Monday, May 29, 2006


I’ve never been good at killing insects. Especially large ones with things called ‘exoskeletons’ that crunch when you smash them (how have I forgotten every word of high school French but remember things like that from Biology?) When I was younger and came across a large bug I would immediately get my father and have him dispose of it.

I bring all this up because this evening I was sitting, typing away at my computer and this strange wind blew through. Seriously, it was like being in one of those creepy horror movies where the wind blows and shutters bang and you just know that everything is about to go terribly wrong. It wasn’t a dust storm. It was just a long, slow, strong gust. I got up to close the door that had blown open and went back to my typing. When I looked up again the ants on the floor were behaving strangely. And by strangely I mean there were thousands of them. Not the normal few hundred that wander around disoriented. Thousands – small ones, large ones, black ones, red ones. ‘Hmmm, strange!’ I thought and went back to my typing. A few minutes later something pops behind me. ‘Stupid popping bugs,’ I thought as we have these small black bugs that like to shoot themselves about a foot straight in the air and then land again with a ‘pop’ on the ground. Then I hear it again, behind me, and again. I turn slowly. Nothing there. I turn back around. The next thing you know I am being attacked by something. It’s in my face, gets in my hair – I swat, I bat and the dazed locust lies there on the table. ‘Right,’ I think. ‘That’s it!’

I normally have a live and let live agreement with the insects around here. If they don’t actually crawl on me I’m happy to let them live. Once they touch me I have a right to kill them. For instance, after my recent back trouble I’ve taken to sleeping on the floor. While one of the pluses of this new plan is not having back pain, having bugs crawl on your face in the middle of the night is definitely one of the cons.

I think I can safely say that the agreement has been breached by the locusts once and for all. I slapped the thing off the table and smacked it with my shoe – not even cringing at the awful crunch. Another one came through the window and met the same fate. A third flew by and while it came nowhere close to me I tracked it down and smashed it. No mercy. No more turning the other cheek. The insects must die. And when someone, 100 years from now, writes a history of this epic battle I would just like to point out that the locusts started it.

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