Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Chill in the Air

You’d think you’d be safe from Nature when you’re ensconced in a generic cubicle, but think again.

I was working on some documents for my real job when across my desk crawled an earwig.


Really, eww.

I may work in a boring gray cubicle year round, but I can’t forget the garden where we, as children, were forced to labor all summer. I especially can’t forget the disgusting image of earwigs crawling out of our sweet corn: long, black and wiggly with those evil looking—I don’t know what they’re called—Wigs? Horns? Pitchforks of Doom? And no, I won’t go google earwigs to find out the proper name because then I’d see more pictures for sure.

Look, I’m not a generally squeamish sort of person. I am perfectly capable of thinking something is creepy and gross, yet being able to kill it or at least usher it to another spot on this planet. I stood up at my desk and asked everyone around me if they were responsible for the piece of nature earwig at my desk. When no one claimed responsibility I picked someone to blame (Nate.) I’m good like that.

Then I backed away from the creepy-crawly. That’s when Ryan walked over from the cube next door, went to my workspace, and killed the earwig with one fell blow.

At that very moment I suffered simultaneous pangs:

1. Post-feminist guilt—I can kill my own earwig, thank you very much
2. Gratitude of realistic action taken—Yes, please, kill whatever you like since you seem to want to do it and I seem to just want to complain about the thing
3. Hunger – I think I’d really like the last of the summer sweet corn for dinner tonight

This leads me to the other evening in the kitchen when I was working on some paper garlands. I stood up to arrange the flowers and felt a little normal itch you feel on your skin, except it wasn’t a normal itch, it was a spider, a big one, and it was crawling on my leg. I killed it with my bare hands (no Ryan.) Isn’t that one of the hallmarks of the weather turning? Your home’s population of life forms grows exponentially? I’m ready to say goodbye to summer, but I’m not yet ready for all the bugs and insects to move back inside with me.



marshall p said...

seriously... we have a centipede problem at my house, so those itchy moments can be really freaky.

kiki said...

I'm not ready for Winter. I'm not over the anxiety I had from the last one. I think this one's supposed to be worse. Ugh.

Sue said...

Last night I found a cricket in the house and I'm embarrassed to say that I yelped a little. Over a CRICKET. I guess I'm out of touch with nature.

Rynell said...

There is a black widow in my garage. I see it everyday and have not killed it yet. Usually I kill spiders/ants/bugs that are inside on the spot. But it's a black widow. I keep thinking my husband will handle it, but he's fascinated to watch it and explains to our kids how she devours her mates.

Marilyn said...

I too have noticed an increase in creepy crawly things in my abode. I do NOT like it...I guess it is time to call my bug spray guy.

Azúcar said...

Sometimes I will leave spiders inside alone--after all they eat the other bugs.

But if they invade my space, I'll squish their heads. Rules are rules.

GrumpyAngel said...

Found you on Mormon Mommy blogs. This is a very well written post (um, do I sound like a language arts teacher? I'm not) But really I like this post :-) I'm a "live and let live" kind of gal and when I have to kill a bug I'm one of those weirdos who talk to it first and explain that the violence I'm about to inflect is necessary for the greater good. Other than that I'm a pretty normal suburban Mom:-)

La Yen said...

See, in the EP the bugs come in during the summer, because it is SO DAMN HOT. Last week I found a dead tarantula on the side of the house. (Thanks, big spray guy, for putting up a major defense.)

And so in the winter I rejoice.

Geo said...

Ack, earwigs! I should blog about the time I had an earwig invasion-related nervous breakdown and duck-taped every door and window in our last house.

The only spiders I get along with are those little black hairy jumpers with the big green eyes. I think they're hilarious. But still, they must be escorted out-of-doors.

Geo said...

P.S. Great new header!

kiki said...

I catch moths and throw them outside.

Azúcar said...

Is there a list of bugs you kill every time, or are there bugs that you spare by relocation?

My list--

Tiny spiders

Other spiders

Fruit flies (bare hands)
Big spiders

compulsive writer said...

I found a dead gnat under my keyboard at work today.

