Monday, July 19, 2010

End of the Bugs

A while ago, I found these two bugs dead, caught trying to escape my mailbox through a tiny slit in the side. What I found tragic, and a bit amusing, was that they could have escaped if they had taken turns crawling out. Instead they tried to escape at the same time, and ended up wedged in there, dangling half in and half out.

I decided to try and increase my readership by creating a series of amusing, controversial, and, lets face it, brilliant satirical comic strips about two bugs waiting to die.  They sang. They confessed their sins to each other. They annoyed 50% of my readership (hi Mary!) so I dropped the strip. You will never see the episodes where they pray, argue about their lost friend they hoped would rescue them (I found him inside the mailbox, minus his head), or the big finale where a bird ate them.

Still, the mystery remained. I couldn’t figure out why those beetles were in my mailbox to begin with. Then, on Thursday afternoon, I went out to get the mail and found this:

They had returned in great numbers to haunt me again. And, to make matters more strange, many of them were still alive, including one poor guy hanging out of the gap in the corner like his compatriots had, flailing his legs at me as if to say “Help a poor insect, kind sir?” I imagine, like all bugs, he had a cockney accent.

So, there I am, staring at the mailbox, trying to figure out what was going on. One of the dead beetles had wings sticking out, so they could, theoretically, fly. So why had they flown into the mailbox in the first place? I looked directly above the mailbox to the porch light and it suddenly hit me.

On Wednesday nights, I teach until after dark. My wife, in a romantic display of concern that I’ll trip on our outdoor toy collection, leaves the light on for me. Last week, we must have left the mailbox open all night. The beetles flew towards the light, and bumped into it, stunning and killing themselves. Then they fell into the open mailbox where they were too confused to worn out to fly out again.

Mystery solved, I dumped the beetles out, saving their lives until the next day when I found them floating in the wading pool. Oh well, can’t have everything, but it’s nice to know my detective skills are intact.

Now, if I could find out where the avocado came from.

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