Learn Something New Every Day!

SSSH.  I don’t really want people to know what I am about to write, but I feel compelled to confess.  I did something the other night that is horrible and in drastic contradiction to the person I have thought myself to be for all these years. Really.  I have always seen myself as an animal lover. I loved them all, great and small:

  • I have always been careful not to step on spiders; instead, I pick them up and carry them outside. In fact, once I protected a spiders little birth sack just like in Charlotte’s Web until all the little spiders were born and moved out across the yard.
  • I did not even squish the creepy looking potato bug when I was a kid and it invaded the church offices where my mom worked.
  • Snakes?  They are not cold and slimy—and deserve our consideration and respect. I once rescued one from a grounds keeper at work who was going to kill it.  Instead, my plan was to take it home—after classes.  And I never understood why my office mate got so upset when the snake escaped from the box it was in on my desk.  I was pleased that it was getting its freedom back and heading home!
  • My love of elephants has been mentioned before—they are just stupendous.  I started wanting one as my very own when I was about five. And those sentiments still continue.  I have even watched one paint a picture and helped give another one a bath.
  • When I was a kid, I can distinctly remember being taught by an older sister how to cry so Mom would let us keep the cute puppy.  Our ploy worked—and I have loved dogs ever since.  I even contribute every year to the Humane Society.
  • I have owned a range of pets over the years:  frogs, a parakeet, a tarantula, a lizard, some fish, a turtle, a kangaroo rat, and—of course—the best dog in the world, Murphy.  And I loved all the cats who lived with my good friends.
  • I stop and help lost or hurt animals along the side of the road—and am so very distraught if I see them dead along the road.
  • When I hear about animals—either pets or those from a zoo or out in the wild—somehow attacking people, my first thought is that the poor animal must’ve been provoked.  Or maybe mistreated by its owners.  In general, animals are good-hearted.  As Mark Twain says, “Man is the only animal that blushes.  Or needs to.”

But the other night, I turned my back on this sense of myself as an unabashed animal lover.  I took actions that were brutal and unrelenting. Given these actions, I am not certain I can retain my persona as an animal lover.

What did I do?

I killed three earwigs that had invaded my bedroom.  I acted out of impulse and cold heartedly stomped them to death without even thinking.  I had never seen them before, but I knew about them.  My sister who lives on Oregon had told me all about them when I was a kid.  She said that they liked to find small dark places to hide and were even known to lodge themselves in people’s ears  What I heard, of course, was that these tiny beasts were intent on getting in your ear and boring through to your brain.  They are dangerous!  Although only about an inch long, I knew these were vicious, vicious creatures as soon as I saw them.  And one was even on the wall near my bed!  I felt remorse immediately—and then the guilt set in, necessitating this confessional.

But the more I reflect, the more I wonder what they were doing in my home anyway.  I used to teach critical thinking, so I know I can ferret out some logical conclusions about all this, or at least a good rationalization* that can help me keep from seeing this deed as so dastardly.  What I finally rationalized is that my actions may have saved the world.  Yeah, that’s it!  You see, the first concern is that I have lived in my apartment for almost ten years and have never even seen these beasts here before.  So why here and why now?  Where could they have come from?

The answer was obvious:  These three invaders were the first troops in an attempt to take over the world. In fact, they were not even typical earwigs. Instead they were descendants of Khan’s worms from Star Trek II:  The Wrath of Khan.  You may need a small digression to remember that many things from the world of Star Trek have already come into existence:  little communicators you hold in your hands, flip open and then use to talk to others; extensions of the communication system via little ear pieces or pieces of jewelry; talking to computers to make them do what you want; and even artificial intelligence that could easily win at Jeopardy.  So it is only logical that the Ceti Eels or worms from Ceti Alpha V could be mutated and travel through time to modern day earth in an attempt to sneak in and take over the world.   Genetic engineering—that’s in Star Trek too!

Here is a clip from the movie that shows what I saved the world from.  These beasts are described in The Star Trek Compendium** as “a parasite that enters its victims through the ears and then wraps around their cerebral cortex, rendering them extremely susceptible to suggestion.” And eventually gives madness, pain, agony and death to its victims, unless saved by Bones!  These things sure sound like earwigs, don’t they?

You know, the more I think about it, even though I hate killing anything, I did save the planet by stomping on those three invaders.  I don’t expect any medals.  But I will sleep a bit better tonight, although I do need to keep vigilant in case more earwigs invade overnight.  I hope you sleep well too.  For now, “Live long and prosper.”

What do you think?  Do you ever take action that is in opposition to who you think you are?  Or what have you done recently to save the world?

 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

*You remember that Seinfeld episode right?  The one that says no one can really survive even one day without a good rationalization.  They are almost as good as chocolate—and other things!

