The Kissing Bug

Concord Evening Monitor

The kissing bug is a myth. There is no such creature in existence as the much-advertised melanolestes picipes. The whole thing is a hoax, started by some bright young newspaper men in Washington when there was a scarcity of real news, and swallowed by the gullible public as many a hoax has been before and will be hereafter. The Washington boys started the yarn as a hot weather fake to relieve the tedium of a summer with no Congress in session, and the enterprise of yellow journalism did the rest. Pictures of the mysterious bug have been published, and telegraphic dispatches have told of its serious, and occasionally fatal, ravages. And now the truth is out, and the public will have to laugh away its discomfiture at having been fooled again.

A Washington correspondent of the Pittsburg Dispatch tells the origin of the kissing bug, but probably the exposure of the hoax will travel neither as far nor as fast as the hoax itself, and many people will continue to live in mortal terror of the winged osculator.

Miracle in India in Modern Time
July 27, 1899

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