Eat Shit and Thrive


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The Life of a Dung Beetle that Competed as a
Jeopardy! Contestant

Alex Trebek: Glad to have you, Nancy. And now we have Randall Bleeker, who is a dung beetle — or Coleoptera Scarabaeidae — originally from British Columbia, but who now lives in Los Angeles. Is that correct?

Dung Beetle: That’s right, Alex. I live in the LA area with my mate of eight days, the beautiful and perfectly hard-shelled Sarah, and we have 2,329 eggs deep inside a ball of coyote poop.

AT: And I hear you had a recent encounter with somebody famous. What happened?

DB: Right. Last week I was pushing my ball of coyote shit up in the hills of Laurel Canyon — with my hind legs, of course, going at it backwards because we’re ridiculous creatures, ha ha ha! — when all of a sudden I hit this ficus root that just flings me and my dung ball and all the eggs inside all the way down the side of the cliff. When I look up I’m in someone’s backyard. And then out of the house comes Zach Braff with his hair absolutely everywhere, you know?

AT: That must have been exciting. So what did you do?

DB: Well, to be honest, I wasn’t that big of a fan of him anymore after he did that Kickstarter for his new movie and everything. But I used to troll for dog droppings in the backyard of this lady who was always watching Scrubs reruns in the window, and I got the biggest kick out of that show. So I’m like, “Hey, Zach! I loved you on Scrubs!” And he comes over and says hi and we talk, and then he says he recently read that my African cousin is the only insect on earth that can orient itself by the galaxy and use polarized moonlight to get around. I just thought that was really cool of him. He was a really cool guy. But the funniest thing, Alex, was that he smelled awful. Just godawful. And you know for a dung beetle to say that . . .

AT: Ha. Thanks, Randall. Okay, let’s get back into this. Randall, you have command of the board.

DB: I’ll take Synonyms for Feces for one thousand dollars, Alex.

This story first appeared in The Feathertale Review #14

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