**Can you believe I have this book?  And told people I have this book?

Comments on: "I Love All Creatures Great and Small (Almost)" (18)

  1. A woman after my own heart. I, too, have always saved the lives of all animals, even insects and snakes, and cried when I ran over a squirrel, hit a biird, and ran over the family cat with my car. I made my students carry outside any errant geckoes that found their way into our classroom, even though I think they’re creepy. There is one insect I have no guilt or qualms about killing, though: mosquitoes. They are vicious down here for most of the year and seem to bite me more than anyone else. If they make it through the DEET barrier and still bite, game on.

    • Oh, yes, mosquitos are just terrible. I am lucky in that they do not bother me much–an ex-brother-in-law was the one they are swarmed around–his best quality in retrospect. I saw a greaat quote on a card once by someone named Reese: If you think you are too small to make a differnce, you have never tried to sleep in a tent with a mosquito. So true. And if they kamikaze through the DEET than I think their deaths are officially suicides. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Bwahaha! I’ve done naught to save the world recently, but I did enjoy reading about your exploits.

    I did do something very much in contradiction of who I am/what I believe just a few days ago. I regretted it, but in a way I’m glad I did, because it illuminated who I am by reminding me who I’m not. I think it’s good to be reminded of this occasionally, whether or not saving the world is involved!

    • Oh your posts so often send out ripples of good will that you are indeed helping to save the world without even thinking about it. But I know what you mean about doing some things out of character occasionally to see the truth about your usual or typical behavior.. Sort of like the rainbow is brighter after the rain, need the cocoon before the butterfly–all those metaphors. Thaks for stopping by.

  3. I have to confess cockroaches are not safe in my home. In FL they call them Palmetto bugs, but in TX, I call them what they are “roaches.” Because we live among the trees, they just find their way in during the warm humid months. I don’t like squshing them so keep bug bomb on hand. Now, the geckos get lifted by the tail and placed outside. tmi?

    • Ah, cockroaches. I used to live in Corpus Christi, TX, so I know cockroaches well. I liked the audacity of cockroach races being reported on the news. And there was a novelty coffee mug that had a plastic cockroach at the bottom of the cup, so when you drained the coffee or tea, you were eye to eye with the (plastic) beast–it was mean but fun to share that cup with others. At times one friend would bake an uncut big juicy date into a cake–and then in south texas whoever got it would have a moment wondering what exactly it was as well as how infested her kitchen was. (Gee, I have not been so mean to friends since I lived in TX–maybe there was something in the air?!)

      I, too, did bug bombs there but figured the cock roaches would survive if they would not attack, so their deaths were their fault, not mine. See, there is power in rationalization. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. I am a terrible person compared to you. Many a creepy crawly has gotten sucked up in my vacuum. I have been bitten (stung?, pinched?) by an earwig before, and it felt like a tiny little electrical shock. It was really weird.

    • Oh, my goodness, I never knew anyone before who actually survived an earwig attack that had progressed to the biting stage. I am glad you are okay! Vacuum accidents are bound to happen, yet another reason I tend to avoid that activity if I can–but it does have to happen on a set schedule. Some tragedies just cannot be avoided.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  5. I could have written this post, too! So great! We’ve also enjoyed a variety of pets including tarantulas, parrots and snakes along with the requisite cats and dogs. I HATE earwigs and thankfully have only stumbled across them outside around my house. I do leave them alone there, but they wouldn’t be safe inside.

    The only other creature I won’t carry outside and save is the brown marmorated stink bugs that infested us the past few years. In fact, I had one crawl on me in bed last night at 3 a.m. Every one I get my hands on is a goner…

    Thank you for the entertaining and thought-provoking post!

    • Stink bugs? I have seen them, but all outside. Crawling on me at night would not be tolerated. I wish you all the best in your battle. Thanks for stopping by and commiserating with my need to take action against the earwigs.

  6. You are one kind-hearted woman. I have squished and sprayed many, many roaches, swatted flies like there’s no tomorrow (at least for them), and sent any number of spiders to the great web in the sky. You did the right thing with the earwigs. And thank you for saving the world from the Ceti eel mutants. When you have time, I’d like your autograph.

    • My first autograph request–I feel the urge to go put on a cool pair of sunglasses. But, ya know, you save the world at least weekly yourself. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. WordsFallFromMyEyes said:

    Aw. We have ideals and we try – and you’ve gone and posted your crimes on the web!! I had a sickening time once, spraying a Huntsman spider that was clung to the ceiling – and spraying and spraying it. It wouldn’t die. It was awful. It was disgusting of me – and I did it only because I thought ‘what if it just falls off the ceiling onto me when I’m asleep?’ Pure fear. Well, you’ve confessed loud & clear – I reckon you can move on freely now 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by. I will wander over to your site soon to look around. And you are right, things falling from the ceiling would not be good! And confession does let you put the atrocity aside and move on with life.

  8. True confessions … Wasps give me the heebee geebees … and even when going through the extermination phase. Then again, overall, I enjoy animals and loved our pets. But regarding you and the earwings, I’m contacting PITA.

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