Man vs Insects

insect1Forget any of the erudite arguments put forward against the existence of God by Dawkins or Hitchens. You want to disprove God? Just take one long look at the ocean floor, and behold some of the horrendous and upsetting abominations down there: things with see-through condom heads and eight hundred legs that drag themselves over the pitch-black seabed like luminous tumours; swarms of sentient, electrified cucumbers with neon afros; things that look like eyes perched on dismembered heels.

Allow me to crystalise my thoughts through the medium of song: and a one, and a two… and a one, two, three, four… “All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small…” Really? Really God? You made them all? Were you drunk, God? Did you have a fucking mental breakdown? Also, if these creatures are so crucial to your Jesus-related master-plan, then why did you hide them underneath 20,000 feet of crushing blackness?

Anyway, I’m not too concerned about the nightmares of the ocean. I don’t live there. When I visit, I just sort of trust that people are going to skim or fly me over it as quickly as possible. What I’m more concerned about is the land, specifically my little portion of it. I’m talking insects people. Hellish, hideous insects. God, I’m talking to you again: what possible reason, except for a laugh, could you have had for creating a slug, a woodlouse or a tic? Seriously, you’re mentally ill, mate.


Summer is upon us, which means that even as I write this hordes of insects are amassing at the peripheries of our suburban castles, just waiting for the right moment to breach the defences and invade. Spiders, flies, wasps, ants, beetles: the whole bug-ugly battalion of multi-legged motherfuckers; hideous creatures that look like they were brought into existence by the collective imaginations of Clive Barker and HR Geiger after a night of particularly heavy drinking.

Insects disgust and agitate me in ways that no other creature on earth has yet managed, with the possible exception of Katy Hopkins. I hate them because they’re travesties, abominations, and harbingers of filth and disease. I hate them because they make a mockery of my mission to protect the homestead from foreign invaders. I hate them because my primal programming compels me to avoid or destroy them. I hate them because they remind me of my own pointless and arbitrary existence on this planet. I’m a mere sack of meat, a host, a vessel, vulnerable, venal and killable: trapped in the ageless, endless cycle of shagging, spawning, shitting, eating and dying in which every species on earth is ensnared and engaged. And all of that comes into sharp focus whenever I see a spider stringing and spitting its arse-glue around my living room lampshade. I think I think too much. I think I need to get out more. (But in a fully-sealed bio-suit, of course) I wish I was a spider sometimes, if only so I wouldn’t have to worry about spiders all the time. (Note to God: if you do happen to exist, and the Buddhists were right, then please don’t be an asshole and read the previous sentence as a direct and literal appeal to you to reincarnate me as a spider. I was using your name conversationally, and you know it, you big rotter. FYI, I want to come back as myself again, only thinner and richer)


Summer’s influx of insects turns me into Howard Hughes, driving me to bouts of irrationality and insanity. I’ll gladly sit in the house suffocating myself half-to-death in the baking, dog-killing heat – the windows and doors clamped shut, gaffer tape stretched over every gap and crack – if my oxygen-sacrifice will prevent the entry of even one housefly. YOU… SHALL NOT PASS! As a child, I couldn’t eat my breakfast in the kitchen, or enjoy a simple shit in the bathroom, until every fly in the room had been snuffed out. I’d waddle around the bathroom snapping at flies with a hand-towel, always on the cusp of crapping myself, but despite the agony unable to sit, squat or shit until every last one was vanquished. The thought of those verminous swines lowering themselves onto my exposed buttocks mid-shit like some team of anal astronauts (Buzz Aldrin indeed) was too much to bear.

My fly fury wasn’t confined to the bathroom and kitchen. I had venetian blinds in my bedroom, which came in handy for my part-time career as a heroic fly exterminator. Each slat was perpetually splattered with the blood and pus of dead flies. I’d stun them, perch their break-dancing bodies on a slat, and then pull the cord to concertina them to death. My mum had to keep taking the blinds outside to scrub them down, doubtless wondering if her son was manifesting the behaviour of a nascent serial killer.


