My biggest bugbear; BUGS (not bears though)

BUCKLE UP AND GRAB A DRINK KIDS. I’m concocting this post mid-freakout. I’ve never actually written a post in the middle of a moment of OCD fear. Maybe it will come across as raw and sincere, perhaps it will contain my usual dry humour, or maybe it will just be a frantic mess of swearing and double spaces.

A few days ago, I heard a strange noise coming from the direction of my cupboard. It sounded like a really gentle rustling – you know the noise when you screw something up and then it makes gentle little clicking noises as it un-rustles. Anyway, the rustling stopped, so I moved on and I got on with my goddamn life like nothing had happened (as normal people do…because I am normal).

Fast-forward to this afternoon. I’m sat on my rug, minding my business (like normal people do) and I hear the noise again but slightly more apparent this time. This causes my ears to prick up a little more than before. FOOL ME ONCE, YOU MYSTERIOUS LITTLE CUPBOARD NOISE. I approach my cupboard with narrowed eyes. There’s a box where I’ve always stored food and snacks for Dave The Hamster™ and it crosses my mind that I should check it out.

So I lift the jars of hammo muesli and biscuits out of the box and everything seems fine. The box is clean and there doesn’t seem to be anything amiss. No little mice. No secret family of mini Daves that he’s been hiding from me out of shame or fear. Ah, the calm before the proverbial storm. THE NOISE HAPPENS FOR A THIRD TIME. But this time I’m prepared. I’m poised. Ready. 

I narrow the noise down to a sealed, unopened bag of dried hamster muesli. I know it’s this bag because (I’m struggling to write this next bit without combusting) I can (my whole body has goosebumps) HEAR the noise of lots of little tiny THINGS moving around inside the bag. My heartbeat quickens and I can feel the hairs on my neck popping up to see what’s going on. Stage one of an OCD freakout; fear. I proceed to send to my sister a voice-note; an unnervingly calm invitation to investigate the mysterious moving bag with me. (I really wish you guys could hear said voice-note because in hindsight, it’s jokes.)

After tapping calmly and quietly on my sister’s bedroom door, we take the offending bag to the table in the garden. My v.brave and eternally collected sister pulls the bag open and pours some muesli out AND THERE ARE BUGS, MY FRIEND. Tiny little gross disgusting wriggly vile BUGS. OKAY? YOU WERE WANTING AN ANSWER TO THE MYSTERY WEREN’T YOU? WELL THERE YOU BLOODY WELL HAVE IT. (Sorry lol stage two of an OCD freak out: anger.)

Now, believe me when I tell you that I don’t mind insects in general. In fact I’d go as far as to say that I’ve a keen interest in entomology. But an uninvited TOWN of insects living rent-free within my otherwise clean and cosy living room? It’s an absolute no from me I’m afraid. 

Anyway, muesli-gate happened an hour ago and I’m now sat on my sofa feeling serenely traumatised. I didn’t even know you could feel serenely traumatised, but here we f***ing are. The last hour has been a weird one. I rapidly progressed through the 6 stages of an OCD freakout: fear, anger, research, more fear, a couple of tears, and then beautiful numb acceptance. During the numb acceptance stage I drank hot chocolate with my sister and repeatedly said “I’m absolutely fine”, before making a few frantic (but well received) bug-related jokes.

Apparently the tiny bugs are called weevils. They sound like cute, fluffy and probably very friendly kids television characters – but don’t be naive enough to duped by their adorable name. I’ve seen them. I was there. I lived weevils, man. 

They’re tiny beetles which just so happen to be a really annoying (but harmless) common pest. They sometimes exist within grains and starches that you bring home from the supermarket and you don’t really realise they’re there until you hear a mysterious noise in your cupboard whilst you’re painting a miniature clay model of your dogs.  They mostly happen in cereals, rice and flour I think.

(I just purchased a magnifying glass from amazon so I can check every piece of food before it enters my facial zone let alone my mouth but I’m not panicking YOU’RE PANICKING).

So, why does the idea of these common, harmless house pests bother me so much? Perhaps it harps back to the ‘inside vs outside’ mentality that OCD used to convince me was logical. The inside of my house felt clean and safe, and outside felt germ-infested and dangerous. Anything that blurred that line between inside and outside was very likely to cause an internal meltdown. This is the only reason I can think of as to why events such as muesli-gate trigger such a fear reaction for me.

Update: I’m still sat in the same place on my sofa (lol), feeling a little more calm after writing this post and compartmentalising my strange fear reaction. Blogging helps me tremendously in terms of working out why I react to things the way I do. I still need to build up the courage to go back into that room, which is hilarious really because the weevils were in a sealed bag which I have now thrown away. “Because”, screams the little OCD monster within me, “who needs logic when you can have OCD?”.

Sidenote: I always picture my OCD as Slappy from Night Of The Living Dummy heh you know the one.

So did muesli-gate trigger my OCD? Yes… Did I deal with the situation calmly and logically? I guess so, according to my sister… Was this blogpost the greatest suspense novel of all time? I don’t wanna misread the situation but it absolutely without a shadow of a doubt f***ing was, yeah.

I hope you’ve all had a great weekend and that you smash next week out of the park WHILST ALSO being cautious of small but prevalent muesli demons in your cupboards.

Mim x

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