Yes, that’s right. Today’s smackdown involves eating BUGS. Insects. Those things you usually run away from and try to kill because they look like prehistoric alien experiments gone wrong. The things that I just wrote about because of how much they disgust me.
Yet instead of running away from the bugs, I put them in my mouth and ate them. Voluntarily.
I knew this heat was affecting my brain; I just didn’t know how much until this weekend.
This all came about because the awesome folks over at Bangkok Podcast put out a call for volunteers to attend their Halloween podcast and eat some bugs, and because I’m totally…smart…I signed up and got good buddy Josh to come, as well.
What’s funny about this is that recently I was out to dinner with Josh and Brock and we saw a fried-bug cart. Josh was like, That’s your next smackdown! And I was like, That’s my next smackdown if I’m completely brain dead and/or under the influence of very strong mind-altering substances.
I don’t think I was either of those on Saturday night, but I suppose the brain dead part is debatable, given that I volunteered for this.
So, Josh and I went to meet everybody, and turns out it was a really nice, friendly group of people who also happened to be crazy enough to eat some bugs.
Tony’s Thai friend got us a bunch of different fried bugs, and we all looked on with trepidation.
Greg was the first one of us to be brave enough to try the real bugs. He popped a pregnant cricket into his mouth and chewed and chewed and chewed while the rest of us looked on in horror. Well, I looked on in horror; I’m not sure what everybody else was doing because I was too concerned about not having a panic attack.
I was still trying to plan how I could bow out of this whole thing gracefully while still seeming cool when Tony (on the right in the picture there) picked on me for being the newest Bangkokian and the group peer-pressured me into eating a bug. I mean, why do you hate me so much, Tony? Most people take a lot longer than an hour to hate me enough to make me eat bugs.
What I actually ended up eating was a worm that they call an express train because of its shape and the fact that when you fry them they shoot all over the pan.
It tasted like a Cheetoh without any kind of flavoring, to be honest. I wouldn’t eat them again on my own, but it wasn’t quite as disgusting as I thought.
Josh manned up and ate a couple of ants. I thought he was going to lose it, but he managed to keep it in. I was very proud of him.
I also ended up being peer-pressured into eating a mini deep-fried whole frog, which was just very crispy and which everybody described as tasting like chicken, or fried chicken skin, something like that. Whatever, it was crunchy and fried. I used to say I would eat anything if it was fried, and apparently that is now actually true.
All in all, I think we were all kind of surprised at how not disgusting the bugs were. The worst part was getting over it psychologically because your brain is telling you, UM, HELLO, DUMMY, BUGS ARE NOT MEANT TO BE EATEN. Stomped on, yes. Sprayed with bleach to kill them, yes. Eaten, no. Once you get past that, it isn’t so bad.
I mean, you’re never going to see something from me called “Eating ALL the Bugs”, in which I detail all of the different kinds of bugs I’ve eaten for a snack, or anything. Still, I’m glad I did this. It was an interesting cultural experience, which means that I didn’t really enjoy it (although I enjoyed the company), but I can still hold it over other people’s heads and feel culturally superior.
Eating Bugs: 0 Megan: 1
Okay, fine, I didn’t technically eat any bugs, but I ate a damn worm, and that’s close enough. And Josh ate some ants, and everybody else there ate a whole bunch of other kinds or bugs, so this was a group effort for my personal win.
p.s. Listen to the podcast and hear Josh and me screeching like a couple of little girls. You can also see much better photos of the whole deal.