In our household, we kicked off summer with a war against ant-kind. Now, ants are great if they happen to be animated and voiced by Woody Allen. They’re not so great when they’re festooning your tiles and participating in a cheeky conga-line across your counter-tops. Their invasion was slow, insidious. I’d find a handful of them peppered over the tiles next to the kitchen window every morning. I’d snuff them out, squishing their little bodies like bubble-wrap beneath my fingers. They’d return, they’d die, they’d return, they’d die. Then, nothing. No ants. Not a single one. Days would pass. A week, maybe. I’d cautiously declare the republic of my kitchen an ant-free zone, rejoice in my victory over those mangy, mandibled monstrosities. Alas, the first ants were merely the scouts for a full-out invasion force. The ants returned, they always returned, but each time in greater number, swelling their ranks until my fingers were black with the blood of a hundred tiny soldiers. They made my bin-cupboard into a fortress. One day I opened the metal sugar tin – sealed so tightly that nary a microbe could squeeze between lid and box – to find them swimming through the sweet white sugar like kids larking in a summer lake. Naturally, I killed them all. Over endless weeks I watched them slip and scurry beneath and between tiles and cupboards like something out of the X-Files. I watched as they sent forth their scouts and raised an anty flag above our fridge. I raged, I ranted, I splatted and thumped. Killed, cleaned, shifted and scrubbed. I genuinely debated slicing off their tiny heads and spearing them on Blu-Tac-mounted toothpicks as a warning to the survivors. Nothing worked. Nothing could stop them. With a small, reasonably mobile child in the house, I was reluctant to opt for the nuclear option: chemical sprays and bait traps.

I discussed the problem with a lady at work. She appeared to have the answer. “I will tell you something that is guaranteed to work. Something that will send those ants packing, never to return. It’s simple, costless and effective, and it has always worked for me. What you must do is…”

…Just ask them to leave.”

I bought chemical bait traps. They fucked off. Yay genocide!


Flies and ants may be bad, but wasps are the worst. They’re psychotic. I once had one in my living room that buzzed and dive-bombed at me with the ferocity of an airborne tiger. I attempted to swat it with a phone book, which I assumed would at least subdue the unruly fucker. It didn’t. The wasp came at me madder, faster and harder. I retreated from the room and slammed the door behind me. I may even have whimpered. One thing was clear: I needed to regroup and formulate a strategy. First item on the agenda: how the hell do I regroup when there’s only one of me?

Let’s examine the enemy’s mindset by putting ourselves in its place for just a second. Imagine yourself hovering a hundred feet in the air with a jet-pack strapped to your back. Now imagine that a giant is swiping at you with a block of flats. What would you do? You’d probably whoosh off to safety, in the process splattering yourself with a good few litres of your own fear-scented shit. What you probably wouldn’t do is whip out a fork from your pocket and zoom towards the giant shouting, ‘LET’S FUCKING DO THIS, YOU BIG NONCE!’ I know that wasps are miniscule-brained, biological automatons, but credit where credit’s due, I know a hard bastard when I see one. Wasps are fucking mental cases.

Thankfully, insects have been less visible and less of a problem over the last few years – wasps especially – owing to our cold summers and even colder winters. This is why, despite how much I may whinge about the scattershot nature of the Scottish weather, I wouldn’t change its dire character for the world. Australia, South Africa, FL USA, everywhere else in the world where it’s hot and humid: enjoy your beautiful sunshine. But also enjoy your endless, nefarious hordes of slimy, creepy, crawly, stingy, bitey little bugs and beasts. I’ll be here watching the rain drum against my windows, snapping the occasional fly and snubbing the odd ant, happy that at least my unwelcome visitors don’t have fangs or venom.

Cunt of the Week (09 Jul 2012) by Jordan RA Mills

Jump on board Jordan’s Fun Bus. Final, and only, destination: Hell.

I’ve wanted to write a Cunt Of The Week piece since Jamie introduced this section of his blog, but didn’t quite get round to it. Partly this was because it would require deciding on the precise cunt I wished to afford the title, and that meant narrowing down a myriad of options. There are many cunts I have encountered, some anatomical, some abusive terms of hate, and some abstract applications of the word.

I have a couple of past bosses who are cunts, but I don’t like to write about them because it would take too long to illustrate their inherent cuntishness with innumerable examples; Edinburgh is a cunt, but I risk alienating much of the readership (and my potential comedy audience) if I pursue that. I think smokers, and the smoking ban, and cyclists, are all cunts. These are predictable, run-of-the-mill targets for the label, though. As is That Cunt Cameron, the man busily fucking up life for everybody in the UK, and I feel I would have to do some proper research to condemn him eloquently. Instead, I wrote FUCK THE TORIES across the back of a shirt, and wear it everywhere. It’s heartfelt, and something we can all agree on. Fuck them.

