There is a bug in the kitchen.

It is a very large bug, one of the giant black flying beetles that constantly assail the screen door at night, which evidentally bumbled into the house. It is approximately an inch long, with large wings under its shell.

I saw it as I came into the house a few hours ago. It spooked away from the door and ran in terror across the kitchen floor and under the moulding, a rogue bit of punctuation on the move. In 72 pt boldfaced type.

I did not scream, but I spoke in that absolutely calm and authoritative voice that indicates that the owner is about ten seconds away from standing on a chair doing an imitation of an air-raid siren.

“There’s a very large bug in here,” I said, very very calmly.

James came in, but could not locate it, since it had vanished under the moulding.

“I can’t kill it if I can’t see it,” he said reasonably.

“This is true,” I said, very very VERY calmly.

Now I’m screwed. I cannot walk across the kitchen floor. I cannot sit in my desk, right NEXT to the kitchen, without twitching. If anything brushes against my feet–a hair, the cat, a stray bit of something of the floor, a random muscular twitch–I spasm, yelp, and beat my foot against the floor like Clever Hans doing calculus. I am a wreck.

I will probably never see the bug again, but I know that it is there. By doing this, it has violated the Bug Covenant–i.e. insects are allowed to live unmolested so long as I do not see them. I do not go poking in dark corners looking, and they stay out of any place my eyes are likely to wander. This is an excellent working arrangement. I do not care if there are spiders in the back of the closet or out in the shed. I will not go looking for them. If a spider gets on my nice visible wall, however, it has broken the Covenant, and must die.

This would be an excellent metaphor for something, and I wish it were only a metaphorical giant bug instead of the all too real one currently in residence.

Leave a Reply