OMG! What Would Albert Schweitzer Have Said?–A New Episode

Probably not the guy in our bathroom…

The timing is eerie–and not because I wrote the original post admitting to my commission of Murder One: Beetlecide so close to Halloween. No; my unease is due to the fact that the episode that occurred just days ago is pretty darned close to the anniversary of my previous offense. Surely that has meaning…

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while are aware that I could anthropomorphize a pebble. I try very hard to–at the very least–“live and let live” with the natural world.

In the instance last October, I would have been happy to carry the beetle to a window and send it on its way. The logistics did not permit this pacific act.

The fact that the beetle was climbing among a mound of plastic bags in a corner of my bedroom, however, led me to wonder if it was trying to draw my attention in its teensy way to the existential threat of climate change.

To recap: I used one of those dastardly and way-too-handy vessels to deliver it to its watery grave. After the deed was done,  I did wonder about the possibility of retribution by some of its multi-legged peers.

That sets the stage for this week’s encounter. Different venue: this time, the bathroom.

And a vastly different coleoptera (scientific name for insect). This guy was not small and harmless-looking. It was huge, with spiky armor, bulging eyes, and semi-wings that enabled it to hop-hop-hop when I tried to grab it with a large wad of toilet paper.

Three attempts, three hops, and then it was gone. Disappeared. The bathroom’s not that large, but it was nowhere in sight. I’ve written about octopuses and their uncanny ability to squish themselves into tiny crevices; I’m wondering if this entity I’ll call Scary Gargantuan Coleoptera (SGC) had the same ability.

After searching for twenty minutes, I left the bathroom and closed the door. Exercising considerable self-restraint, I did not immediately call upon the Artillery-in-Residence–a kind soul but not given to anthropomorphizing.

But when he arrived (of his own volition, at a time of his choosing), I explained the circumstances. He, too, failed to find “hide nor hair” (both irrelevant, but sometimes a cliche comes in handy) of this displaced Force of Nature.

I won’t pretend I didn’t sleep all night, but I did have a bit of queasiness pondering that SGC, aware that its life was in danger (I know; I’m assuming memory and all that), now had the advantage of a dark bedroom AND bathroom in which to roam/hop about.

The resolution came on the evening of Day Two, when my encounter with SGC had actually faded from my memory…a little. The Artillery-in-Residence, about to step into the shower, said: “There it is!”

And he dispatched it.

The process took a series of maneuvers. The Artillery-in-Residence did not want me to write this essay, so I think he found the execution unsettling. Our compromise was that I am sparing you the details.

I am left to ponder, as is my wont, why I felt so guilty about the little shiny beetle and such relief about the much larger and uglier SGC. Despite its size, I don’t think SGC was a threat to my well-being, though I preferred not to find out by experiencing its pincers.

So this second encounter with the insect world, I’m abashed to say, has overtones of shallowness of character based largely on esthetics. And, of course, the all-important ick factor.

The Artillery-in-Residence, ever supportive of my writing, suggested a fictional piece based on the assumption that SGC somehow survived its ordeal, started its own blog, and is seeking retribution by pincing out stories about a crazy woman armed with plastic bags and her partner-in-crime, who had brought out the entire arsenal.

I immediately intuited that the blog posts would suggest that the subjects both naively believed they had ended these incursions.

And I demurred. Horror stories are not my genre.

But in truth, as SGC was far larger and more menacing than last year’s unwanted visitor, I am not looking forward to what I fear may be our personal “October Surprise” a year from now.  

Annie

29 thoughts on “OMG! What Would Albert Schweitzer Have Said?–A New Episode

  1. Hey, there, Annie. I, too, try to catch and release. Usually, I succeed, but I do have my limits. Stinging things, scary things, ugly things like giant hairy-looking spiders . . . I keep my distance but encourage an exit. In this household, windows are forever open (few screens left this season) but I think the real culprit encouraging the bug life within these walls is the woodpile stacked near the fireplace. October surprise? Only the kind of bugs, not the existence.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m just saying you can’t be too careful. When you see a bug in your house, you never know where it’s been. It could have landed on a dog turd or a fundamentalist vice president just a little while ago. You don’t know what germs it might be carrying.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. esp. one full of COVID! I watched a W5 special tonight about a scientist who was studying how bats co-exist with coronaviruses all the time and what we might learn from them in terms of immunity.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, but they have learned to live with coronaviruses without harm. I think it said they shed them in their feces and if there are other animals around like in the wet markets that spreads it to others. Here’s a link to an article…..I missed the first half of the program. W5 is a Canadian investigative reporting program which has been on TV for 55 years! https://www.ctvnews.ca/w5/hunting-for-bats-how-these-animals-could-help-find-a-way-out-of-the-pandemic-1.5146555

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great story! It is fun to read your writings because it is clear that you are having a lot of fun writing them! Sue

    On Sat, Oct 17, 2020 at 12:56 PM annieasksyou… wrote:

    > annieasksyou posted: ” Probably not the guy in our bathroom… The timing > is eerie–and not because I wrote the original post admitting to my > commission of Murder One: Beetlecide so close to Halloween. No; my unease > is due to the fact that the episode that occurred just days” >

    Like

  3. Soobloo: Thank you for your comment.

    However, as I have felt compelled to write about politics a great deal lately, I shall paraphrase the late, great Anne Bancroft: “ Sometimes I have a lot of fun writing them; sometimes I don’t have a lot of fun writing them.”

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  4. Hi Annie,
    So is he proud to be known (far and wide?) as ‘Artillery-in- Residence’? Lots of responsibilities go with this title.
    And in your household you are known as ……?
    DtD

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    1. Hi, DtD—
      The Artillery-in-Residence served as a gunner’s mate in the Navy, so he did not find this particular foray overwhelming and did not object to the title.
      He called me “Scout,” which isn’t quite appropriate, as I tried and failed to banish the creature—and I did commit beetlecide last year.
      Fortunately, two of my blogging colleagues reminded me of the dangers inherent in these coeleptarian intrusions—a fact that my normally fastidious self had overlooked. So my anthropomorphism has been dampened by cold reality, and there will be no further posts opining about what the good Dr Schweitzer might have said—though a bit of wistfulness about that kinder self will linger.

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  5. I generally try to capture and release bugs, too, but if it is not possible, I simply invoke “sorry, wrong time at the wrong place” and proceed with confidence, after all, they invaded my space first.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We have several spider and insect catch and release contraptions around the house – a piece of cardboard and a small plastic container- over goes the container, under goes the thin white cardboard and run like hell depending on the size of said arachnid or insect outside to it’s and our safety,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, our shared obsession. I thought of you when someone posted on Twitter a piece of candy corn dressed up like the man still in the Oval Office. I wrote: “Clever! But it’s destroyed my taste for candy corn.”

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  7. Stories like this really bug me. In fact, I had to read it insections. I thought about reading at lunch but was sure this would ruin my repest.

    All bad puns aside, my suggestion is to imagine the situation reversed – with you in the bathroom of a bug standing between 5 and 6 feet tall. It would surely digest you then go looking for the rest of the nest to continue its feast. You were much more humane than if the roles were reversed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Three excruciatingly fine bad puns. I had never considered the role reversal. (To my shame, as I always try to walk in the other person’s (or Coleoptera’s) hexapods. But that works for me almost as well as the idea of the intruder’s bearing infection,

      Liked by 1 person

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