Every year for the last decade I get a call from the USDA (Ag Department) asking permission to come hang a little white box in my peach tree and another in my orange tree. They probably hang thousands throughout the area, always looking for fruit flies, psyllids, or other pesky little creatures that could cause a quarantine of fruit.
Citrus alone is a $700 million dollar annual business here in Kern County so finding a “bad bug” can be devastating.
Last September ag inspectors found a Asian Citrus Psyllid on one tree in a large citrus grouping in a little town, Wasco, just north of Bakersfield. This strange looking bug was called a “hitchhiker.” A bug that somehow finds his way across the Pacific. They can carry a dreaded disease that would cause a major quarantine of citrus shipping. That bug was not a carrier.
Whenever they find one of these bugs they quarantine the fruit trees in the area and do a close-up 100% inspection. The bacterial infection these bugs cause to trees are fatal. They don’t hurt humans but I wouldn’t eat one.
The disease they carry is called “Huanglonbing.” These little psyllids were discovered in Florida in 1998 and they disease they carried was discovered in 2005.
I’m glad they didn’t find that stuff in my trees. I can imagine my neighbors talking among themselves. “Did you hear about old Dan down the street? He’s got Huanglongbing.”
Yeah, that’s all I need.
But, it is a fun word to say.
There’s another fun word that Japanese have been saying for over 20 years. It has become a common Japanese word since it was invented in 1992. That was when President George H.W. Bush (Bush I) was dining in Japan with the Japanese Prime Minister. During dinner President Bush felt sick, leaned over and vomited in the Prime Minister’s lap. (Yes!)
(Why couldn’t Obama have pulled that trick with Putin?)
So…now when someone vomits the Japanese have a new slang word “bushusuru.” It translates to “Do the Bush Thing.”
That is the end of your first Asian Language lesson.
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