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MONTEREY PARK, Calif. — Known modern-day tyrant and “Stalin of Cannabis” Greenyield Farms owner Jeremy Gefren just can’t figure out how or why locusts invaded his growspaces and decimated almost all of his crops yet again last week.

“I have no clue how these things get in here — I haven’t seen bugs like this since I visited my textile factory in Bangladesh. I pay my guys over here $12 an hour, so I expect a little more respect for the workplace,” explained Gefren, surveying losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars. “I was talking to the labor broker I hire from, and he said all his clients have had this issue, so I bet it’s something the whole industry is dealing with. I’m sure we’ll all figure it out soon.”

Greenyield trimmer Caelynn Parker, however, has worked through several locust infestations in the past year and disputed the idea that this is affecting the whole industry.

“I have a friend who works at another greenhouse just a couple miles away, and she’s never even seen a locust. She also gets paid a living wage with basic health insurance, unlike us,” said Parker. “There’s also multiple employees here who were told they’d be reported to ICE if they ever quit, so maybe this is just karma. A little on the nose if so, but we’ll take it.”

“Look, you call a labor broker, and you hire who they send you for minimum wage, no questions asked. Then you artificially fertilize the shit out of the soil and start growing some fuckin’ cannabis. That’s all there is to it,” countered Ron Gutierrez, Greenyield’s operations manager. “And, yeah, every few months, you get some locusts. It’s not a big deal. It’s, like, the natural progression of things.”

“Take the day I found the infestation,” continued Gutierrez. “Totally standard day: when I drove up, there was a murder of crows following my car again. When I parked, they landed on the asphalt in the shape of a serpent, like they have for the last couple weeks. And when I walked into the greenhouse and the room went black and a disembodied voice asked, ‘Do you not see what you have wrought?’ I thought, ‘Oh, shit, we’ve got locusts again. Time to call the exterminator.’ I don’t know how I missed the signs this time. Must be their breeding season or something.”

Licensed pest exterminator and amateur entomologist Amelia Jackson, called to remove locusts for the 3rd time in 11 months, noted that locusts aren’t native to California, or really anywhere in the U.S.

“I have never seen anything like this, before or since. I’m pretty certain nobody has,” said Jackson. “These were desert locusts, which mostly affect agriculture in Africa — I’ve never heard of them being found in this continent. So, yeah, the locusts at Greenyield are the first and only time I’ve ever seen locusts on a job… or live, for that matter. It’s also the only time a client’s employees asked if I could hide them in my trunk and take them with me as I was leaving.”

Erring on the side of caution, Gefren’s first born son Geoff is allegedly staying with a family friend again until the infestation is over.

Noah Leavy is a satire and comedy writer living near Washington, D.C.

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