What is the Forest Service’s new policy regarding the tick problem?
We locate the hellbeasts wherever they have made the mistake of existing and send them to the flaming valleys of the Underworld from whence they crawled out during phase one of The Reaping.

How will this be accomplished?
We won’t sleep or see our families until every blade of grass and every pile of leaves is free of the blood-soaked, virus-infected horrors that ticks are intent on inflicting on our people and way of life. For as long as it takes, we will breathe annihilation and drink destruction until Lord Beelzebub’s eight-legged hordes have returned to the fiery womb of anguish in which they gained their wretched powers.

Is that really a good idea? Surely ticks occupy an important ecological niche?
We would laugh at such foolishness, but our ability to find lightness and cheer in this world died long ago. There is no evidence that ticks occupy any niche at all, for every scientist who has studied their sinister methods of ecological ascendency has returned to the lab gripped by madness, their body a quaking shell, their mind a dark labyrinth of terror and fear that has been severed from reality and cast into a zone known by experts in the field of mind-menaces as The Screaming Place.

Is the plan dangerous?
Locating and eliminating their leader will be a fraught and frightening mission, but, since the Tick Lord is the direct intermediary between Beelzebub the Prideful and his society of parasitic arachnids, such a mission is necessary to spread confusion and alarm among their swollen multitudes. We believe the Tick Lord lives in a field behind J.J.’s Automotive Repair in Dutchess County, New York.

What happens after the Tick Lord is eliminated?
We will first mourn the passing of the agents we lost during the battle, likely numbering in the thousands, whether they be killed, injured, or cast into The Screaming Place. We will then enter the second stage of our loathsome entanglement, in which we set loose onto the land our Neighborhood Engagement Team.

I think I’ve heard of that. Is it an AmeriCorps program?
The Neighborhood Engagement Team is a black-clad battalion of assassins trained to prowl wooded lots, uncut fence lines, overgrown highway embankments, and whatever that forest preserve was that turned last year’s Fourth of July picnic into a waking nightmare whose legacy of horror only gripped you tighter the more you tried to escape it. Neither seen nor heard, the Team exists in the shadows. They smell of room-temperature concrete and Cheerios dust. Blink, and they’re behind you. Blink again, and they’re gone. They are handed a pair of tweezers and a packet of plastic bags and told not to return to the safety of the Bunker until their acreage is purified. Members of the Neighborhood Engagement Team receive a stipend of $24,800 and an important skillset as they go on to become professionals in education, the arts, the nonprofit world, or other assassin-related fields.

How will Lord Beelzebub, Underground Leader of the Virulent Hordes and Bane to Humanity’s Moral Progress, likely respond to your tactics?
He will respond with rage and fury, for he is intent on reaching phase four of The Reaping. He has already introduced the menace, disseminated the menace, and encouraged the menace to adopt novel and bewildering stratagems into its program of infection. Stage four, total societal collapse so that the Dark Lord can reign on Earth, is as close to us as a horse’s mane is to the wind.

What specifically happens if the plan isn’t successful?
Did FDR ask what would happen if D-Day wasn’t successful? Did Julius Caesar ask what would happen if he wasn’t able to march on Rome? Did Gene Simmons ask what would happen if music fans thought his tongue was “too long”? Some questions are impossible to ask, for the very premonition of an unsavory answer is apt to cast one’s mind onto a track of overwhelming doubt, the end point of which is The Screaming Place.

Okay, I’m in. How do I apply for the Neighborhood Engagement Team?
Bid goodbye to your loved ones and drop your commitments to the Earthly realm. Stride to the edge of the nearest park, where the grass grows long because it’s unclear if the patch is supposed to be cut by the city or the bordering landowner. Say the words, “I am ready to disappear completely.” Someone will emerge from the shadow of a majestic oak and hand you tweezers. This is how your journey begins.

We also have an online application option.