PEONIA, ILLINOIS (API*): At a Zoom press conference today, hosted by University of Illinois Extension, representatives from the Milkweed Promotion and anti-HAte Team (MilkPHAT) described a pest plague that is devastating milkweeds, and decried the lack of human intervention against it.
“‘Caterpillars are everywhere?’ Of course they are!” exclaimed MilkPHAT speaker Asclepias Wellman. “And do we do anything to control the plague? Hell no! We use our schools as breeding grounds for it! And our membership is hurting, big time. Have you seen how a milkweed looks after the butterfly spawn have finished with it? How can you stand unmoved while one of our oxygen-producing plant allies is crippled or perhaps even put to death by these menacing insects!
“Look”, he continued. “Imagine that the caterpillars are COVID-19, and the milkweeds are us. We’d be blitzing those bugs to the max, putting the plants in glasshouse quarantine and wiping everything in sight down with insecticide. Instead, we coddle the damned pests! We don’t even have the kids wearing masks around them! How hopelessly irresponsible is that? What are we teaching our children?!?”
An elementary school teacher attempted to respond. Wellman cut her off, saying “I will have no truck with those who willfully sponsor plague foci. Yes, the caterpillars are something other than the run-0f-the-mill brown. That should target them for attack! Instead, we squeal ‘Oh, how pretty!‘ And the butterflies they spit out are large, and striking, and they conduct world tours. ‘How wonderful!’ How miserable!! No wonder we call them ‘monarchs‘. They rule our minds, against all sense. I thought the so-called democracy we claim to live in banned royalty?
“What do these stinking arthropods do for people, anyway? Provide entertainment? Distraction? Have we ever gotten anything useful out of them? Like insulation, or packing material, or folk medicines, or hunting aids? Or, as I mentioned already, oxygen? All of which come from milkweeds?
“MilkPHAT”, Wellman concluded, “is dedicated to the principle that milkweeds are no less entitled to protection against insect pests than are maize, tomatoes, broccoli, or any other valuable plant species infested with caterpillars. We are committed to the extermination of all threats to our membership. This is our mission, and we will carry it out.”
Wellman did not respond to questions.
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