The scarab was in a world of shit. He took to it like a horse to water. “You can lead a fish to water, but you can’t make him blink,” he was fond of saying. He was happy as a pig in mud.

The scarab put his best face backward in order to keep a running tally of his progress, which was a matter of degrees – especially since he was in graduate school. Shit doesn’t just happen; you have to work at it. He covered all the bases, so typically he never got beyond the first date. All work and no play makes Johnny a very inept lover, the female beetles decided. Especially if he cares more about his stinkin’ piece-of-shit job than he does about you.

So he gradually backed himself into a corner, and that’s where the Egyptian priest found him. He said something cryptic and walled the scarab in with a few gold bricks. Ah, the irony! He had the balls of a brass monkey, and offered them to the scarab, but all the scarab wanted was to keep his shit together. He didn’t give a you-know-what about old world charm.

The gods must be crazy; that is their chief qualification. Whenever clients come seeking answers to life’s little dilemmas, the priest will place two steaming piles of dung in front of the scarab and study his reaction. “Holy shit!” the scarab invariably mutters to himself. “Holy shit!”

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. Wonderful, Dave :^D Clever, funny, and with a bite. Right, time to get my shit together…


  2. Thanks for the comments. I would say this post illustrates the wisdom (?) of the oft-heard advice to writers about what to do when inspiration fails to strike – write anyway. (Actually, many of the posts in my “riffs” category came about from desperation.)


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