Huzzah for ginger

Come on! Who can honestly say they have never wanted to write (or type) the word “huzzah”? Oh, just me then.

I was thrilled skinny (not a major change it must be admitted) to read research today which revealed that beetles find ginger irresistible. Please note the spelling, this is nothing to do with Messers McCartney or Starr, but all to do with members of the order Coleoptera.

Again, to avoid mis-understanding I should probably make clear that it is not the Titian-haired that beetles are so drawn to (or at least, that is not what this specific research has discovered – though this could for the basis of an interesting project in its own right) rather to the medicinal root.

Apparently powdered ginger is like catnip (beetle-nip anyone?) to our indigenous stag beetles. It seems they are also rather partial to avocado and mango – though one wonders where they might have acquired such a predilection. In my childhood in the 1970s, avocado and mango where entirely unknown and ginger only seen in ginger snap biscuits which would seem to be rather hard work for arthropod mouthparts.

Whilst fact-checking this entry (yes, this blog is subject to rigorous quality control before being placed before an indifferent public) I discovered the amazingly wide range of medicinal uses to which ginger has been put. The oddest (perhaps) was feaguing or figging, the use of ginger as a horse suppository. Apparently, this makes a horse lift its tail and look more lively – and to be honest, I think it might well have a somewhat similar effect on the rest of us. In extreme cases in days of yore, the ginger was “joined” by a live eel. If that doesn’t make your horse more lively, then you are probably feaguing a dead horse. But, as so often, I digress.

The flea circus is a well-known attraction of yesteryear, but the diminutive size of its stars and their unsavoury habits makes it less viable in the modern era. However, the concept of arthropod-based family entertainment remains sound – just look at the Ashes-led resurgence in interest in cricket. In my continued pursuit of fame and fortune, it is my intention, armed only with the contents of my spice rack, to create the world’s first Beetle Circus (if nothing else, it will allow me to make a star of the cockchafer – a much maligned and misunderstood insect).  I will be taking my first bookings shortly..


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