An entomologist explains the pain of bug bites. Thanks to Roland.

Bug-sting scale with funny definitions

The Justin O. Schmidt Pain Index is a colorful entomologist’s attempt to map out the relative ouchiness of different bug-stings. The definitions — from a man who was stung many, many times — are hilarious:

* 1.0 Sweat bee: Light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm.
* 1.2 Fire ant: Sharp, sudden, mildly alarming. Like walking across a shag carpet & reaching for the light switch.
* 1.8 Bullhorn acacia ant: A rare, piercing, elevated sort of pain. Someone has fired a staple into your cheek.
* 2.0 Bald-faced hornet: Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door.
* 2.0 Yellowjacket: Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine WC Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue.
* 2.x Honey bee and European hornet.
* 3.0 Red harvester ant: Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail.
* 3.0 Paper wasp: Caustic & burning. Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of Hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.
* 4.0 Pepsis wasp: Blinding, fierce, shockingly electric. A running hair drier has been dropped into your bubble bath (if you get stung by one you might as well lie down and scream).
* 4.0+ Bullet ant: Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch nail in your heel.

5 thoughts on “INSECTS!

  • 3/26/2007 at 5:24 pm

    I would watch a TV show where people got bitten by insects and then described it like they were tasting wine.

    Mmm, yes, I’m getting stabbing pains, like a kitchen knife to the thigh on a warm summer’s evening. There’s a crispy note, reminiscent of a .45 penetrating my lower abdomen, but with the slightest touch of flamethrower to the eyes.

  • 3/27/2007 at 8:08 am

    After a certain point, don’t these descriptions kind of lose their weight? I mean, has the author ever spilled HCL on a paper cut? No doubt it would be fun to write though.

    …the shock is intense and focused, but still has impact that is felt over your whole body. Furthermore, the feeling is harshly tinged with shame and displeasure. Like being punched in the jaw by a carnie who is wearing brass knuckles. He has eaten a lot of garlic, and your wife is cheating on you with him.


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