JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Why I’ve stopped killing bugs

mw-bee

I’ll admit, this can’t come off as anything but strange.

But I no longer kills bugs. Ever. I just don’t. I’m not a biblical guy, or a religious guy. But I do think life is not only precious, but remarkable. In fact, an argument can be made that the life of a fly or moth is significantly more remarkable than that of a human. Lacking the brains of humanoids, bugs rely on instinct and pattern. Plus, all their organs and innards are microscopic, which—if you think about it—is amazing. A heart the size of 1/1,000 of a pin head. Hundreds of eyes.

When I was a stupid little boy, I took delight in stomping ant hills and ripping a leg or two off a Daddy Longleg. In a scene straight out of David Berkowitz: The Early Years, my friends and I even microwaved a few bees. We’d capture them in Dixie Cups, place plastic wrap over the tops, set the microwave for a minute or so and watch them buzz … buzz … buzz … melt. They’d actually stick to the cup like plastic. It’s f%$#ing sick, and I can’t believe I behaved in such a way. But, as I now see as a suburban father, boys can be warped. What I lacked in public farting and penis jokes, I made up for in microwaved insects.

Anyhow, I’m now living a life harmonious with the bugs. If I see a fly, I gently catch him in a napkin and guide him toward the nearest window. Ants are scooped up and directed elsewhere. Ladybugs—beloved by my daughter—are sacred.

And termites?

For them, I call the exterminator.