Bug City

According to the Dalai Lama, or any Buddhist worth their salt, I have become the moral equivalent of Hannibal Lecter. In my previous life (ie: last summer) I was in total agreement with the dharma of interdependence and compassion regarding all beings. For example.

I have a bug catcher from Lee Valley and it has been invaluable. I trap as many insects as I can inside my house and let them fly free outside. Partly because, why kill them when I don’t have to? Also it saves me from squishing things against my windows, walls and ceiling. Whenever I open the door to let a housefly/spider/weird unidentifiable bug outside, there’s a pleasing sense of being one with the universe. That ended this year.


Since Covid 19 arrived, my temper is not as easily calmed. Little things get me down more readily than usual. Also, it rained for the last three months and the bugs are now the size of cars. All of the bugs. When walking outside in sunshine or gloom, I Am Legend in a land of vampires. I must keep my eyes rolling around in my head at all times because those suckers are everywhere. The tiny black ones are the worst. The smallest come through the screens, and all of them seem to head for the back of my neck, or my scalp. Obviously my hair is like a forest to these tiny creatures, and each strand is like a well spaced tree. They just zoom inside and make themselves at home. For all I know, they’re building nests and planning to take over the world. Before Covid 19, I would have laughed at myself for having these thoughts. For writing about the craziness that has taken me over.
But let’s face it. All bets are off. The world as we know it is undergoing some unthinkable changes. President Putin has his hand so far up Donald Trumps rear end that he can wave at the world through the guy’s mouth. He’s busy running Facebook, too, by the sounds of some of the crazy memes that a lot of folks buy into, and for all I know, the Chinese are working their hands up Mark Zuckerberg’s butt even as I sit here, slapping at the vampires lurking around the room.
I will still protect the insects that help the world. Bees and wasps and all who pollinate. Good for you. You are untouchable in my yard. Spiders, my friends, remember when you take over the world that I was always on your side. My Lee Valley bug catcher is a testament to that. But mosquitoes and all flies of the biting kind, prepare to be flayed and have your livers eaten for dinner.
My Christianity is veering toward the Spanish inquisitor variety. See things my way or take a gander at my heated metal pincers. This is only regarding the biting variety of bugs. And yet, right before I swat, slap, pinch, scream or smack a bug, I tend to holler, ‘That better not be you, Uncle Walter!’ (And I’m not even Buddhist.) But it wouldn’t be him, because he would never bite anyone. Although my favourite bachelor uncle did have a thing for blondes, come to think of it. Anyway.
If you drive by my yard and see me whirling like a Sufi Dervish, please realize that I have not changed religions. And I am not dancing ecstatically. I am in the process of:
a. Fleeing
b. Avoiding
c. Trying to trap bugs.
Feel free to stop and say hello. I’ll be friendly, I promise. But if all my whirling is accompanied by maniacal laughter, just run.

Published by Judith Pettersen

Judith Pettersen is an author living in Canada. She blogs about her life in the north and the ups and downs of being a writer.

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