COLUMN: Bugs of the Revolution

This is my Sunday column for the July 4, 2010 edition of the Hibbing Daily Tribune. A version of this piece was broadcast with full dramatic presentation on the July 4, 2009 edition of “Between You and Me” on 91.7 KAXE. The project is known in shorthand as “Bug Congress,” among the strangest things I’ve ever done in my writing career.

Bugs of the Revolution
By Aaron J. Brown

On this special day for America we remember the many historic events that allow you and me to live in the freedom, prosperity and abject apathy of today’s U.S.A. After all, some of the signers of the Declaration of Independence watched their houses burn to the ground before being drawn and quartered. Something like that, anyway. My internet was down when I was writing this. Facts are pesky, just like bugs. Living the way we do in northern Minnesota, bugs are a fact of life, much like how oxygen, water and food are essential to survival and yet, in varying combinations, likely to kill you.

Indeed it seems the bugs of northern Minnesota respect a cherished tradition of freedom, bravery and order, not unlike the vision set forth by our American founders. Ha! I wonder what the Continental Congress of Bugs would have looked like. (yawning, stretching). Boy, I sure am tired. Not sure I can …. finish this column … so sleepy … that sure is funny, though … a bug congress … a bug congress … a bug congress…
(dreamy fade-out sound) (sound of gavel, constant buzzing in background)

JOHN HANBUG: Order, order. I, John Hanbug declare this session of the Continental Bug Congress to be open. The chair recognizes the honorable Thomas Junebug.

THOMAS JUNEBUG: Gentlebugs, we all know how much controversy has occurred lo these many days and how hard that would be to encapsulate in a column published in a small regional daily newspaper. Sufficed to say … Ack! (dies).

HANBUG: He’s dead. Junebugs don’t live long. The chair recognizes the honorable delegate with a long lifespan Benjamin Frantlin. Hey, wait. I thought the only ants that lived a long time were females.

BENJAMIN FRANTLIN: Don’t press the premise, John, there are limits. There’s an old saying I once published in my tiny newspaper: if it’s wet and sticky, you should just shut up and eat it.

HANBUG: What do you have to say?

FRANTLIN: Have you considered that while we drone on, quite literally, there is a very bright light somewhere off in the distance, just barely visible, mostly likely a house where we’ll be swatted but also possibly a wondrous land of nectar?

HANBUG: This isn’t going anywhere. The chair recognizes the honorable Fly Adams.

FLY ADAMS: Thank you. I think we can safely say that we are all here to beat back the swatter of oppression and reclaim this pool of standing water in this old tire for our larvae. As a fly, I have but 24 hours of life to give, but in this my 23rd hour I stand for independence. We must … Ack! (dies).

HANBUG: Another dead bug. What I wouldn’t do for a vertebrae and circulatory system? Wait, who are you?

FLY QUINCY ADAMS: I am Fly Quincy Adams, son of Fly Adams. I call for independence!

RICHARD HENRY “DEER TICK” LEE: I, Richard Henry “Deer Tick” Lee, so move. Let’s all stand up for our freedom to feast on the blood, skin and patience of our human oppressors. Freedom.

EPILOGUE: And the republic stood for hundreds of hours, which in human years is the same as forever.

Aaron J. Brown is a columnist for the Hibbing Daily Tribune. Read more at his blog or in his book “Overburden: Modern Life on the Iron Range.”

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.