Fall: The Deadliest Season

Summer is officially over and bugs are dying by the truckload. To be honest, I’m totally OK with the fact that fall is the deadliest season (cue the maniacal laughter). I’ve been swatting bugs with the windshield of my car all summer, and frankly, I’m tired of it.

Driving in the summer means roads are nice you can have the windows down, but it isn’t all glitter and stardust. Why? Because bugs are out in force.

“Look through the windshield, not at it,” my illustrious uncle once said. It’s good advice, but when I’m driving off into a setting sun and I can see nothing but a vague outline of a car through the splattered remains of flies, mosquitoes and a recently obliterated cloud of gnats, it makes it awfully difficult.

Driving in the summer  makes it virtually impossible to keep your windshield clean. A certain instance from this summer break springs to mind. I had just washed my car and vigorously scrubbed off the remains of a demolished battalion of dragonflies from day 79 of the Great Bug War of Summer. Then I made the mistake of driving home in the evening.

The drive started off inconspicuously in Fargo, with nothing but concrete and asphalt. Then I made it to the countryside, where I immediately clobbered a yellow butterfly that left an awful smear on my clean windshield.

“Oh bleep,” I said, flipping on my windshield wipers. Luckily, past me had enough foresight to pour some Bug-X in with my windshield wiper fluid. The butterfly disappeared with one swipe of the wipers. Thank goodness for Bug-X.

Then I reached low country and sloughs. A black cloud of mosquitoes descended onto the highway. I had time to wonder why so many bugs needed to cross the road before I hit the wall of vile creatures.

“My windshield!” I sobbed as I carved a car-sized swath through the mosquitoes.

I furiously pulled on the lever for wiper fluid, but my efforts were ineffectual. My windshield wipers flailed wildly, but they couldn’t keep up with the furious pace of the mosquitoes, which slowly overwhelmed the opposition put up by the wipers and Bug-X. On top of the slowly accumulating mosquitoes, a gigantic bumblebee added a horrific splatter just out of range of the wipers. I had a minor mental breakdown.

Writing this now gives me pause. What would society think of a young man — some might say (those dreaded words) a responsible adult — who completely loses it because of a few insects? But at the time I didn’t give it any thought. I just sobbed my way down the highway, windshield wipers flailing limply, completely and utterly mentally broken.

This rambling story highlights the one and only reason why fall is my favorite season. As you read this, bugs are kicking the bucket left and right.

I recently found a pile of dead flies in front of my door.

“Hallelujah,” I shouted. The bugs are finally on their way out. Praise be.

There are, it must be said, plenty of things to dislike about fall. I once followed a chugging combine for three miles before I finally managed to pass it. It gets cold and windy, rainy days have a very high level of suckage, the disappearing leaves serve as a constant reminder of the brutal winter to come and pumpkin spice comes out in force.

But the disappearance of bugs makes it all OK. I love nothing more than looking out at a frosty fall morning with a coffee in hand and realizing that the frost on my window means another metric ton of bugs just met their maker. You’re pretty cool, fall. You’re pretty cool.


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