Dear Bugs / by Courtney Mehlhaff

To: Anything with more than two legs that lives in my apartment.

Re: The recent tiny murder.

A most unfortunate incident occurred this evening that necessitates me writing this letter in the middle of the night.

Look, you know me. We've been sharing this space for, let's face it, probably your entire life cycle. So you're likely aware that from midnight until 7:30 a.m., I'm not to be disturbed.

And yet here I am, wide awake at 4:00, after being forced not only out of sorely-needed slumber but also to drop the hammer on one of your members. Or the shoe, as the case may be.

I took no joy in this act, largely because it stemmed from a direct violation of Rule #1. Had it been a lesser infraction, the punishment may have been less severe. As you know, I'm on record as having ignored Rule #2 on occasion, which takes considerable restraint.

If, for some reason, the rules have not been made abundantly clear, let me reiterate.

Rule #2:  I can never see you.

Rule #1:  You can never be in my bed.

This is the only foundation upon which our two species can ever peacefully coexist.

Now, I want to be magnanimous. I really do. We've all got lives to live, and nobody's perfect. But I pay the rent up in this bitch. And that means, above all else, no spiders in my sheets.

The point is, when the rules are so flagrantly disregarded, you leave me no choice. It is imperative that you understand one thing. When Rule #1 is disobeyed, NO QUARTER WILL BE GIVEN.

For the sake of continued good relations, I will chalk this up to an isolated incident and assume that the recently deceased was a rogue agent acting alone, perhaps with suicidal rather than malicious intent.

I am also willing to overlook the bite I recently (and I don't think coincidentally) sustained on my left calf. Should this injury continue to worsen or result in lasting bodily harm, all future communications will be conducted through my exterminator.

Thank you for your cooperation.