I don’t kill bugs.
I hate them. Especially spiders with their spindly legs, shifty little bodies and unnatural speediness. It’s the speed that really gets me. Nothing should move that fast.
Normally, I consider myself a fairly brave person. I think I can handle most of what life throws my way. Unless it’s bugs. Then I turn from a normal woman into a shrieking banshee. And the mind-numbing panic doesn’t go away once the bug is gone. No. That stays, accompanied by the feeling that I’m covered in a million creepy crawlers.
But I don’t kill bugs.
And I blame books for this. Specifically, K.A. Applegate’s Animorphs. I loved those books. So much so that I still scan construction sites as I drive by for possible downed alien ships.
Anyway, more than once that scrappy group of kids morphed into insects. Since reading that, whenever I go to kill a bug, my brain yells Wait! How can you be sure that’s not a person fighting an alien take-over in there? I find myself unable to complete the crushing.
So, I end up standing their like an idiot with a plastic cup and a napkin. Positioning the cup over the bug is bad enough, but then getting close enough to slip the napkin under the cup while keeping the bug inside? Let’s just say it involves quite a bit of undignified whimpering. Once that is complete, I now have to get the contraption outside. I then chuck the cup with all my might – generally this means it lands about a foot and a half in front of me – and go running back into my apartment where I do what I’ve termed the “icky-creepy-crawler-dance.” It’s not until later, when I’ve given the bug plenty of time to escape that I go retrieve the cup. Or, better yet, get someone else to get the cup to ensure that the crafty creepy-crawler isn’t lying in wait for my return.
I’m actually a very logical person. I know that bugs are just bugs, not Animorphs. I rationalize my continued inability to crush insects through a belief that once outside the bug finds its buggy friends and recounts my act of mercy. They dance together and sing of my benevolence, agreeing that because of my altruistic spirit, they will do their best to stay out of my way.
Because I know that bugs are not people in morph. I do.