I’d Rather Have a Springbok


We are here, you will recall, to discuss The Bug issue. 

looping gif, endless parade of giant beetles marches by


Well, not “discuss” in the traditional format, obviously; you are there and I am here and there’s a temporal disconnect as well.  More “discuss” in the book club sense; I’ll tell you a story, and then maybe we’ll have a discussion question at the end.  Won’t that be fun?


Shut up, it’s better than working.  And if you’re not reading on your employer’s time it’s not my fault.




(The Simpsons) Homer pursues a spider under a box; picks up the box, doesn't see spider, looks up; entire bottom of box is covered in spiders, who all drop down onto his face. Homer runs around screaming with his mask of living spiders. (GIF)


My house, still strewn with half-unpacked or still-taped boxes labeled things like “BR MISC AND ALSO” because Past Me is an asshole who thought I would enjoy puzzles. 


I do not.


You know what else is all over the goddamned house?  BUGS.  Fucking everywhere.  Every morning I wake up and take a tour of the place, sweeping up fresh corpses (not sure if they’re coming in here to die or if Hamilton just gets full halfway through his midnight murder spree and leaves the bodies at the scene) and I spend much of my day being disgusted when I find something that clearly belongs outside wandering around my not-yet-pristine-but-getting-there inside.  And I don’t just mean spiders or ants.  Jesus, I could handle ants—ants are easy!  But crickets?  To recap Tuesday’s material for those who missed that lesson, if ever there was an insect wholly uninterested in gaining entry to your home, it’s the humble cricket.  They are as outdoorsy as I am… whatever the opposite of outdoorsy is.  (My dream is to die of Freon poisoning.)



HIM:  You know, we don’t really use Freon anymore.
ME:  What?
HIM:  We mostly use blah blah oh my god I’m so smart can you believe all the things I know?
ME:  Whatever, then.
HIM:  I’m just saying—
ME:  Does it attract crickets?
HIM:  No…
ME:  Then it’s not the point!


When we first arrived in this house, there was a giant-ass bug*stuck on its back right in the middle of the entryway.  I filmed it and showed this to the property management rep who came ‘round to do paperwork.  He sort of shrugged it off and said if I was ever really bothered by bugs I could put in a maintenance request.  Knowing me as you do, I’m sure you can guess how long it took for me to be “really bothered.”

Eleven Minutes Later

Yeah, approximately.




man holding blank clapperboard in front of his face, snapping it repeatedly


A bug guy comes to my door.  “I hear you’ve got cockroaches?”

“Shh…” I say, “they might hear you!”

Bug Guy is now concerned.  He realizes he has allowed himself to become trapped in a house with a madwoman.

I lead him to the teeny kitchen, explaining as we go.  “I clean out this cabinet every few days.  With disinfecting wipes, mind—I’m not messing around.  But a few days pass and…” here I open wide the cabinet which resides over my inadequate sink, gesturing with a flourish, “little black flecks.  See?”

Bug Guy leans up on tiptoe, peers into the cabinet.  “Oh yeah,” he agrees, running a finger through the disgusting evidence that bugs not only exist in my home but come to my kitchen to take a dump.  “Looks like springtails.”  He settles back on his heels, stares at me.

I am nonplussed.  Springtail?  Isn’t that an African ungulate? 

A springbok in profile, head turned toward camera

No, that’s a springbok.  Still, it sounds like… maybe it’s a seed pod?  Have I overreacted?  I do that sometimes… “What’s a springtail?”

“It’s nothing,” Bug Guy hedges while maintaining eye contact, “It’s a… they’re not fatal.”  He hasn’t blinked.

“Okay,” I prompt, “but what is it?”

“It’s just a… they’re really common.  They’re nothing.  It’s not dangerous.”

“Okay,” I feel my grip on the situation unraveling.  “You’re just saying words.  What.  Is.  It.”

“It’s just… I mean, it’s a pest,” he allows.

“It’s a bug,” I correct.

“Well… yeah.”  Bug Guy—and I must emphasize how very odd this is—has not stopped staring at me as if I’m the fucking weirdo in this conversation.

“That,” I fling out my arm, indicating the dishes stacked high in case he missed the implication, “is my kitchen cabinet!  We eat off those plates!”  Bug Guy nods, but doesn’t cease his idiot staring, so I continue the painful, obvious, out-loud-thinking-for-him process because at least I’m not paying this dolt.  “There shouldn’t be bugs in there!”

