Among the insects made by God
A small blood-sucking arthropod
Called Cimex Lectularius
Was sent to bit and harry us.
Now, what possessed the Deity
To do this is a mystery.
Perhaps God felt in playful mood,
And said, “I’ll send this little dude
“To hide till folks are in repose,
“Then bite their ears, legs, necks and toes
“And wait to see humanity
“Engaging in profanity.”
God made these little bugs about
Wherever human beings were found.
In cave and hut both low and high,
God said, “Increase and multiply!”
And so they did – from ancient times
In frigid or in tropic climes.
They bit the bum and sucked the blood
Of Noah, floating on the Flood.
They bit the Pharaohs by the Nile,
And sucked the blood of Nero, while
He fiddled as he watched the flames
Of Rome. And if I mention names
Like Plato, Michelangelo
It’s really just to let you know
That even blokes as great as this
Received the bed bug’s bloody kiss.
Even the saintly Joan of Arc
(Surely her country’s brightest spark)
Went leaping to the fiery stake,
And cried, “I simply cannot take
“Another night in that damned bed,
“With bugs alive from toe to head.
“I’d rather face death’s blazing mystery.”
She did. The rest of course is history.
And what of Marie Antoinette,
Who said, “Five hundred bugs, I bet,
“Have bitten me, though I am Queen.
“I’d rather face the guillotine
“Than snuggle up with bugs again.”
They took her at her word. Amen.
In Oz, the Snowy River Man
Showed pluck and skill, the story ran,
To rein the herd of brumbies in.
His words reveal a different spin –
They echoed down the mountain crag,
“There’s bloody bed bugs in me swaaaag!”
And far away, in later years,
A cricket tale that still brings tears.
At Lord’s, in what some called bad luck,
Don Bradman made a Test Match duck.
“Bad luck?” he snapped, “It was like hell –
“There’s bed bugs in the team’s hotel!”
But worst of all, the bed bugs bit
The sleeping Adolph Hitler. It
Enraged him more than he could bear.
He chucked a tantrum then and there
He tore his hair, he stamped his boot,
He drew his gun, as if to shoot.
And cried, in anger more than sorrow,
“I’m starting World War II TOMORROW!”
So please, dear reader, search your room
Before you meet a painful doom.
Search your mattress, search your doona,
Do it now, or even sooner.
Search your floorboards’ cracks and crannies,
Search your own house, search your Granny’s,
Uncles, cousins, each relation.
Do not risk an infestation,
Lest we should all turn out to be
The casualties of World War III.
A poem by Dermot Dorgan