The war of the accursed aphids

rambo cadre pt
‘Auderset in his combat gear, ready to battle the accursed aphids’
The war of the accursed aphids
Armies of aphids have appeared on the little apple trees I’ve planted just in front of my studio! 
They suck the life blood from the trees – so it’s goodbye to any fruit! In the end, it’s a death sentence for the tree!
 Armed with a few half-baked solutions, I sprayed them with a black olive soap spray! I could have sworn I heard them laughing!
 – Thanks for the wash and set, Mr. S. Tupid!
(it’s a little nickname they’ve given me… ahh, they’re real jokers these aphids!) Not only have they multiplied (are aphids some sort of aphrodisiac!?),
but they’ve even got onto my house plants!! Arrggh! Is this some sort of curse!?
    I escaped into the forest to talk about it with God:
 – Hey God, what do you think about all this!?… you wouldn’t by any chance be trying to tell me something, would you?
A crystal-clear thought came suddenly to me:
 – These aphids represent criticisms.
 –  ?!?…
The silence in my head was followed by a tidal wave of doubts and interrogations….
 – Forgive me God, I’m sorry. It’s true that I often ‘notice’ faults in others….
* To notice: hypocrite’s term for ‘to criticize’
Real-life application
I’m in a meeting with a couple of friends (we’re busy drawing up plans to conquer the world).
 – What about you, Alain, what do you think of Billy-Bob?
(that’s not his real name… I’m not crazy – the guy’s a pumped-up WWE wrestler who’s escaped from an asylum for the thin-skinned!)
Billy-Bob… there are so many criticisms you could level at him, so much to get your teeth into that you could make a four course meal out of it !
However, I think back to my conversation in the forest… and I stick to pointing out all his positive character traits.
(Actually, there are lots of them!!!)
At just that instant, I felt a positive, strengthening force pass through me
(Wow! It could only be my friend the Holy Spirit, giving me a hand)
My small audience, which had been looking forward to tucking into a delicious dish of gossip with double cheese (Billy-Bob) suddenly found it had lost its appetite, they were left speechless, and then touched.
An atmosphere of peace
Sara and Valérie (my former secretaries, members of my inner circle) blurt out at the same time:
 – ‘the really nice thing about you is that you always see the best in people’ (it’s not true, but it’s nice to hear).
And at the same time, they feel good too, because if a target as tempting as Billy-Bob is spared criticism, subconsciously they know that nobody will be talking about them behind their backs either…
A question:
Why shouldn’t someone who criticizes another person in front of you do exactly the same to you as soon as you’re out of earshot?
You’ll be their next victim.
Total war
(best read with ‘the Eye of the Tiger’ on in the background D )
Tam ! Tatatam! Tata Taaaaa!
 There’s a stony stare and a frown upon my face, my teeth are clenched, my determination steely as can be.
Upon my back there’s a rocket-man style jetpack connected to a death laser
(well, it’s more like a kind of hand-pumped mister fed by a bit of half-perished rubber pipe, but hey…).
The war against the aphids went on for some time
(the war against criticism and fault-finding is still ongoing).
With the help of some tips from my mother in law (that’s bound to do for them…)
I sprayed a rhubarb leaf concoction (I’m fresh out of napalm*) and that really burns them up ! (with compliments from Mr. S. Tupid!)
 * (I’d used the last of the incendiaries that had been lying around in the basement)
Every three days (don’t worry, I’ve still got time to write comics), I repeat the procedure.
This time round I use fermented nettle extract. It’s very effective, but my word, it really stinks!!
My spray goes absolutely everywhere, much to the delight of my kids who run away from me, fleeing to the end of the street, imagining that a chemical apocalypse is being unleashed upon the neighborhood.
I also acquired an ace squadron of ferocious ladybugs that I released on to my beloved trees…
Despite all my efforts, some aphids cling on… the situation seems hopeless! I suddenly understood why – they have a powerful ally!
Did you know that ants raise aphids in order to ‘milk’ them to harvest honeydew, just like we milk cattle.
They are formidable fighters and defend their flock to the death
(they squirt formic acid, they bite, stab, scratch – they’ll even pull your hair).
To beat aphids, you first have to beat the ants’ system.
To fight against the temptation to find fault, you first have to beat your own way of thinking.
I’ve found a whole ant-hill I didn’t know was there, much too close for comfort, that I’m helping to clear out.
It’s true that I’ve no apples this year, but at least my apple trees are still alive, and most of all, all the aphids are gone!
… Unless it’s just because we’re in winter right now (gulp!).
P.S: Billy-Bob, after having been unemployed for years, has just found himself a casual job.
I have the strangest feeling that having ‘blessed’ (spoken well of) him has something to do with it…
Who knows… (?)
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