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I was told there'd be army worms

(Duluth News Tribune file photo)

So it's 2016. Where are the flying cars? Plus, I'm still waiting on the zombie apocalypse (although Canal Park was recently filled with shuffling, sunken-eyed, pale cadavers), robot governments (the Duluth School Board only seems to lack a human thought process) and TV weather people with accurate forecasts. None of it has materialized yet.

Including the invasion of the army worms.

For some reason, those fuzzy, green pests have not appeared when many fuzzy, green experts predicted that they would. Hordes of tent caterpillars were supposed to have attacked Northland forests by now and left them as barren as the Republican presidential field. Yet none of it has happened.

Why? I have a few theories ...

Tent caterpillars are here. They just evolved.

It's not as far-fetched as it sounds. Haven't you noticed all the trees disappearing lately, only to be replaced by convenience stores? And I bet it's not just their appearance; I wouldn't be surprised if those loathsome creatures' metabolisms have transformed into something sickly and sinister, too. I'm probably the only person brave enough to say this, but mark my words: Invisible army worms are eating foliage and pooping Kwik Trips.

Tent caterpillars were never here. They were a government conspiracy.

I like this explanation for a couple of reasons. First, it's just fun to think everything's a conspiracy. If someone else is controlling everything I do, there are no consequences for my actions. ("I would love to wear pants when I'm at the kitchen store, officer, but the government's secret laser beams have been penetrating my skull so I need more tinfoil.") Also, it sure was convenient that the army worms disappeared at the SAME EXACT TIME that Donald Trump burst onto the scene to fill the airwaves with gobbledygook. Coincidence? Don't be naive.

Tent caterpillars have gone dormant and are in the third stage of their transformation process: talk-radio hosts.

This would explain why Brad Bennett's mouth is so wriggly.

As you can see, I've given the Northland's lack of army worm-ness a lot of/too much thought and that's why any of my reasoned, logical explanations could turn out to be correct. However, just because this anticipated catastrophe didn't transpire doesn't mean there aren't other horrors looming on the horizon. If you're smart, you'll start preparing now for the next scheduled Twin Ports invasion:

Tall ships and giant rubber ducks.

Talk about ridiculous ...

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at He’d also like to thank the army worms for not showing up because he had a lot to do outside and 15 minutes of summer goes by pretty quickly.

Brian Matuszak

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at