Friday, July 29, 2005

An Open Letter To Bugs

Dear Bugs Of Earth:

There is a moth outside.

Yes, I know, there are millions of moths outside, but this particular one happens to be clinging to the wall right next to the door I usually use to enter the building. I parked my car, walked to the door, noticed the huge moth, and decided to walk around the building to the front door instead. In the rain.

This moth has a wing span of about three inches. Get out a ruler, that's big as hell. I am deathly afraid of bugs. I say deathly because if I had the choice of a moth of this size landing on me, or flinging myself off a bridge, I would choose the bridge. I cannot abide bugs.

I've trained myself to walk by smaller ones. As long as they aren't flying or buzzing, I can cut a wide girth around them and carry on with life. Had this one been a smaller moth, I could have run into the building. As it was, this king sized beast stared me down and won.

I just went to a coworker and asked him to remove the bug. He went outside, saw the bug, and declared, "It's stunning! It's turning the color the bricks. It's gorgeous."

I told him I would be fine if he wanted to take it as a pet, but could he please remove it. "Oh, I'm not touching that thing. But it is pretty." Another point for the moth. Make that two more points: it stared the man down and won, and I'll be walking around the building again to get to my car tonight. And it will probably be raining.

I don't remember when I became afraid of bugs. When I was young, I was a tomboy. I caught tadpoles and frogs, and I picked up Daddy Longlegs (sometimes called Grandfather spiders) with ease. Perhaps the fact that I pulled the legs off the poor spiders so I could watch the round body quiver in confusion, or that I used to 'operate' on lightening bugs (my goal was to remove the light and see if it survived. I was actually successful one time), or that I once threw a housefly into the frying vat at a McDonald's (it was about to be emptied and drained, so don't boycott the Golden Arches because of me), or that I once put a Daddy Longlegs spider into the microwave because I wanted to see what would happen.... perhaps the bug world put a curse on me, and now I fear them without exception.

(To those wondering: if you put a Daddy Longlegs spider into the microwave, it trembles a lot and then dies. Rather anticlimactic).

I run from all types of bugs. A butterfly landing on me would send me into cardiac arrest. I run from gnats. I can't stand ladybugs. I deal better with ants because they (usually) can't fly and are so small, but that's only if they are not touching me. I've woken both my husband and son up from dead sleeps to come kill a bug, and last year, when the cicadas were due to explode all over the DC Metro area, I gave official notice to my job that I might need to take a leave of absence. Thankfully, cicadas don't swarm so much as buzz around trees, and I was able to leave the house.

At any rate, I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to the Daddy Longlegs I killed, and the lightening bugs, and I really am very sorry that I sprayed that Praying Mantis I found on my front door three years ago with wasp killer. Whatever amends I need to make to the four, eight, ten, twelve, or more legged friends, please let me know how to get started. I will do anything.

Just please call your moth friend away from the door. Thank you very much.

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