Our Penticton Writers on-line group features a bi-weekly challenge in which all members write a piece based on a randomly chosen word. The word for this challenge was “insects.” Hope you bug-lovers won’t be too offended with my slightly warped humor.


Why are folks so afraid of insects, I wonder? The majority of insects are harmless to humans. Of course, there are those that sting, or nibble on people, or carry dread tropical diseases, but even they need not incite a rabid reaction on your part.
Face it: you are a lot bigger than they are. You are also stronger. And hopefully you are smarter. So instead of freaking out, screaming, jumping up and down and flapping your arms and gums, why not relax and encounter them wisely?

You can of course simply walk away, honoring their lives and their place in the order of things.

But if you are less inclined to be caring and thoughtful to the little creepy-crawly critters, you have many peaceful options to consider. Herewith some suggestions:

– Wrap yourself in extremely fine netting, or in extremely modest clothing.
– Or slather yourself with potions of varying potency; be creative and come up with your own never-fail solution, or beg, borrow, steal (or if all else fails, purchase) one of the many products other creative minds have invented.
– Or be uncreative and swat the little buggers with a rolled up newspaper or old-fashioned fly swatter. If choosing the newspaper route, at least be thoughtful about the content of the media; you don’t want to scare them to death. A quick hit is much kinder.
– Or you may electrocute them with modern technologically advanced bug-squishing devices. Do be aware, though, that while some kill, others simply stun, and allow your little friends to come back for another round.
– Or spray your insect neighbors with fountains of chemical droplets, as environmentally friendly or unfriendly as you wish.
– Or try out the multitude of expensive insect-scaring-away devices found in camping supply stores. Be warned, however, that the majority of these devices will most likely cause your annoying little visitors to laugh and fly in circles buzzing around your head until they scare you away instead.
– Or you can stomp on them, preferably with foot coverings of sufficient density to prevent them stinging your toes. Stung toes are most uncomfortable.
– Or capture the tiny fiends and feed them to the hungry critters in your terrarium or aquarium. Or even dip them in chocolate and eat them yourself, if you prefer.
– Or, if your wallet carries enough cash, build yourself an insect-free mansion. For instructions, google “insect free home” for 26,900,000 search results.

And finally, if you are dealing with ants in your patio or garden (as I have been recently, which has inspired this educational missive), be kind to them and feed them to death. Simply sprinkle cream of wheat (or grits if you’re a southern-type-person) on their little ant-hills, and sit back and watch them gorge themselves to death, as you simultaneously pig-out on big greasy barbequed hamburgers, deep-fried potato chips, and other culinary delights of ant season. You’ll understand how the little creatures feel about your treatment of them, and in the end you’ll surely both end up fertilizing the earth from which you both came. Peaceful co-existence forever!

Oh. I’m told that pouring boiling water down their ant-holes also does the trick. But really, that does seem awfully cruel, don’t you think?

Date June 2010

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