Posted by: tomkennedy | September 2, 2008

We Should All Be Afraid

You’ll notice that today’s post is coming to you from none other than myself, Tom Kennedy, and not Rob.  I figured in Rob’s absence I’d attempt to take advantage of your loyalty and post a new article of my own.  Hope you enjoy.


            It has recently come to my attention, through no fault of my own, that there is a force on this planet that stands to overthrow humans as the dominant species.  No no, I’m not talking about lions, tigers, bears, or roller-skating monkeys.  There is a much more fiendish foe at hand.  An enemy that, relative to its size, is nearly invulnerable to pain or attack. 


I’m talking about insects; household insects. 


Before I go any further I want to define “household insects” as those that we deal with on a daily basis: spiders, bees, ants etc.  Their maniacal plan is twofold: psychological domination followed by unstoppable assault.  I hope to reveal this plan so that we may not stand idly by and forfeit our link atop the food chain.


I feel at this juncture I should reveal some personal information so that I may establish some trust with you.  I’m a twenty-one year old male, I have an irrational fear of Gogurt, and I still have trouble manipulating the straw into a Capri Sun pouch.  However, there are very few things that keep me up at night more than the fear of swallowing a live spider or having one crawl into my brain and lay millions of eggs; one of those things being a five year-old wearing a white shirt while trying to open a grape flavored Gogurt *shudder*.  Beyond the fear of spiders inside my body, the threat of a swarm of African Killer Bees engulfing the outside of my body has become all too real in recent years.  Neither the outside nor the inside of our bodies are safe. 


What I’m attempting to illustrate is that, although they are a fraction of the size of their human enemies, insects inspire fear that far outweighs them.  Have you ever seen a grown man who is only kind of afraid of spiders react to a surprise visit by one?  Or flee from the onslaught of a curious worker bee?  It’s the exact opposite of someone who’s in a coma: their arms will flail, screams will emanate, and their legs will do a dance that closely mimics someone playing with a Skip-It.


The second stage of attack is what initially tipped me off to the power of insects and drove me to write this article.  What the majority of people do not realize is that insects, relative to their size, are nearly invulnerable to pain.  I’m positive the following example has happened to everyone who will read this.  You’re sitting at your desk writing a paper, reading, or talking over AIM when out of the corner of your eye you see something scurry across the surface.  You peel your eyes away from whatever it is you are focusing on and notice that it’s a lone house spider trying to find his way back to his web.  After you quietly contemplate suicide at the prospect of a spider in such close proximity, your next immediate reaction is to line up your hand and flick that fucker as hard as you possibly can.  Being a person of at least average coordination, you nail that little bastard on the side of his exoskeleton launching him into the wall and then three feet to the ground below.


Now what you must realize is the utter chaos that you just unleashed upon this miniscule creature.  A house spider, let’s say, is on average an inch in length.  The distance from his position into the wall is roughly a foot coupled with the three feet to the ground.  In all, the spider will have traveled a total distance of twenty-eight times his own body length after being struck by an object larger than himself. 


Gleaming at your dominance over the world, you peer over the side of your desk only to watch the tiny soldier continue his journey home moving as if the previous event hadn’t even occurred.  ‘How can this be’ you ask?  The answer is quite simple.


Insects are immortal.


I’ll present you with another example.  It’s a hot summer day in July when you are at a picnic with your friends.  You are currently trying to enjoy your favorite BBQ meal of two hot dogs, potato salad, and an ice cold beer (or, if you’re a girl, half a veggie burger that you’re splitting with Stacey that has no bun because you don’t want any “empty carbs”, and a Twisted Tea).  All of a sudden, as if God noticed you were having a good time and had to make sure you were working for it, a bee buzzes by your left ear and begins to circle your head.  After putting the cyanide tablet back in your shorts and calming down, you automatically protect your face from a possible sting by swatting furiously.  On the second pass you make SERIOUS contact on the winged foe and send him limply falling a solid five and a half feet to the ground.  


You are victorious once again. 


Not two seconds later you notice that the bee has not only left the ground of which his grave had been marked, but is now whizzing around your head with an aggressiveness only seen in Italian males at the Jersey Shore.  How can this be?  Surely you destroyed that young insect’s entire skeletal makeup.  The answer is again simple.


Insects are immortal.


I will not attempt to explain away how and why these miraculous events take place.  Instead, I will draw a parallel that will hopefully illustrate how absurd a situation it really is, and hopefully make you giggle as well.  Take the former of the two stories and relate it to real life.  You are walking down the street with two of your friends on the way to get some dinner before a movie.  You’re talking about how it’s a terrible shame that a talent like Heath Ledger should be cut down in the prime of his life and that if Christopher Nolan has any common sense whatsoever, he will not recast for the part of The Joker.  Rob makes a good point about the psychological effects that playing a character like The Joker will have on an actor when all of a sudden he is JACKED UP by a runaway wrecking ball, hurled into a brick wall and plummets into the thorn bushes below.  Standing a burly six feet, and traveling the same relative distance as the spider, Rob travels seventy-two feet in the air, hits the wall with enough force to break every single bone in his body, and then falls two hundred and sixteen feet into thorn bushes below.  Everyone stares with jaws dropped at the certain death of their close friend.  Within seconds Rob gets up, brushes himself off, and finishes his comment as if nothing occurred.  Pretty ridiculous isn’t it?


How is it, I ask, that a creature of such epically small proportions could withstand an impact that certainly should have gooified it?  I would venture a guess that the exoskeleton plays a large role, but then again, I’m not an entomologist.  The one thing I am sure of is that I’m scared as hell.





  1. I laugh benigly at your quaint antidotical tales of such fearlessness! Thank you for the evening humor and hope you don’t run into such fearsome creatures especially 8 legged ones. Cheers! Should the rollerskating monkey have its’ tail in a spin you might help the little guy regain his tail back 🙂

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