20 Oct

The Invasion Part 2: Silly Bandz

“Silly Bandz Invasion” in Main Line Today (November 2010).

The little critters started appearing in our house one at a time. Before long, they began to multiply. Fearing an infestation was imminent, I called the exterminator:

“Hello. I think I have any infestation in the works.”

“Can you describe the nature of the infestation, Mr. Dolan? Ants? Stink bugs? Click beetles? Creepy-crawlies?”

“Well, yes, I have all those, but they’re not the problem.”

“Then what is, sir?”

“Well, each one is different. They come in all colors and shapes. Some disguise themselves as farm animals and sea creatures. Others look like dinosaurs, and some seem to take the shape of letters and numbers. I even caught one trying to camouflage itself as a diamond ring.”

“I see, sir. This is bad. Do any of these critters glow in the dark, by any chance?”

“Why, yes! Some of them do. Not only that, I tried to release a few outside and discovered that some even change color in the sun.”

“Sir, please do not try to handle these creatures yourself. I’ll send someone right out to your home.”

“Why? Are they dangerous?”

“Mr. Dolan, you have an infestation of shape-shifters. They first appeared in Japan, but made their way to the United States two years ago by way of a manufacturing plant in China. They then immigrated illegally to a warehouse in Toledo, Ohio. From there, they’ve traveled by school bus to unsuspecting towns across the country.”

“But what are they?” I pleaded. “How do I get rid of them?”

“Someone is on their way, sir.”

This was worse than I suspected.

A few hours later, Clyde came to the door, armed with full body uniform, eye protection and a spray canister of toxic formula strapped to his back. I greeted him with a nervous smile.

“I understand you have an infestation of shape-shifters, Mr. Dolan,” he said.

“It seems that way.”

“Do you have young children?”

“Uh, yes,” I answered.

“Ages, sir,” prompted Clyde.

“Uh, 6, 4 and 1.”

“Hmm. This is going to be tough. Let me have a look around.”

Clyde made his way through the home, and it wasn’t long before he came across the first shape-shifter. There, sitting on the kitchen counter, was a blue letter “S.” Not far away some other letters had gathered—M, O and D.

Clyde pulled out a red bag labeled “Hazardous Waste,” then proceeded to pick up the shape-shifters with his bare hands. “Clever little critters,” he muttered to himself.

Clyde inspected every square foot of the home. They were under the couch, inside drawers, atop dressers, even in the bathroom sink. Clyde then examined my daughter’s schoolbag. Dozens of shape-shifters had attached themselves to the outside of it, and many more had burrowed themselves deep inside its pockets. The nest had been found.

Having cleared our home of the shape-shifters, Clyde handed me a bill for $100. I thanked him for his thorough work and watched him pull out of the driveway.

Just then, my 6-year-old daughter and her friend came running across the lawn. To my horror, dozens of shape-shifters had attached themselves to their wrists like parasites!

“Look Daddy!” she hollered. “More Silly Bandz!”

Clyde would be coming back.