Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The bug Nazi

I was in the middle of my Saturday morning ritual cleaning up the kitchen when I saw it: A lovely bug flying near the window above the sink.

Its gauzy wings were unbelievably bright; its body was darker, the color of sage. It was beautiful fluttering against the glass desperately trying to find a Way Out.

I’ve gotta save this bug, I thought.

This bug did not deserve to end up crushed in a paper towel and tossed in the waste-basket.

This beautiful bug needed to be free. And it will be my One Good Deed to start the day.

It took much longer than expected to capture him. It was easy enough pressing the cup against the window, but more challenging getting him to stay inside long enough so I could put my hand over the top and trap him.

I silently willed the bug to cooperate. C’mon, bug. Can’t you see I’m trying to do you a favor?

He finally complied, waiting near the bottom of the glass while I quickly open the back door to release him.

In seconds he was gone, way across the yard, without so much as a thank you or even a glance back.
The good feeling I got from the early morning bug rescue didn’t last long.

Because I realized that if it had been one of those ugly pincher bugs that creep into my laundry basket and across my kitchen counter, I’d have squashed it without a thought.

What I perceived to be the beautiful bug deserved to be rescued and live in freedom. But what I perceived to be the ugly bug could die a horrible death.

I am the bug Nazi.
Well, I rationalized, those ugly pincher bugs have bitten me.

Nope, not good enough.

Biting is not a capital crime.
This reminds me of my all-time favorite movie: The Wizard of Oz.

“Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” Glenda asks Dorothy, soon after she arrived in Munchkinland.
“I’m not a witch at all,” Dorothy replies. “Witches are old and ugly.”
“Only the bad witches are ugly,” says Glenda, laughing.
As a society, why do we equate evil with what we perceive as ugliness and good with what we see as beautiful?

Maybe that lovely green bug I rescued on Saturday is a Menace to the entire bug population. Maybe he uses his beauty to charm other bugs into getting closer and then he kills them viciously and without remorse, as I’ve done with the pincher bugs.
I am listening to: Raconteurs – Steady as She Goes
I am reading: Client survey
And I am: Trying not to kill the ugly today