The Thing That Bugs Me Most About Summer.

I’m always secretly quite happy when summer comes to an end.

My dad is a redhead and although I did not inherit this trait, somewhere deep down inside of me there is a recessive ginger gene that protests whenever I venture out into the sun.

There also tends to be quite a lot of bugs around in summer and I don’t like bugs very much.

I understand that bugs are an important part of our ecosystems and that all life is beautiful and sacred and I am happy to appreciate their integral role in the circle of life… as long as they don’t come anywhere near me.

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I am aware that bugs have a vital role in natural processes such as decomposition but when a bug is buzzing around my head the only thing breaking down my ability to tolerate its existence.

The number of bugs present is proportional to temperature.

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So it makes sense that, as summer comes to an end and the temperature begins to decrease, so does the bug population.

In the past week or so, I have noticed that there are fewer bugs outdoors.

It is as if the bugs have sensed the impending drop in temperature and have migrated in search of a warmer climate.

Unfortunately, that warmer climate just happens to be inside my house.

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The other day, my room was quite stuffy so I opened the window to allow some fresh air to enter.

Half an hour later, it was as if Pixar had decided to use my room as a filming location for the sequel to ‘A Bug’s Life’.

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Having a load of bugs in my personal space made me feel all icky inside so I began to waft the bugs towards the window in the hope that they would go back out of it.

After a while, I was left with one stubborn insect who refused to leave.

I had an empty mug on my desk so I decided that the best way to deal with the bug would be to trap it under the mug and then transport it back outdoors myself.bugs_LI (2)

Once I had managed to catch the bug, I realised that I needed to slide a piece of paper underneath the mug in order to move it.

So I left the bug buzzing around inside the mug and went downstairs to get some.

When I came back upstairs, my room was silent.

I lifted up the cup and the bug was gone.

I looked at the empty space where the bug had been and almost immediately my imagination rushed to fill it.

Because I could no longer see the bug, my mind began to create scenarios to explain its disappearance.

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I became convinced that there were only two ways in which the bug could have possibly escaped:
1) The bug had sent out an SOS signal to its bug friends who had performed a rescue mission in my absence.
2) The bug had somehow managed to teleport out of the mug.

I didn’t know what was worse:
1) Dealing with a legion of vengeful bugs seeking justice for the capture of their friend.
2) Dealing with some kind of cyborg technobug, probably sent back from the future with the sole purpose of brutally assassinating me.

Logically, I knew that a bug not have the cognitive capacity to form strategic plans to bring about my demise.

However, in my panic, the rational part of my brain ceased to function.

I ran into my brother’s room and told him of my concerns.

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My brother’s complete disregard for my panic calmed me.

Maybe I was just being silly.

Maybe there was no reason to be worried after all.

For the next couple of hours, there was no sign of the bug and by the time I went to bed, I had forgotten all about it.

However, just as I was about to fall asleep, I heard a faint buzzing arise from the darkness.

I got out of bed and turned the light on.

The buzzing stopped.

I frowned and thought that maybe I had imagined it. Maybe my mind was just playing tricks on me again.

I turned the light off and got back into bed.

Two seconds later, I heard the buzzing again.

I got out of bed and turned the light on.

Once again, the buzzing stopped.

At this point, I realised that I had evidentially misjudged the situation.

There was no army of cyborg technobugs.

There was just one bug and it was engaging me in a much more intimate form of physiological warfare.

The bug was playing mind games with me.

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I couldn’t see the bug in the dark and I couldn’t hear it in the light, meaning that I was unable to pinpoint its position with any degree of accuracy.

As a result, I wasn’t able to locate the bug until the following morning.

When I finally found it, I felt like a heroic protagonist facing up to their arch nemesis.

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Except I looked a bit more like this…

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If you enjoyed this post, feel free to check out some of my other posts. I often have profound thoughts on important, life-affirming subjects such as dogs, social awkwardness and scary animals that freak me out.

For more blog posts and drawings, you can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

How Not To Pack For A Holiday.

I live in UK – a country that is notorious for having bad weather.

However, I would argue that problem with the weather in the UK is not that it is consistently bad but that it is not consistent at all.summer_LI

In summer, the idea of travelling abroad in search of more consistently nice weather becomes very appealing, especially as the internet provides us with access to thousands of websites advertising exciting holiday destinations.

This year, however, the number of travel destinations available to me has been somewhat limited by the amount of money in my bank account.

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I have decided to stay at home this summer which is probably for the best because I am not very good at preparing to go on holiday.

This is mainly because I have a tendency to pack significantly more than I need in order to compensate for a range of (often completely implausible) scenarios.

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My tendency to pack excessive amounts extends beyond clothing.

When packing, I am fully conscious of the fact that I’m going on holiday for a couple of weeks.

However, for some reason, I insist on taking enough toiletries to open up a beauty store.

I guess I find it comforting to set off on my travels safe in the knowledge that if I was unable to return home, I would have sufficient supplies to establish a living for myself in the local cosmetics industry.

I probably read about four books in a three month period.

However, when I go on holiday, I pack under the assumption that my reading speed will increase so drastically that I will manage to get through the same amount of books in the space of a single week.

Once I have gathered everything that I intend to take with me together, I tend to spend around half and hour glancing back and forth between the mountainous pile of clothes, books and toiletries and my suitcase, thinking that fitting everything in will require me to defy the physical laws of the universe.

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Any sensible person would approach this task in a logical way, neatly folding each individual piece of clothing before placing them one by one into their suitcase.

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In contrast, I attempt to shorten the process by adopting a more unrefined ‘shove it all in and hope for the best’ approach.

This involves throwing all of my possessions into my bag in the hope that they will miraculously adopt the physical properties of a liquid and adapt to fit the shape of their container.

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When this doesn’t work, I resort to sitting on top of the suitcase and using my entire body weight in a vain attempt to compress its contents down to a size where it is possible to close the zip.

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When this proves ineffective, I add the force of gravity to the equation.

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However, the sheer force of my possessions pressing against the confines of the suitcase is enough to create an equal and opposite reaction that overwhelms the downward motion of my body.

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Once I have realised that the force of my willpower alone is not enough to pack my bag, I tend to adopt the more tactical approach of rolling my clothes up like burritos in order to reduce their volume.

However, reducing the volume of the luggage only serves to increase its density, meaning that by the time my suitcase is fully packed, it is so heavy that it develops its own gravitational pull.

Getting to the airport becomes a struggle between my desire to move forwards towards the departure gate and the force of my bag dragging me backwards.

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If you enjoyed this post, feel free to check out some of my other posts. I often have profound thoughts on important, life-affirming subjects such as dogs, social awkwardness and scary animals that freak me out.

For more blog posts and drawings, you can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram.