Monday, May 17, 2004

Monday Koreafarts 2: on a personal note

My silverfish kicks ass. It kicks all your asses.

Ever since the weather began to warm up here in Seoul, the bugs have renewed their bombardment of my humble domicile. I'm no Buddhist, so I freely confess that I kill and kill and kill again. My dwelling is a huge factory of bad karma. I can't be like the Japanese Zen monks in David Chadwick's Thank You and OK!, who take any pests to the front door, then toss them out while shouting, "Be happy!"

My approach to God's littlest creatures is like Sly Stallone's in "Demolition Man": "Be fucked!"

Which brings me back to my amazing silverfish.

I've had this silverfish for several weeks, now. I have no idea how long it's going to live. I have no idea why I didn't smash it into pulp when I first saw it. Maybe Wikipedia has a writeup on silverfish (it does, but it's no help re: life span). I caught the thing one day when it was hovering hugely over my kitchen door, just hanging off the wallpaper on its 24 legs and two pairs of antennae. Scooped it into a clear plastic jar and have been feeding it tiny bits of fruit, bread, and water ever since.

I clean the silverfish's container every couple of days, because the thing takes massive shits. If you want a proportional sense of how big these shits are, imagine someone my size (6'1", approx 260 pounds) producing enough crap to completely fill a toilet.

The silverfish's badassed nature, however, didn't show itself until today. Up to now, the silverfish has been a fairly boring pet. The only question has been when it plans to die. The answer, as of this afternoon, is: not anytime soon.

Two nights ago, you see, I caught a second silverfish. A young, strapping one, full of energy. I stuck it inside the container with the bigger, older silverfish, and it was immediately obvious the younger silverfish was annoying the older one, because it kept crawling all over the older one. Today I learned a cosmic truth: don't fuck with the old.

When I got back home from tutoring Min-sung this evening, I went over to the plastic container and looked inside.

Ladies and gentlemen: nothing remains of the younger silverfish but 12 pairs of legs strewn about the container's bottom.

And that rocks.

My silverfish kicks ass. It ate an entire goddamn silverfish for dinner. To put this in perspective: imagine me shitting out enough crap to fill two football helmets, then eating a ten-year-old. That's apparently what transpired inside a little plastic container in Seoul this afternoon. And I just wanted you to know that.

I'll be mightily pissed if this silverfish dies too quickly. It just demonstrated a level of ferocity and ruthlessness to rival Satan's. I hope to find another silverfish sometime in the near future. And if I have a chance to witness any combat, I'll be sure to give you all the blow-by-blow.

UPDATE: I've Googled silverfish, and am now wondering whether what I have is, in fact, a silverfish. None of the drawings I saw matched what's in my container. My mini-Satan has 24 legs and two pairs of antennae, front and rear. It's about 1.25" long. Is this some mutant Korean species of silverfish, or something else entirely? Do I have to worry that a whole armored division of these little guys is gonna come out one night while I'm sleeping, and quietly gnaw my balls off? If you have info, write in. If you need a pic of The Creature to help you identify it, I'll be happy to snap one.



Anonymous said...

Could it be a firebrat?

Kevin Kim said...

It turns out that it's a species of centipede. Nasty one, too. Koreans call it "jinae." Pretty name for an ugly beast. I blogged more about it in 2005, when I began keeping some as pets.