Bug off

By

WE have gone through the experience of Superman; then we had a period of Superwoman; now it seems we are headed for Superbug. I have seen enough Sci-Fi and horror movies to know how these things start. In most films some kind of nuclear explosion occurs near an anthill or spider's nest and a mutation takes place. This results in some spiders, or garbage bugs, or whatever, growing to outrageous proportions and attacking some quiet, unassuming city like Toledo, Ohio. Toward the end of the film someone gets the idea to call out the Army and, after a rather unconvincing special effects battle, the bugs are defeated and civilization is saved.

Now it is happening in real life.

While the United States is busy building B-1 bombers, it is being attacked from the rear by superbugs, or ``monster bugs'' as they are called, which have developed from misuse of insecticides. Superbugs are not only immune from bug sprays but are also free of natural predators according to studies by special agencies.

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The main source of dismay is the Asian cockroach. Nothing kills it. Nothing fazes it. Scientists have been too absorbed in defending the US with star wars to notice anything like invading cockroaches, so the Asian cockroach (which also flies) keeps on spreading.

Asia has already invaded the US with cameras, TVs, radios, clothes, computers, and automobiles, all of which seem to be built better than the US product. Now comes a cockroach which is built better than the US version.

So far the US has been unable to come up with any kind of repellent - economically, geopolitically, or entomologically. The national debt goes on; the lack of national control goes on; a confusion as to national policy goes on. And cockroaches go on. Obviously, the modern American needs a new kind of chemistry.

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