I have to admit, limiting this list to the Five Best Bugs was really, really difficult. Like, way more difficult than deciding which of the seventy billion prom invitations that I received my senior year of high school I should accept. Like, way more difficult than finding out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Brand Tootsie Pop before you just get bored already and bite down on the damn sucker.
BECAUSE I LOVE BUGS.
I love bugs so much that a very dear friend (bless her heart) thought I was trying to send some kind of secret message when I once sent her a picture I took of a French Canadian spider, and who could blame her? BECAUSE WHO THE HELL IN THEIR RIGHT MIND STANDS AROUND IN SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT TAKING PICTURES OF SPIDERS FOR FUN?
Because I love bugs.
And I want you to love them too. So I'd like to introduce you to a few of my favorite bugs, my favorite bugs because they are the greatest bugs of all the bugs in all the land.
1. Cicada (Magicicada)
Cicadas are MAGIC, and I know because SCIENCE SAYS SO. And why does science say so? Because these little guys hatch in trees, fall to the ground, and bury themselves in the ground for up to seventeen freaking years. Which means if you were born on the same day as a cicada, you'd already have your Harvard rejection letter before that little insect sees the light of day again.
My favorite cicada is the Brood X cicada, the most long-lived and evil-looking bugger you'll ever see. Black-bodied, beady red eyes, I bore witness to its most recent reemergence in 2004, and routinely creeped out my very tall, buff, and very manly boyfriend every time we came across one. I'd pick them up and let them crawl all over my arms and make kissy noises at them and wish they'd live longer than a couple of weeks so that I could take them home as pets and love them forever and ever amen.
All of my co-workers complained about how noisy the cicadas were and how icky it was when they all died and their carcasses were everywhere and crunched under their feet every time they walked out to the driveway and got into their cars, but in 2021 you'd better believe I'm going to be right here waiting to welcome the swarm with open arms.
2. Firefly (Photuris pennsylvanica)
Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love the stars (in the SKY, not on the TELEVISION, ahem), and if the stars came to Earth I think they'd come as fireflies.
Also, their butts glow. AWESOME.
3. Ladybird (Coccinellidae)
Underneath that freakishly adorable and universally loved exterior lies the heart (um, dorsal vessel, actually; see, insects have open circulatory systems so they lack a true heart (kinda like me)) of a cold-blooded killer. Don't believe me? The city of New York routinely sets loose swarms and swarms of ladybugs to eliminate to population of less, uh, desirable six-legged bugs.
Nature's perfect killer they are.
4. Love bug (lecia nearctica)
Love bugs spend their entire adult lives doing nothing but doing IT. And these little buggers taught me that LOVE SUCKS, because growing up in Florida I'd see billions of these little perverts going at it, like, constantly. And what did that get them? Smeared across the windshield of my car, that's what.
But love bugs seem to be a purely Southern phenomenon, so if you know the love bug then you, my friend, are my friend. Plus, urban legend holds that love bugs are nothing but a University of Florida genetics experiment gone horribly wrong, and if I needed yet another reason to hate the Gators (AS IF!), this would be it.
DON'T MESS WITH MOTHER NATURE, YO.
5. Jewel Wasp (Ampulex compressa)
I'll keep this short so as not to traumatize Jennie!, but this fucking bug turns cockroaches into ZOMBIES. For serious. It inserts a stinger into the brain of a cockroach, injects a venom which disables the cockroach's reflexes, and then RIDES ON THE BACK OF THE COCKROACH, USING THE COCKROACH'S ANTENNEA LIKE REINS TO STEER IT TO ITS LIAR, WHERE IT LAYS ITS EGGS IN THE ZOMBIE COCKROACH. And then the little bitty baby jewel wasps hatch and eat the cockroach alive.
DUDE. If I had this power, ALL EARTH WOULD TREMBLE BEFORE ME. And that makes the jewel wasp SO BOSS.
Also, I really like saying the word cock.
What is NOT on my list? The motherfucking fruit fly, which has INFESTED my GODDAMNED apartment courtesy of the two MOTHERFUCKING yucca plants I bought at Ikea. Moral of the story: YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.
*You can thank the aforementioned Jennie! for this visual.