Parasite Rock

By Carl Zimmer | June 10, 2008 4:27 pm

In a couple weeks I head to Texas to the annual meeting of the American Society of Parasitologists to talk about parasites in pop culture. The symposium is called, “Parasitology: Public awareness through literature, art, and film.” Our panel has lots of creepy movie clips in store, plus other sorts of media including books and this humble blog. But maybe we’ll need to tack on “music” to the end of that list in the symposium title. Inspired by a post of mine on the gorey glam of Ampulex compressa , the emerald cockroach wasp, a band called Super Duper has composed a song. The video is below, and the lyrics below that…

“Ampulex compressa”

I’d like to know what you do with yourself when you’re not deconstructing
I’d like to know just exactly what it takes to set your wings to waxing
You’re always stinging with your rapier wit
You speed-dial me just to call me on my shit
My only defense is this paper-thin exoskeleton

Even though you bug me, I still want to impress ya
You get inside my head like an ampulex compressa
Come on and lay into me

So when you win, do you fly into the sunset, crying victory
Or do you cry yourself to sleep, or somewhere in between?
Before you land on me kindly buzz the tower
Are you just playing with your mesmerizing power?
What are the terms of surrender if I decide to let you win?

I’m Gregor Samsa, you’re Delilah
My sweet contessa
You get into my head like an ampulex compressa
Come on and lay into me

You lead me – like a zombie
What is this feeling – gnawing at me
One minute – I see you bat your lids
Then I wake up — I’m the father to your waspy kids

I get it — it’s the trickster-rube scenario
I’m falling prey to a hipster YouTube impresario
Thousands of insects like you swarming former barrios
Servicing nostalgia for pop rocks and Super Mario

Defiler!!! I still want to caress ya
You get into my head like an ampulex compressa

[Courtesy of John Jackson/SuperDuper]

CATEGORIZED UNDER: The Parasite Files
MORE ABOUT: The Parasite Files

Comments (3)

  1. hhrvt

    You know there is the death metal band Toxacara

  2. bybelknap, FCD

    I’m in the last third, or thereabouts of Parasite Rex. Last night I had a chance to sit and read a good chunk of it. I found myself making funny faces at all the weird stuff I was learning, and had to put it down every once in a while to absorb what was going on. The part that just blew me away was the fluke’s influence over sexual reproduction in snails. Wow. Just wow. Thanks for another great book.

  3. Gal Haspel

    Very Cool.
    I think Ampulex compressa has moved forward and is now spreading it’s memes!
    (using all of us as vehicles. did you feel that tiny virtual sting in your neck?)

    I got word that the wasp and roach story might show up on the History Channel pretty soon. Actually, I got interviewed for one of the episodes of a show named “Evolve”. Seems to be a very interesting show. I think they already aired a few episodes.

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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.

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