See, cankerworms are these little creepy crawly things that get up into your trees and eat the leaves. So people put these sticky bands on their tree trunks in the hope that the worms will crawl across and get stuck.
The problem has become, and I am not making this up, that there are so many dead worms on some of those bands that the live worms are crawling on their carcasses to get to the top of the tree. Seriously.
So, the City of Charlotte decided to hire some folks to fly over neighborhoods at an altitude of about 200 feet and spread what appears to be Agent Orange. We're told it will have the opposite effect.
It should work. So we're told. We're also told it's perfectly safe. It sort of smells like that stuff companies spray on lawns to make them greener. Full disclosure though: I ran past a lot of lawns this morning.
This stuff (called Bt) is also supposed to leave a residue on your car. And in your mouth, apparently. I could taste it this morning when I had my first cup of coffee.
If nothing else, it was my first close encounter with a low flying plane while running in at least three years. When I used to go running in Charleston, W.Va., Air Force One would be circling overhead. I'm not kidding. It used Yeager Airport to practice landings.
The problem, apparently, lay with the people who hadn't so much as turned on the news or opened a newspaper over the last month. They freaked out. They called 911. At least one person thought Charlotte was under attack.
“Have you got a lot of phone calls about a little yellow airplane that flew over Independence Blvd?"
Dispatcher: "Sir, they're spraying for the worms. It's been all over the news and the papers.
Caller: "Oh my god, it scared the crap out of me. It's flying through the trees there.”