And last night we ate the last of the fresh garden corn for dinner. I'm in mourning. But bring on the vine-ripened tomatoes!

Suzie1 said...

I let a cricket go last night, but spiders face the Dust Buster OF DOOM!

(Funny how I just blogged about killing bugs, eh?)

Marge Bjork said...

I just moved into a basement and was greeted by three spiders. One I shot at with Spray n' Wash. It didn't die. I will confess, I then called my parents who had to reassure me that the spiders weren't really running at me and weren't going to kill me. I'm pathetic in this department.

Marilyn said...

I love this post. I pretty much kill any spider I can, unless it's very very small. But I really prefer not to actually kill them myself...if I do attempt to do the deed by my own hands I usually scream ...really loud.

fijiangirl said...

I usually don't have a problem killing bugs but we have had an infestation of black widows and for some reason when I see one I freak out. I get the kids in the house and won't let them play outside until said widow is disposed of. The other day I found one as with a body the size of a nickle! I tired to put a plastic cup over it until someone else could take care of it but the sucker kept moving away from me. I tried to kill it with a fly swater, no luck. Know what finally killed it? My big shovel!

pflower10 said...

When I was younger my friend told me that earwigs will crawl into your ear and eat out your ear drum.

Stupid girl

Azúcar said...

Uh, why else would they be called 'earwigs'?

Rachel Leigh said...

If you guys live in Utah and you hate bugs as much as I do... you should call my husband. We have our own pest control business called Bugg Off pest control. Sorry to make a plug, I just couldn't resist helping you guys out. I am sure he would love to give you a good deal. I read your blog all the time, I am just usually too afraid to comment, but hopefully this helps. 801-687-9364 if you want...

Emmie said...

I was on a walk a few days ago, and rounded a corner to cross under some trees with branches a few feet above my head. I got distracted by something on the other side of the street, and just as I turned back I was face to face with an ENORMOUS spider. It had dropped down from one of the branches, and was hanging on a thin web right above my nose. If I hadn't turned back when I did, I would have walked right into it. I'm still shuddering.

Julie said...

Ugh. I don't like earwigs either. They crunch in the most disgusting way when you try to squish them. Ech.

As for spiders, if they stay outside and are not black widows or hobos, they can live in peace. However, if they cross my threshold, they are dead (with the exception of those furry jumpy ones that my kids like to call "wolfies"). Spiders creep me out.

My mother, on the other hand, will catch any spider with her bare hands and take it outside. I keep trying to tell her that one of these days she's going to pick up a hobo and get bitten, but she won't listen.

When they were little, a couple of my brothers' friends caught a soup can full of black widows out of the irrigation ditch in our backyard. The spiders were pretty mad and kept trying to escape, so the boys would poke them back into the can with a stick. The boys proudly showed my mom, who told them to take it home to their own mothers to show them just how busy they had been. (I never heard how the other moms reacted. Gives me the creeps.)

Oh--and that link to the Arachnophobia trailer creeped me out. I hated that movie. I had to cover my eyes for most of it because I was too freaked out. It didn't help that when I got up the next morning to take a shower there was a huge spider (the same size as the little one in the movie) on the floor just underneath where my towel was hanging.

Julie said...

Sheesh. I just reread my own comment. Not only was it super long, but I used "creep" a billion times. Then again, I suppose it's an appropriate term to use for spiders.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Our neighborhood is more or less in the woods - so I've had to learn to live with bugs. But I suppose they're better than the city rats I grew up with (those would be outside of course - but still).

I'm a wimp about killing them. I've wasted a lot of time chasing a spider around trying to scoop it up into a paper towel instead of just smashing it.

You have a lovely blog - I'll definitely be back. Thanks for visiting mine!

Carol said...

I got up in the night to deal with our two year old he wanted to watch Cars at some unearthly hour and happened to stand on a slug!

I so feel your pain!

Stephanie said...


and now for a comment totally not related to your post.

i really loved what you said on cjanes blog (where she asked what nie would think of sarah pallin)

thanks for saying it. and that is all.

Fig said...

Our department was attacked just this morning by a man-eating roach. I thought it was a mouse, that's how big and fast it was.