“Oh,” Bug Guy agrees, “If you want to take everything out of the cabinets, the stuff I’ve got will take care of ‘em.”  He turns, calling over his shoulder, “I’ll just spray outside first, so if you wanna take care of those cabinets I can come in and do inside last.”

street cook rolling out dough while being swarmed by bees; bees are all over the dough, the cook, the surfaces, and the finished product (some sort of honey roll, possibly)

Actual kitchen nightmare



Now, I’ve done an informal poll of some people—fine, it was Alexis and Husband, but I maintain that’s a sufficient sample for the question at hand—and the consensus is that Bug Guy’s behavior was weird.  But I’ll put it to you lot anyway, in the name of Science:

If you find out that there are bugs in your kitchen, does it matter how “dangerous” they are?  Is there a bug that’s acceptable to have inhabiting your cabinets, crawling all over your dishes and pooping in your cereal bowls?


WTF shocked cat

Amateur bug killer is appalled by Bug Guy’s lack of concern for my situation.




* Later identified as a June bug.  Which… I’m sorry, I always assumed they were tiny.  I mean, the name is so cute!  Gift of spring my ass!




24 comments on “I’d Rather Have a Springbok

  1. jen7iris says:

    His behavior was definitely weird. No bugs are acceptable in the kitchen. I’ve occasionally had ants, but like you pointed out, those are relatively easy to deal with. And somehow not as gross? And isn’t the fact that you asked for him to deal with your bug problem an indication that you don’t find the presence of said bugs acceptable? People are strange.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My kingdom for a hermetically sealed home with no corners; goodbye bugs, goodbye bug poop, and GOODBYE GODDAMN SPIDERS!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have been informed that it’s especially bad here compared to other places I’ve lived because there is no basement. Apparently when a home is built “on slab” the foundation is just a bit of cement poured in a shallow hole, since cracks won’t be as big a deal as they would be if you had a basement. Those itty-bitty, eeensy-beensy cracks are how the bugs get in.

      So. Next house and all future houses MUST HAVE A BASEMENT. Check.


      • I don’t know who told you that but I grew up in two houses with basements and we had WAY more bug and spider problems than anywhere I’ve lived since. If the suckers want in, they’ll find a way. Personally I find the home’s location and surrounding terrain tend to be the bigger factor, but that’s just my experience.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Cat B says:

    We just moved into a new build in the Arizona desert. Now we have SCORPIONS! (Aaaaahhhhhhh!) I would rather have regular bugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scorpions would be worse mostly because I’m pretty sure A. Ham would still try to take them on. The first time a spider bit his tongue while he was killing it, he freaked and ran away but he came right back and went after that corpse with a vengeance. And now he just shakes it off when they fight back… so yeah, I don’t think I could teach him to leave a scorpion for us to handle.


    • Sherry Bucalo says:

      Spread diatomaceous earth all around the outside and inside walls, harmless to people and pets but sucks the life out of the scorpions. May and November come some friggin smallest ant type thingy in the world, followed by some kind of gnat thingy. Oh black widows eat scorpians, so ..you know..kind of a big catch 22. Been in Az 20 yrs now, they say eventually, your get stung by a scorpion, I’d rather not, thank you. Oh BTW the little ones are the most deadly… Not sure why anyone wanted to be here in the first place. Oh there are also the flying beetles with pinchers, there are between 2-5 inches,,they seem to like the pools alot….

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Allison says:

    WEIRD. I mean, he thought he was there for cockroaches, which… are not fatal either? Unless I’ve been SERIOUSLY misinformed. So if his internal benchmark is “I only show up for the DANGEROUS bugs” then why did he show up?????

    On a related note, I once read a blog from a writer who had a nest of baby black widow spiders hatch in her bathroom. She maintained, and I agree, that there was only one reasonable solution. Burn that mother to the ground.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. johnrieber says:

    Hilarious. Sorry about the bugs but bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • He said to give it a week or two and call him back if I’m still seeing things.

      (Yes, obviously he’s coming back but unless he shows up naked or something you won’t hear about it; that’s gonna be the most predictable sequel since the Fast & Furious franchise failed to collapse under the weight of its own ridiculousness)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Losing the Plot says:

    It might be harder to shove springboks into the cupboard, and they definitely have bigger poops, but on the whole I prefer springboks to bugs too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel like Springboks would be funnier. Plus, if you’ve managed to stuff a springbok in your cupboard people are impressed. Maybe a little afraid. But at least they’re not thinking that you’re dirty or lazy.

      Plus, it takes WAY more bugs to pull a sled.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Losing the Plot says:

        There’s been a few Springboks (SA Rugby team) that I wouldn’t have kicked outta bed for farting – never mind a cupboard, but that makes the husband all humpy headed 😋

        Liked by 1 person

  7. about a week after moving into our new house I found a mama snake and some babies in the basement. It was pretty gross. I got rid of them and never told my wife because I knew that if I did she would never step foot into the house again

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ritu says:

    No bugs in any kitchen thank you very much!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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