism "the religion of choice for urban atheists," and has labeled it a "perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths."
"There's an initial Eden, a paradise," he said, "a state of grace and unity with nature, there's a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe."
Crichton is right on the mark ("missing the mark" is hamartia, which is usually translated as "sin"). Environmentalism even has its own theology, that of junk science. It also has something of which Crichton did not speak, but which all perverted religions have – human sacrifice.
We rightly perceive ancient peoples who rolled their infants into the fires in the belly of Moloch as a bunch of savages worshipping false gods. But when environmentalists today want to see millions of people die to "save the environment," what exactly is the difference between their savagery and that of some primitive tribe? The difference is that the modern ones kill more people. A lot more people.
Paul Ehrlich, an insect biologist-cum-knucklehead-cum-Elmer Gantry environmental false prophet, claimed that 60 million Americans would die of starvation in the 1980s. He's been saying these kinds of things since the '60s. Everything he's predicted has been wrong but some people are still mesmerized because he's one of the high wizards of a false religion based not on facts but on faith.
And it certainly sounds to me as if Ehrlich wants these people to die, to be sacrificed for the false god known as Gaia. A high wizard calls for human sacrifice to appease his god so it won't kill everyone. Am I talking about today, or 4000 years ago? Both.
Environmentalists believe in the fairy tale of Pure Good and Pure Evil, in themselves as the Children of Light, opposed to those who disagree with them and want to pollute the earth and kill Thumper and Bambi, the Children of Darkness. Environmentalists are religious fanatics in the worst sense of the word. All Eric Hoffer True Believers are the same, no matter what they worship. What unites all of them is their belief that those they define as their opponents need to be sacrificed on their Altar of Not-Truth.
We're running out of oil, these false prophets wail. Global warming will fry us, and nuclear power will give three eyes and a foot growing out of the top of our heads. Overpopulation will suffocate the world, so thank God AIDS will devastate us. And let's not forget the depletion of the ozone layer. And on and on and on. Their solution? In two words: human sacrifice. A new Flood (although not as water but as disease or famine) to cleanse the earth, and afterwards, the few Chosen left will step out of their Ark and start anew on a pristine earth.
Another part of the not-the-answer involves giving money and power to these self-anointed modern preachers of Woe&Doom. "Oh, no," writes P.J. O'Rourke in All of Trouble in the World about the tactics of groups like Greenpeace, "Night Wolf is eating the Moon Virgin. Give me silver and I will make him spit her out."
So far environmentalism has killed between 10 million and 30 million people since the 1970s, all sacrificed to the non-existent god know as "the environment." And let us certainly not forget that the World Trade Center collapsed prematurely because the builders were not allowed to spray asbestos on the upper floors. To "save one life" from non-existent asbestos poisoning we lost 3000. That's not a fair trade to anyone but environmentalists with heads full of voodoo.
And why were all these people sacrificed? So two-inch-long cockroaches can roam free and unmolested?
Human sacrifice is alive and well. Its supporters just go by different names now than in the past; instead of Aztecs they're called members of PETA. And they've got a leg up over ancient murderers in being more subtle than simply ripping out their victims' hearts in public. Now they do things like get DDT banned so millions of kids die from mosquito-borne malaria.
God forbid that wretched fanatical buttinskis like Ehrlich and Al Gore and Ralph Nader gain the political power they so crave. All have the same motto – "People – we just need a whole lot less of them. And we'll make sure it happens."
I'm sure every roach in the world would dance to that tune.