Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I have moved to an area that has a lot of flying insects: gnats, flies, mosquitoes and several other insects that I can't name. It's not prevalent throughout South Bend, but seems to exist in pockets. Our neighborhood on the hill appears to be the victim of a stagnant pond located below us on Weyerhaeuser property. As if I didn't have enough reasons to despise Weyerhaeuser anyway...

The mosquitoes, in particular, have taken up residence in our 2 bathrooms. This is not surprising since mosquitoes need moisture to survive. Be that as it may, it's quite annoying to climb into the shower and have to swat mosquitoes.

As our weather is slowly turning cooler (night temps are now falling into the low to mid 40s), the blood-sucking insects seem a bit slower and less able to dodge my hands. I've actually become quite adept at smashing them between my index finger and thumb. If that fails, I flatten them against the wall in the shower.

Of course, the act of killing these insects -- who simply are doing what they must do to survive -- does cause me to take pause from time to time. I sometimes ask myself what right I have to decide these life and death issues. Though I'm certainly cognizant of the threat of West Nile Virus and the more benign irritant of itching, I still sometimes feel a bit unsettled about the path of insect murder.

I mean, here's a mosquito simply minding its own business and then WHACK -- it's now nothing more than a tiny red smear on the wall.

So, I was pondering about this predicament the other day and it dawned on me that we are all subject to the flyswatter of nature. We humans often die far too young and under interesting circumstances. Of course, we have coined words to describe these instances: accident, illness, war, crime, tragedy, holocaust, etc.

It's like we're flitting around in the mundane routine of life and then WHACK -- we're dead.

Just like a mosquito.


  1. First you were complaining about the water...

    Now it is the flying insects...

    Human life is full of WHACKS, both fatal and some that just linger and happen to be the powers to be:)

    Sitting in a new house and your complaining about a few bumps here and there... turn around and look back... you are missing where you are...



  2. Beautiful metaphor. Kudos!



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