Sunday, May 17, 2009


Another migration from the old site. The end of the semester approaches; soon, I'll have real energy for something new. Until then, vintage.

If Bugs Can't Get It Right, Will We Ever?

After a gazillion years of evolution rapider than our own, why are bugs dumb enough to crawl on us? We're almost 100F in temperature, usually either a good deal warmer or a good deal cooler than our environment (due to a love of snow sports and the idea that tropical heat is a "vacation"--it's ok, we evolve much more slowly) and you'd think they'd notice? Isn't that differential the way mosquitoes find us, in the dark, while we're sleeping? OK, so mosquitoes do crawl on us and die, but at least the risk is worth it: they're propagating the species.

Most of the bugs that walk on us aren't. They can't kill us, they can't even get a decent mouth full, nor do they scavenge shed skin or any other biproduct. Are we the neighborhood shortcut? What's on the other side? Something worth dying for? I look on both sides of my mattress, both sides of any place I'm sitting, and they look the same. Why risk it?

Do bugs have rights of passage? "OK, now you have come of age and must find a human to cross. If you live, you will be a man-bug, a soldier ant, a worker and no longer a lowly white, soft useless..." Or maybe bugs have thug rituals. "You wanna join our gang? You wanna join OUR gang!??? OK, then you see that human over there..."

Then again, maybe they get a buzz off that spilled soda on the counter and start one upping each other. "I dare ya to walk on that vika's arm, go ahead I dare ya, you scaredy-cat, chicken-livered..." It's depressing. Not only do they outnumber us, they get a million generations to get it right in the span of just one of ours--and they still have no more common sense than the average toddler.

If bugs rule the world and they can't get it right, do we even have a chance?