by Erik Deckers
American Reporter Humor Writer
September 11, 2003
GO BUG SOMEONE ELSE
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Ask any granola-munching, Birkenstock-wearing tree hugger, and they'll tell you the same thing: insects are the very foundation that the entire food chain is built on. If you wipe out the insects, all life on Earth will soon vanish.
Of course, they also think eating steaks is cruel and inhumane, and will march around in their "leather-which-came-from-dead-cows" Birkenstocks carrying "someone-chopped-down-a-tree-to-make-this-posterboard" protest signs to tell you so. So you can't believe everything they say.
Despite the fact that I make fun of the tree huggers, they're right about this. Insects ARE the first link in the food chain.
But I don't care. I'm declaring war on bugs.
I usually don't have a problem with bugs. Mosquitoes tend to leave me alone -- I've only been bitten a few times this entire summer. My wife, on the other hand, could travel to the North Pole in the dead of winter, and still get swarmed on as soon as she stepped outside.
However, I have been a favorite target of mosquitoes, usually when I'm in the Canadian wilderness. The Canadian mosquitoes know it's me, and they've made it their life's mission (which lasts about two weeks) to mock and antagonize me.
They wait until I'm nearly asleep and start that incessant buzzing in my ear. I'm always afraid they'll turn it into something that looks like a cauliflower with huge warts, so I wake up instantly and start flailing wildly to make them go away.
The mosquitoes also know -- no matter how many times I do it -- I'm one of those goobers who will repeatedly smash my own ear in an attempt to kill them. But even though I can't hear anything by the end of the week, I can't seem to break the habit.
Flies, on the other hand, aren't usually such a bother, unless they happen to get into my house. Then they become evil pests who deserve to be brutally smashed. They follow me around like I'm the Fly King, and pay homage to me by flying around my head constantly. I'm not sure, but one time I think I saw them streaming red, white, and blue smoke behind them as they flew in a Delta formation for my birthday. At least they did until I sucked them up with my Shop-Vac.
But the cause of this clash of the titans was the yellow jacket that stung me this past weekend. I was working outside when it stung me on the leg. I danced around and flailed my arms, trying to kill the little monster in case it was still around. Also, if you scream like a girl, it stuns yellow jackets.
At least that's what I told the neighbors when they asked what that noise was.
"Oh, this war is SO on!" I shouted at no one in particular, and dropped what I was doing. I raced to the hardware store and bought the biggest, meanest-looking yellow jacket trap I could find. Apparently, this particular store refuses to stock the traps with rotating blades and shooting flames, so I was forced to buy a little plastic one instead.
I proudly showed my new implement of destruction to my wife, who was brutally stung the day before. She asked why I waited until I was stung before doing anything about the insect problem, and accused me of completely ignoring her while she was in searing pain.
"You were home yesterday?" I asked.
There must be something special about my house that attracts stinging and biting insects of all kind. If I were an entomologist I'd be delirious with joy. Instead I'm dizzy from all the insecticide fumes.
I've killed dozens of wasps and hornets this summer. I've decimated the area mosquito population. And my latest victory was wiping out an entire ant colony with my Shop-Vac.
God bless the guy who invented the Shop-Vac.
But before anyone accuses me of being a cruel bug-hater, let me remind you that insects can be equally as deadly as any human with a flyswatter. After all, black widow spiders are extremely venomous, mosquitoes carry the West Nile Virus and malaria, and flies eat our food by throwing up on it as soon as they land.
So don't accuse me of endangering the local bird and bat population with my insect war. Instead, consider that I may have actually saved your life by killing the deadly insect that was going to bite you when you came to my house.
It was that or smash you on the ear.