I’VE said it before, but I’m super-efficient at repeating myself, so I’ll say it again: I don’t do summer. And in the spirit of heat, I now have a reason even more toe-curling than the usual skin crisping and cellulite baring.
I’m prone to hyperbole, but since I’m not alone in my suspicions it’s probably safe to say that our village has been under siege since spring began.
For the first time ever, I believe we really do live in a matrix-type fantasy world. One that’s appropriately named "Planet Insect”.
Have you noticed? Mosquitoes are getting bigger and bolder; cockroaches are attacking in teams; ants are no longer simple workers but violent nippers; and birds, cats and spiders don’t give a damn about consuming the critters before they make it past the security gate.
My daughter reckons I have sweet blood, which is why I’m the first on any mozzie hit list. But now that "The Hub” is nursing three red war wounds on his ankles – which are not only itchy, but sore – the family is taking me seriously.
I’ve never been one of those chicks who leapt onto tables to avoid mice or wouldn’t remove a rain spider from the continental pillow. These I handle well. It’s one of the sexy bits of me that attracted The Hub in the first place, he said.
But in a world gone mad on genetic modification, I can’t help imagining that creepy-crawlies are evolving into things with which we really don’t want to share our space.
Even bed bugs, for example. We’re a gardenvariety family – we have clean sheets and we vacuum. We even move the bed to dust, mostly. But every night when I snuggle in the itch begins, and the evidence is plain come morning.
Being bitten by something too small to see with my naked eye freaks me out. It’s even worse when the itch moves. And it always moves.
Scratch your ankle, settle down and next thing the small of your back is on fire. Get that, perhaps remove a rogue flea and squash it, and then just a minute later, something’s moving on your ear.
The worst possible sleep irritant is the silence broken by mosquito scouts – the ones you thought you’d squashed with a towel before turning off the lights. There’s always one behind the curtain and it always shuts up until you’re positioned under the duvet.
That said, I’d rather deal with those than a rebellious locust on the couch. I can’t even go there. Just typing the word makes me look at my shoulder, just in case.
Psychology professor Jon May has studied our aversion to six-legged thingies and decided we’re completely normal in our dislike and distaste.
It’s a primitive, biological response to their mostly dark colouring and angular-shaped legs, plus the fact that they scuttle and move around "unpredictably”.
If you’re a caveman out in the field, minding your business and evading lions, anything moving fast just outside the line of your vision will, obviously, elicit a fight-or-flight response.
We prefer insects that we can "understand”, says May – like honeybees and ladybirds. We even compose songs about them. Interestingly, May also posits that humans don’t like angular shapes. We prefer curved ones.
Wouldn’t that turn the diet industry on its head.