Sunday, May 27, 2007


today was hot like an iron.
hot like a burn.
the first summer blaze day, so i wasn't very productive. my winter skin isn't ready for the sweatfactory. i did manage to finish powdering down the perimeter of my house to prevent mukade from crossing the line of death into my territory. the bottle looks exactly like a big yellow mustard bottle with a red squeeze cap, only it spews poison, not mustard. i've perfected my poison-applying technique, so it looks less like i was having a seizure with powdered sugar. before, it was coming out in fragrant poofs, leaving piles of white stuff all over the side of my house. i was secretly afraid the neighbor's cat would find it interesting and deadly, but he seems ok so far. the neighbor lady overcame her habit of saying only a word to me in greeting and actually told me she had just killed a mukade right then and that they come up over our back wall. she had to act a lot of it out so i understood. she went on speaking japanese and i agreed in english, and somehow we understood each other. i asked if it was ok i was using that stuff, and she said yeah.
mukade are japan's only poisonous insect, and i've been dreading the moment when i would see a full-grown one for the first time. i've seen a few small ones in my house which freaked me out plenty, but the big ones are more poisonous and move faster. and they're just BIGGER. saturday morning: after a wonderful dinner party in tsu with a perfect group of friends, marina and i had retired to her apartment. we woke later than i can usually sleep (hallelujah!) and were puttering around thinking tea and raisin toast thoughts. i lifted up my backpack and screamed--beneath it was a big mukade mofo. i threw the pack back over it and turned to break the news to marina. i remember i actually said it in a "we're going into battle" kind of voice. "there's a mukade under my backpack. get the bug tongs." when she handed them my way i responded, "oh no--it's your house. you have to pick it up." she did, like a rock star, and then powdered it exhaustively like a chapped baby's bum. i knew poison would take too long for the likes of me, and as it ran (i imagine screaming) from us, i employed the flip flop of doom and killed it until it was dead. i did feel a little sorry for it. marina had basically been sitting on the couch next to it. maybe it was just trying to enjoy her company like the rest of us do. of course i had to take a picture of its pulverized body.

after several wonderful hours of breakfast and company, we stepped into the sun. i insisted on a picture, so marina, molly and chito made a place for me while i set up the camera.

later marina and i got lots of corny pictures.

finally after a full day of really relaxing for the first time in several weeks--i had to go home.
tonight i christened the start of summer by popping open the bottle of barbecue sauce i've been saving for months and months. thick slices of melting butter and tarty swathes of barbecue sauce on boiled potatoes + iced tea = happy happy me.

as the evening overcomes the day, the hawks swirl like thin metal shavings in the sky, spinning in slow motion down an enormous drain; they wheel around the same invisible point in the air soundlessly, a feather and beak tornado.


  1. Sounds like a splendid day, besides that mukade devil. The hallway leading up to my apartment looks like a mukade battleground. There are 3 full-grown, dead mukade bodies splayed about. I am happy to report that they were all killed by the bug powder in the big yellow bottle! It seems to be stopping them dead in their tracks. ;)

  2. wow! that is so good to hear. i had my doubts about the powder, i admit. i guess it's supposed to dry them out or something...did you know they can live up to 7 years!? and i just learned today that the ones with red heads have a slightly painful bite, while the black ones have a more painful bite.

  3. You are my hero. Those things are not all that cute, and I would go around with a blow torch if I were you.....

  4. the mukade queeenJune 01, 2007

    Want to come to my house for dinner? We're having Kraft Dinner and CO-ORN!

    P.S. Like the new header! Very pretty design.

  5. LC, love your post. Can you send me copies of those amazing disfunctional family shots? Less than two weeks now til we come invade your place. I can't wait! You just better cross your fingers that no pests hitch a ride in the mukade queen's bag!

  6. AnonymousJune 04, 2007

    Ok, so what you and I need to do is take over a town, preferably in some piraty way, and fill the place with all kinds of random crap like corn benches. It will be glorious.


  7. Yikes. First giant spiders, now horrific mukade. What's next, a giant moth accompanied by twin Okinawan faeries who sing it into action?

    Thank goodness we don't live in prehistoria, where the Euphoberia was the largest known centipede, growing up to one meter (39 in) in length.*

    * from wikipedia:

  8. Lies! Imposter!

    The Real Mukade Queen (tm) does not leave comments on blogs unless the author is in danger of letting too much time pass between posts!

  9. AnonymousJune 09, 2007

    you are a most amazing blogger - mostly, writer. Tim and I are adding you to our global friend wall, and that means you are being prayed for too! Let us know if you have any specific needs:) I'll pray against the mukake. ICK!

  10. it's a record!! eight (non-me) comments on one post. hi jess! sadly, the blowtorch would set the tatami ablaze, so it's not possible.

    mukade queen: hahahaha! you know i say this now to myself sometimes for a laugh. it's become one of my private jokes. "CO-ORN!"

    molly! yay for weekends with challenges like making a chap named Angus fall in love with marina whilst swimming in a secret waterfall.

    josh: piraty way--that's awesome.

    phelps: yes, but was is poisonous!? that is the question on everyone's lips. ok, just my lips. and a giant moth doesn't seem bad. more ethereal and less "just escaped from hell."

    the real mukade queen: you so could've found a better picture than That! ;) i was actually quaking in fear that it was horrific, but, eh. anyway, i get the point.

    thanks abby!! :)