I love Spring. It is my favorite season. Plus, it always arrives after a bleak Winter of grey days and the ever present possibility of snow combined with its evil relative, Black Ice. Spring, for me, begins when pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training. The fact that that event comes in mid-February does not lessen the joy of its arrival.
But a few days ago I experienced another event that definitely signifies Spring’s arrival for me. I saw the season’s first bug. He looked like this:
He is ugly. No, wait. He is worse than that. He is oogly. He is the dreaded Thousand Legger. And calling him a centipede does not improve his appearance. Plus, I know he will soon be followed by his friends: water bugs, cockroaches, spiders, flies, mosquitoes, and worms. Every Winter, I forget that these creatures exist. (When was the last time you saw a thousand legger in the snow?) They must be like bears. Bugs probably hibernate during the cold weather and appear fully grown and hideous with the first sunny days of Spring.
They are unwanted guests who overstay their welcome. In the cold months, they are out of sight and out of mind. Unfortunately, that means their appearance always comes as an obscene shock to unexpectant humans. And they have a second act. No matter the day or date of their arrival, the night following their appearance, I dream of them. And they look like this:
There is only one saving grace that accompanies them: every other bug looks tiny and innocent in comparison. The true horror of a (I hate to even say it) thousand legger dwarfs every other bug that follows it. For example, this creature:
A mosquito is nothing at all compared to its truly evil relative. Mosquitoes can be avoided by using a spray (I’m told). Thousand leggers arrive unannounced and sprays are useless against them.
Baseball arrives with the sound of a hard ball exploding into a catcher’s glove. But it is inevitably followed by the creature of my nightmares. So it is with a combination of pleasure and dread I must say: Hello Spring.