Wednesday, November 28, 2018

COLUMN: Earwigs

Forgive my crudity this week, but I'm afraid I need to trash talk a little.

Modern living is amazing. In my lifetime alone, we as a people have made some pretty tremendous Jetsons-like leaps of progress. I remember tube TVs that proudly picked up three local static-filled channels. I remember when records weren't "vintage" and was simply the way music came. I remember when my family was at the cutting edge of technology because my dad had a "portable" pager that was still too big to fit in most pockets.

It seems hard to fathom, but once upon a time, I survived quite easily without a phone that could stream movies, play music, keep tabs on our President, or assist angry birds in swine genocide at the push of a button. The future is here, and it's pretty amazing.

But at the same time, we're still a good distance away from proper Jetsons-level cool. Where's my jetpack? My flying car? I look outside and see no people-sized pneumatic tubes that can whoosh me to work and back. Science and technology have given us many blessings, but I'm pretty sure if we all put our heads together and focused, we could really make some historic leaps and bounds in modern laziness, people.

For example: we should have a WAY better system for handling our trash.

Landfills, global warming, carbon footprints, climate change, litter, paper vs. plastic, recycling, composting, environmentalism. These are all words that important journalists should focus on. Thankfully, I'm not one of them. I'm just tired of having to bag my trash up and take it out to the bin, over and over and over again. This is counter-productive towards my aspiring goals of laziness. 

Taking the trash out takes manhours (or at least man-minutes), motivation, and exertion -- three things that I can personally live without. I just took out a bag of trash and I'm pretty sure I missed at least two important television commercials that some poor corporation spent good money on. Taking out the trash is unfair to capitalism and the free market. Plus, it's horribly hazardous to your health. The last time I tried to walk my trash out to the curb, I fell and broke my ankle and had to spend the next six weeks in a cast.

I know what you're thinking -- Shane, didn't that happen, like, four years ago? Yes, yes it did. And that, friends, was indeed the last time I took my trash out to the curb. How my trash has gotten there since is completely beyond me. I like to think of it as one of those mysteries of science that perhaps we'll never be able to explain.

Or maybe I just have a VERY nice neighbor. All I know is every Monday, I wake up, my trash is already out at the curb, and I'm not asking questions. I don't know if someone's being nice or if someone just wants to use the excess space in my bin for their excess trash. Frankly, I don't care. I'm just grateful.

Still, though, I'm pretty sure there's room to be a little lazier. My trash might magically make its way to the curb every week, but I still have to go to the effort of bagging it up and putting it in the bin. I thought I could handle this simple task -- until this week.

Last Sunday I had a couple bags of trash that needed tossing, so in a fit of pure unadulterated motivation, I put on shoes, walked the trash down the back steps, opened the lid of my trash bin... and screamed in horror.

I hate taking out the trash -- but I hate bugs a whole lot more. And when I threw back the lid of my trash bin, I would approximate somewhere around thirty earwigs became airborne, landing in my hair, on my arms, on my shoes, and just generally everywhere you don't ever want earwigs to land.

Now, I'm a grown adult. I know fully well that earwigs don't ACTUALLY crawl into your ear and lay eggs -- but they sure LOOK like they do. In the grand pantheon of insectdom, earwigs are fairly harmless. That still doesn't mean I'm in any hurry to have dozens of the pincer-waving montrosities rain down on my head. I hope none of my neighbors heard me yell, "Gaaaaaaak!" and dance around in horror in my back yard. It wasn't my best moment. Don't worry, the denizens of my surprise earwig condo have since been evicted with extreme prejudice, but just imagine how many important television commercials I missed for THAT.

I'm just saying that if technology stepped up, I could put broken ankles and earwigs behind me for good. How? Don't ask me, I'm no scientist. Maybe some kind of hygenic hole in the floor that you toss garbage down and it disappears forever and ever, no questions asked. At the very least, you'd think I could purchase and install some kind of sassy, back-talking robot maid to handle waste management with skill and comedic one-liners aplenty.

I don't like to trash talk, but we need to step it up if we wanna be as cool as George Jetson.

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