Friday, February 11, 2011

Evil Eric

My goodness. I am back in Toliara for a couple days and will have glorious internet the entire time. *Sigh* Here is a wee tidbit from my life at Tsimanampetsotsa...

January 24, 2011. 7:57pm. Tent. 92 days remaining.
OMG just had the biggest f*&%ing insect ever on my tent roof. Let's call "him" "Evil Eric." So Evil Eric was between the rain fly (or what is left of the rain fly) and the mesh roof of my tent. He was at least 15cm long and his body was bigger than that of a mouse. Seriously. And he was just sitting there staring at me. Flicking around his super creepy jumbo antennae. I had been in my tent for a half hour or so and Evil Eric was probably looking at me the whole time. Sick. And super scary. There is no way I could sleep with Evil Eric, the beast that he is, watching me so I grabbed my broom and tried to shake him off. I clearly underestimated Evil Eric's determination to spend the night on my tent, leering in at me. When I swatted at him with the broom, Evil Eric SCREAMED AT ME. This really horrible loud high pitched shriek. He seriously scared me half to death! I tried a few more times to shake him loose, but he was having no part of my antics and continued to scream every time I swatted his way. So I switched to plan B and figured I'd just spray a little bit of RAID in his direction and surely that would be incentive enough for him to vacate my premises. I got as close as I could, sprayed a wee squirt and quickly backed up, presuming that Evil Eric would have a thing or two to say about my use of RAID. He didn't make a peep. Nor did he move. Just when I was beginning to think operation RAID failed, something truly horrible happened to Evil Eric. His antennae finally stopped twitching. His super scary mouth parts opened. Some sort of bloody liquid started spurting out of the his poor mouth. Evil Eric proceeded to projectile vomit blood (or some other horrible blood colored insect goo). All over my tent. The putrid goo then dripped down and through my tent's mesh roof and decorated the floor. I was then able swat Evil Eric away with my broom. He now rests (dead or alive) outside my tent door. Perhaps in my shoe. The following photo is of an significantly smaller Evil Eric esk arthropod I saw in the forest. Shiver me timbers.

More to come once I've adjusted to life with electricity.


  1. "Shiver me timbers"....arrrggggg matety.

  2. It's the SAME F'ING INSECT that we saw occasionally at Beza! One time one of them flew into Pat Whitten's head in 2001 when we were all sitting around the tent village one night. And it landed on a table and we ALL SCREAMED. It actually MOVED ITS HEAD and LOOKED AT US. And now you know that I am not bullshitting, having experienced one yourself.
    Then, I went for a night walk in the forest and one of them (I think it was them, couldn't be anything else)flew right into me headlamp, i.e. into my head, so I ran back to camp and never ever went back in the forest at night.
    They are the worst, the very very worst.

  3. More EvilEric-ish stories: and not only at Beza camp but once in Toliara in 1993, Leanne Nash and I were staying at a rather nice WWF house in the Toliara 'suburbs', and one of these horror shows flew right into the dining room where we were eating. I think it flew onto Leanne's leg but it was 18 years ago so I cannot be sure. Then the cook came into the room, smashed it with her BARE HAND, and said in French "it pinches VERY HARD". So it's really a good thing that you exercised biological warfare on the one on your tent roof, although did you get the VOMIT up off of your floor?

  4. OMG Lisa- I just about shot chocolate out my nose when I read your comments! I remember you telling me about this phantom horrible insect, but didn't connect the two. I must find out what it is! I shutter to think of the mess the one your cook squished made. Ick.

  5. Yes, please try to get a photo if you see one again, as I would love to know what this horrendous beast really is. A type of evil flying cockroach? I can find nothing on the internet.