A request to the pests

By Lindsey Shi, ’16

Dear Sir or Madame Fly, Ladybug, Silverfish, Centipede, Ant, Caterpillar, and anything else of the multi-legged variety:

Just to be clear, I’m fine as long as I can’t see you. You can be crawling through the walls and scurrying around the windowsills of every classroom I set foot in, moving your many tiny legs at as nauseating a pace as you please, but as long as you keep yourself out of my central and peripheral vision I promise I won’t demand one of my long-suffering teachers to remove you from the room and dump you into the vast and unconquerable Outside. Things might get hostile if I glimpse your brownish, thick, and undulating legs, antennae, or wings on the corner of the window or on the tile under my chair. Most importantly, please do not land or crawl on my hair, shoulder, arm, hand, or face.

Although I can tolerate your existence, I don’t quite understand it. Is your natural environment in the walls of my high school? Most of you probably have some benefit to the soil or grass or something else; if not, you’re likely just a leftover byproduct of evolution gone wrong. Is there really a purpose for your unbearably annoying buzzing, frighteningly rapid crawling, and inexplicably ugly bodies? If so, take your talents somewhere else, because they are quite useless here.

Maybe you’re thinking, “I’ve been living the good life here for years: wood to crunch through, crumbs to feast on, space to stretch my legs.” Maybe that’s true, but the reason I am now so adamant about you staying out of my sight is because of a horrifying incident I endured during the second week of school.

I was in second period English, dutifully listening to my teacher discuss the summer reading novels, when I spotted a silverfish probably as long as the pencil I was holding speeding around on the floor very close to where I was sitting. Its legs, very long and cycling around with dizzying speed, were as captivating as New Year’s Eve fireworks.

I screamed, jumped on my chair, stopped breathing, started sweating, and almost lost my balance (not all in that order). My irritated teacher had an expression neither of fright (of the bug) nor sympathy (for me). She put it outside and resumed class as I warily sat down.

This traumatic encounter, as you can see, is the reason I have requested you prevent yourself from venturing into my field of vision. Continue living in the walls of the school if you must, but please, on any and all occasions, do not come out. Maybe then we can coexist peacefully in Upper Arlington High School.

Thank you.