Saturday, July 4, 2009

Existential Thoughts on Silverfish

The whippersnapper has a deck of insect flashcards that we like to look through. One of the cards is for silverfish. I simply cannot see any purpose for this disgusting creature. Its body, with all its legs and far too many whiskery appendages, is so off-putting that even if it had a purpose, like fending off termites or something, it would be hard to love. It is astounding in its grossness and uselessness.

It’s not merely a matter of how ugly it is though. No. It leaves a horrid powder behind when you move it or kill it. It eats paper and starches, meaning it will chomp through books, newspaper, photos, sugar, old photos, hair, dandruff. It will even eat silks and other linens and leathers, and if that weren’t enough—if it hadn’t snacked its way through the entire contents of your house and body, it can survive for a year on nothing! That’s right! As far as I can tell from my exhaustive research on Wikipedia, which included a slight grammatical correction on the silverfish entry, there is no known benefit to having them in existence.

Earwigs, which I was also going to say how much I hate and that serve no purpose whatsoever except to be disgusting, eat silverfish. Suddenly, earwigs aren’t so bad. And in rare cases, spiders eat silverfish too. Now, we all know spiders eat many harmful bugs and so they do have a purpose, even though their unnatural and evil little legs and loads of eyes would have you believe the opposite. So, earwigs and spiders can stay. I even feel slightly bad for killing the huge earwig that I found in the bottom of a bag the other day. (Although living in the bottom of my bag extends the boundaries of my good will towards earwigs quite a bit.)

The definition of pestilence: silverfish

2 comments:

M said...

I wonder what they think of us.
They probably see these huge lumbering blobs, that are soft on the outside instead of the inside. Blobs that have to constantly consume huge amounts of food and liquids.

They were on this lands millions of years before us, so they must wonder what's the purpose of us coming into THEIR home. Why we keep covering up their place with concrete, asphalt, vinyl, lead paints, bricks, asbestos, etc, etc.

They leave a little powder behind which is much less horrid then all the things we leave behind. All the things we leave behind in the air, the ground, oceans, lakes, rivers...

They must not understand why we took their natural food materials that they have lived on for millions of years and turned them into really badly tasting books, newspaper, photos, sugar...

Sierra Godfrey said...

M, I'm sure the feeling is entirely mutual. Thanks for commenting!

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