I’ve always been fascinated by the natural world. As a kid, I would spend hours pouring over what I called “information books” about animals and their ways. In my teenage years I would watch cartoon after cartoon featuring, strangely enough, animals that could talk and tell jokes. I was hooked.

Now as an adult in the big city, I’ve less and less opportunity to sit in nature. Yet even a desert has water (I think). It turns out that bugs are all over the city and-news flash- bugs are actually animals. Once I came to this realization I began to pay more and more attention to bugs and soon became an expert in their ways. After years of urban observation and hours of Artist’s Way-style free writing, I’m finally ready to share what I’ve learned. The following is a guide to how bugs kill themselves.


They Fly Into My Coffee

This has always been insane to me. To watch a fly flutter around the rim in morbid curiosity as if it’s never seen a cup before. It’s so freaking stupid I just can’t stand it. To everyone saying “maybe the fly has never seen a cup before,” you can seriously check yourself pronto. I’m at a coffee shop where everyone has a cup so the fly has definitely passed a bunch of cups before getting to my cup, a.k.a. La Death De La Fly.

They Sting Me

I’m talking about bees. They sting me and then they die. It’s so ironic because the bee thinks its doing this heroic act (they’re sacrificing themselves for the Queen!) so they probably think they’re taking me down with them. It’s like they don’t know that I don’t die too. To be honest I actually like the pinch of a little sting. It makes me feel alive to know how skewed the bee’s view of their death is. I also like pain.

They Form A Cocoon

I know the common wisdom is super sugarcoated for the sake of early elementary school curriculums but caterpillars do not transform into butterflies. They die in there. What comes out is their gravestone. That’s right: butterflies are gravestones that can fly. Their wings are just bible inscriptions. It’s ok if you disagree. It’s ok to be wrong.

They Get Bold In The Rain

Talking ‘bout worms. The rain makes them think the world will be wet forever so, like I said, they get bold and hang out on the wet sidewalk. You can tell they think they own the place the way they flop around like a bunch of toddlers under one of those playtime parachutes that counselors use to expose children to wonder. But then (DUH) the sun comes out and dries up the worm so it’s just this desiccated string of mush on the bottom of my shoe. I don’t blame myself. I’m just an agent of the worm’s entitlement.

They Meet A Spider

At this point if you’re a bug and you don’t avoid webs then you’ve made a choice. (Editor’s note: did you know that spiders aren’t bugs? They’re actually arachnids which is the same species as the platypus and the bat!)

They Fly Into Radiance

I’m talking about a fire or a hot lamp or a bug zapper or something. This makes sense to me. All of God’s creatures are born in darkness and our lives are just a series of desperate attempts to illuminate the shadows that are our birthright. Sorry not sorry but I can think of no more fitting end to a soul then becoming one with light.

They Cry

Most bugs have multiple eyes or really big eyes so when they cry they drown in their oversized tears. This is why most bugs are so in control of their emotions. When a bug is ready to go it just allows itself to feel sad and then it’s bye-bye bug! This technique hits home with me because sometimes I feel like I need to cry but then I stop myself. It’s like I’m blocked or something. I won’t allow myself to reach tears because that would be admitting I’m actually much sadder than I tell myself I am and that feels like dying!

They Befriend A Tongue

The bug think tongue a friend but it turn out it just frog deception.


As I look back through this helpful guide I can’t help but feel gratitude. Like all science writers, I’m merely a vessel through which nature whispers its many wonders. While scientists observe and document, science writers like myself observe and invent. That’s why these observations are so much fun to read—they are as factual as they are made up.

I hope the next time you look out your apartment window, you notice the splendor of the world around you. Bugs, birds, rats, and yes even people are all a part of an urban ecosystem that cares not for individual life so it’s good to think about how the little ones (bugs) choose to opt out of that system (life).

Again, thanks for reading and thanks for correctly assuming that I am willing to sell the movie rights to this piece if I am allowed to star, direct, and run sound.

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