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OP-ED: Spotted Red Lantern Flies Are My Only Source of Physical Touch


Photo with edits from Flickr // CC 2.0

Spotted lantern flies have been getting a lot of hate lately, a little too much, if I do say so myself. I can barely bring up the topic without someone commenting “I’d rather drink my own urine, nay, someone else’s urine, than see one of those disgusting creatures”, “You know what lantern flies and my step-dad have in common? They are invasive, and I want to kill them!”, or “I’m literally writing a Mein Kampf-esque manifesto about how to systematicly murder all those fucking pieces of shit.” But this baseless hatred needs to end because spotted red lantern flies are my only source of physical touch, and I demand to be touched.

Ever since the pandemic began, people have been reluctant to get physically close to me. (Editor’s note: the author’s use of the word “pandemic” here refers to the Swine Flu Pandemic of 2008). No more frat party gropes, no more awkward pats on the shoulder from your male professors...even my gynecologist has insisted we move our appointments to Omegle. At this point, I need to take what I can get, and what I can get is spotted red lantern flies.

Listen, I don’t want people getting the wrong idea. I’m purely looking for something platonic here -  like the wholesome friendship between the bee and that woman in the Bee Movie. All I want is for a nice lantern bug to land on my shoulder, flutter its delicate wings against my bare skin, and sing it’s sweet melody in my ear. Maybe, if things go well, I’ll invite him home with me.