Deb: I have spent the better part of my life as a murderer of bugs. Not first-degree murder mind you, but definitely bugslaughter. It’s not like I had an issue with or grudge against a particular bug. I didn’t scheme and painstakingly plan to stalk it and kill it and make it look like a suicide. No, mine would be more what you call a crime of passion. I see a bug. Freak out. Panic. Eyes searching for a well-read magazine. Bam, insecticide. Guilty as charged.
All my life I have been fine with this. I felt justified even. After all, weren’t the bugs invading my home? It’s not like I was cramming my big toe into their anthill or insinuating my schnoz into their hornet’s nest. Wouldn’t dream of it for any number of reasons. And yet there I was, victim to their constant invasion of the home that I fashioned out of the wilderness with my bare hands or, at the very least, snapped up in a bidding war twelve years ago.
So, yes, damn it, I had no choice. It was kill or be stung. And if the bug was bigger than the dog or bug-ugly, I would employ the services of a henchman in the form of my reluctant, sighing husband. I am not proud of this stereotype. I would love to think I fought valiantly against it ,but I did not. A big hairy bug, after all, can knock all reason and courage right out of a girl’s head.
Then one day something happened in my killing spree that brought about a change of heart. I woke up one day and found a little winged creature trapped between the window and the screen. He was flapping his little wings frantically, desperate to get out. My years of skipping biology classes told me he was a boy. And that his name was Bill. With lightening speed and accompanied by my inside voice singing “Born Free”, I cranked open the window and pulled the screen out! Watching Bill fly off to freedom was all it took to change my evil ways.
From that day on, I have become a friend to crawly and winged creature alike, capturing and relocating with the deft workings of a witness-relocation team. I have traded in my rolled up magazines for a drinking glass and a thin piece of paper (my new tools in this insectitarian effort). As I sat out in my garden the other day, I realized that the word of my brave and selfless deeds had gotten out. I could hear the bumblebees buzzing, “There she izzzzzzzzz, she’zzzzzzzzzz a legend, she’zzzzzzzzzz our friend.” You got that right, my little bee buddies. That I am. Yes, indeed I am ... OWWW! MOSQUITO. BAM!
Okay, so I’m a work in progress. You have to draw the line somewhere.
Barbara: Hysterical, Deb! Man, you hit the bug on the head for me on this one!
I have always been squeamish about bugs (and rodents, of course), definitely resorting to my husband for any necessary bug-letting, and usually taking up said magazine-roll. But strangely, very recently, I have noticed myself also going Buddha on the bugs. I find myself (quite despite myself) very gently removing bugs from the home and not stampeding for the nearest weapon.
Just the other day, a massive moth infiltrated the abode. I was in a snit—alone, no white horse nearby, no recourse but my own actions. I was desperate to be rid of it (unlike spiders, which I leave to their bug-catching ways—especially since we don’t have any killer ones here. Poor Rigel and her awful spider attack.) In the past, we have been the sad victims of the treachery of moths—both a larvae infestation of our kitchen pantry and cupboards (which was truly one of the grossest experiences of my home-owning life) and another infestation of my clothes closet. Oh, the carnage. Hard-earned and treasured cashmere sweaters. Just the right-kind-of-sexy t’s. All in the garbage. This nightmare is what flashed before my eyes as I stood apoplectic before the moth.
It, like your bug, fluttered desperately at the window. As if it could read my killer thoughts, it became more and more agitated. It was so HUGE, I didn’t know how to proceed. Then, like you, I found a piece of paper and gently coaxed it off the pane. Again and again, just angling the edge under its little “feet” while it panicked. Finally, it took the bait and found a perch on the paper. I walked as carefully as I could to the front door and, cringing and groveling, shooed it off into the wind.
It was a GREAT feeing. One, because I could do it, and two, because I saved it. Zen and the Art of Insect Liberation.