Funny Stories. Four Lads That Shook The Entomological World by Lance Manion

Funny Stories. Four Lads That Shook The Entomological World by Lance Manion

Funny Stories. Four Lads That Shook The Entomological World by Lance Manion. It was March 1957 when the story began. John, who’d always had a strong interest in anthropodology…


A beetle from the genus Eudicell. Photo attribution Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez (Lmbuga Commons) (Lmbuga Galipedia)

Funny stories: Four lads that shook the entomological world

It was March 1957 when the story began. John, who’d always had a strong interest in anthropodology, had struck up a conversation with Paul in the zoology section of the Natural History Museum in London … and the rest was history.

Four lads who shook the entomological world.

It wasn’t long afterwards that their two classmates at the University of Liverpool, George and Paul,  joined their team and thus began one of the most prolific partnerships in the annals of research history.

After a semester as adjunct professors at the prestigious Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, the foursome issued what would become the first of hundreds of wildly-popular papers; “Effect of temperature on the phenotypic variation of colonizing stink bugs.”

The paper met with a very emphatic reception and colleges around England threw open their libraries to the charismatic lads. Their follow-up paper, “The influence of altitude and landscape structures on colonies of  the corn herbivore, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera” left no doubt the boys were headed for greatness.

Their lectures were forced to turn people away as people clamored to hear them present their supporting data. It seemed everyone wanted a piece of them and after the Bulletin of Entomological Research signed them to an exclusive contract it wasn’t long until television came calling. Nature programs were just starting to take off and the four lads from Liverpool made the jump to broadcasting seem effortless.

Now obviously I could go on from here and draw humorous parallels between The Beatles and the four fictitious lads that I have gone to no particular lengths to describe here but I think you get the point. Hopefully your head was swimming with black and white footage of the Beatles being hustled from their car to a hotel or airplane or wherever it was you imagined they were headed off to but instead you put four nerdy professors in their place and that image made you smile.

Perhaps you went even further and really gave your imagination a workout. It is my hope that this effort was richly rewarded.

Of course, by not shepperding you through the entire life spans of these made-up gentlemen I risk you focusing on some of the more tawdry elements that crept into the Beatle story in their later years, but I trust you’ll keep the innocent, idyllic elements of the tale intact and will stay pretty much in the matching-slacks portion of the band’s career out of respect for the field of entomology.  Hear the roar of the crowd as the four intrepid scientists run onto the field at Shea Stadium to deliver their seminal paper “Characterizing Britain’s day-flying moths genome for parent-of-origin effects on gene expression.”

Give yourself permission to return to a simpler time where simple absurdity was enough to make you laugh and we didn’t know every damn thing about beetles and Beatles and kids still ordered pigs-in-blankets for breakfast.

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Lance Manion has been called demented, hilarious, quirky and well outside the mainstream. He has released 5 collections of short stories, contributes to numerous online flash fiction sites and blogs daily on his website Currently, his fifth book named "The Trembling Fist" is out and promises to be his fifthest yet. I'm sure there are a lot of redeeming features about Lance that we could mention but none of them are coming to mind just now. If we think of any we'll be sure to get back to you.

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