Petri: I may be a bloodsucker, but keep me out of politics

As a proud bedbug, I am apolitical. I’ll make a blood meal at a Trump resort or the New York Times.

By Alexandra Petri

The Washington Post

To Whom It May Concern and Bosses of Whom It May Concern,

Please, I would like to be kept out of this mess.

I know that, as a bedbug, this is not a phrase you would expect to hear vibrate forth through my rostrum, but hear me out.

I am just trying to live my life. Instead, I have been thrust into a story I never asked to be part of. This is not my fight, and I don’t know any of the people involved. Please, stop using me to insult people. I don’t know these people. I don’t know anything other than that some of them emit kairomones and I need to make use of them for a blood meal to escape my final nymphal stage. That’s it. So stop invoking my name! Fight your own battles.

I understand very well that I am not welcome in your society. This is the double standard. I have spent a long time developing a thick, chitinous skin, covered with bristles and hairs. But that does not mean that words do not sting, too.

I am a bedbug. And I don’t see any shame in being a bedbug. I have been a bedbug for as long as I remember. I am proud to be a bedbug. I come from a long line of bedbugs. My great-great-grandparents arrived on this mattress days ago.

And yet because I may have chosen to frequent a Trump property a while back and to situate myself at the New York Times, I have seen my name and my family’s name dragged through the mud. I just want to retreat somewhere warm and dark with my blood meal, though, to be fair, that is not unusual.

On the Internet, it is easy to hide behind a screen. But I defy you to come to the mattress where I reside, eat a delicious blood meal and say what you have said there about how undesirable my presence is in front of my 600 to 800 larvae. I ask you to look into my eyes (located above my prothorax but below my antennae) and say that I am not welcome, and that I have not got just as much right as anyone else to spend my time and hard-earned savings to devour my blood meals at a Trump property.

Why am I entitled to such calumny? I am not the attorney general of the United States, who ought to know better than to host a big event at a Trump property. I am just looking for a loose baseboard, a warm dark area, and a host to pierce with my mandibles to make my blood meal, which as I have stated is necessary for me to move from one nymphal stage to the next. What have we done wrong? Nothing! We have just as much right to be in any newsroom as a Washington Post roach or BuzzFeed bee.

And yet we have been insulted and dragged into fights that were not ours at every turn. I have had a long day full of traumatic insemination and blood meals, and I just want to lay eggs in everything I possibly can without being dragged into your mess. Make no mistake: Ordinarily, to be dragged into your mess is the one dream of my heart. But this time I have had enough.

Follow Alexandra Petri on Twitter @petridishes.

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