One American solution to the Megabus problem.

Having told you some of my considerations for the title, all of them dismissed, it is left to announce my present Cunt Of The Week. And what an utter fucking cunt I have lined up for the (dis)honour. Despite not having a TV, or even the internet (beyond the capabilities of my phone), it didn’t escape my attention that there was an incident on a Megabus the other day.

I’ve made many trips around the country in the past twelve years – up and down to London, Dundee, Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham, Buxton, Birmingham, for work, holidays, or for gigs. Some of these were spent in the company of friends, many more were conducted solo. Bus and coach travel on this island is a fucking nightmare at the best of times, regardless of the operator. My first ever trip down to London took eleven hours instead of (an equally unpalatable) nine; another trip down was marred by the driver blasting music all through the night, preventing us from sleeping; this was the same trip where they started to leave the service station before the scheduled time, leaving people behind.

An overnight bus trip from London to Glasgow took an hour to board, and then the double-decker broke down as we passed the Thames. And so we sat there, the engine turning over and over, before the driver eventually announced that a second bus would be joining us and we would have to transfer over to it. Twenty minutes’ later, he finally managed to get the engine going again.

On the way up the road, with no further problems, the secondary driver came up the stairs to admonish somebody for some minor misdemeanour – drinking, I think. Despite the wayward passenger apologising, the primary driver pulled onto the hard shoulder shortly afterwards, marched up the stairs to reiterate his mate’s threats (adding one about abandoning the guy at the next services), and then returned downstairs, whereupon he singularly failed to restart the bus. So it was, therefore, that a cramped and packed double-decker sat on the side of the motorway for two hours at 3a.m., again adding hours to an already unpleasant experience.

There are further personal examples too, but my complaints have always fallen on deaf ears and I long ago decided that it was always – ALWAYS – worth the extra cash to take the train or to fly instead. I cannot remember ever taking a coach trip to any part of the UK and disembarking thinking, ‘What a wonderful journey, I enjoyed that.’ Naw. It just doesn’t happen. 

The new Hamlet ad, perhaps?

This week’s cunt, then, is whoever took it upon themselves to prolong the misery of an entire coachload of passengers by seeing something ‘suspicious’ (in the form of an electronic cigarette: witchcraft, I suspect, to some of the cretins who populate this sorry excuse for a nation). Instead of challenging the person, or quietly alerting the driver, they managed to get the bus pulled over, caused the motorway to be closed in both directions, and get responded to by – at the BBC’s estimate – 24 armed response officers, 18 fire appliances, 25 police vehicles, 4 ambulances, 2 bomb disposal units, and 2 sniffer dogs. That’s cuntery that you can quantify right there. 

Is THIS how it happened? Full, second-by-second reconstruction to follow.

Whoever you are, well done for being such a spineless cunt that you couldn’t simply ask, ‘Excuse me, what are you doing?’ and instead grassed an innocent person up to a fucking bomb squad. Everyone on the coach was made to leave it with guns trained on them, and as someone who grudges the slightest delay caused by a fuck-witted backward passenger, I can only begin to imagine the sheer hatred I would have for you had I been on that bus.

I hope you are suitably embarrassed, you time-wasting cunt.


Jordan RA Mills

THIS WEEK’S GUEST WRITER Jordan R.A. Mills writes lots, some would say too much, but he is mostly a good cunt and so people tolerate his wordy indulgence. He keeps a blog about his stand-up comedy adventures – – and recently wrote an acclaimed short satire of the medium, which was filmed and can be watched here

Jordan is perhaps best known for devising and producing the Children’s ITV series ‘Gangsta Troll’, which featured the aforementioned troll and his two best mates: an owl who wore gold medallions, and chain-smoked with the help of a terrified sparrow; and a labrador called ‘Big Dave’, who could scratch hip hop records. Everyone’s favourite episode was the one where Gangsta Troll had a rap battle in the street against a wise-cracking pigeon. The series was cancelled when Jordan produced the episode ‘ABC, Open Wide For Me’, in which Gangsta Troll took lots of magical meth that caused him to shit letters of the alphabet into a policeman’s mouth.

Jordan died in 1987.