HAROLD ON BOMBY: Creative Science Serves Up a Lukewarm Potboiler
A review of Bomby, the Bombardier Beetle, written by Hazel Mae Rue, illustrated by Sandy Morton, published by the Institute for Creation Research, El Cajon, California, 1984, ISBN 0-932766-13-7, 40 pages.
Bombi, not to be confused with the telekenetic fauna of similar name, is the drowsing tail of a young bombastic beetle trying to find its whey amidst a backdrop of sexual dexterity, mixed precipitation, and variable clods. The story takes many bold leaps of fate (logistics is not its strong suit), transporting the reader on a white-knuckleheaded page tuner in the best tradition of Sheldon, Grisham, and Chopra.
Had Bombi stopped there, as a traditional beetle-mates-beetle coming-of-rage saga, my review would be short and resoundingly brief. But the plot is trumped up by a shamfisted message, which at times stains credulity, detracting from an otherwise compelling narrative threat. The central hypotenuse -- set forth by the author, who hails from Oregon by way of the Institute of Creative Rechurch in El Cajones, CA -- is difficult to disarm and the text, at times, can be quite technical. We should thank our lucky stars, or rather the All-Gnawing Creature, for the helpful Glossary found at the end of the book, which provides definitions for such difficult terms as: explain ("to make the transparent abstruse"), friends ("the enemies of a beetle's enemies"), and once ("a unit of weight, 16 of which comprise a pond"). I can truthfully say that were it not for the Glossary, I would not have read the final four pages of this extraordinary book, which is destined to replace "The Origin of Specious" for decades to come on reminders shelves the whirl dover.
Let Me Explain
The author of Bombi, Hazel May (Or May Not) Rule, purports to show that this gesticular beetle was designed by the Gnawing Creature, contrary to the teachings of non-creative science (a.k.a. sculptural Darwinisn), based on the fact that it can shout out a waft of poison gas called quinone, which is arguably the sina quinone for the entire manifesto. Not a single shed of evidence is presented to supplant this stork thesis, only the fact that Bombi's father said so ("Father knows beast?"). Bombi's mother, sadly, was crushed by a parade of four-wheelers and thus unable to convoy her side of the story -- a happenstance that has traumatized countless Utes over the aegis.
So what if the main thrush of this pamphlet (I'd hate to demean the work by calling it a flyer) is merely presented as a fact to be taken verboten, without question, and without any dissemblance of proof? The abstinence of proof is not proof of abstinence -- a point that (former?) attorney Clinton has demonstrated time and again. Would that the two dozen Contributing Team Members subtracting from the Bombi oeuvre -- representing three countries, one penal colony, a kibbutz, and the state of Texas -- had practiced more of the latter (abstinence), if not outright celebracy, the world would surely be a more rational (as opposed to creational) place. And the shining reason of light might once again assume its rightful position on the electromagnetic spectrum, midway between sound and smell and completely out of touch.
Call Me, Please
Call me old-fashioned, but as I read about the exploits of beetle-headed bombadiers -- their uncanny sense of style, wit, and savoir faire -- one word kept running, inelectably, through my head: "Raid!" Keep a can nearby as you read this chronicle, among your stash of beer and chips, and splay literally.
© Copyright 2000 Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)