As much as we know that all creatures are doing their part in nature, we just can’t help hating some or at the very least being freaked out by them.


By Mary Lynn Bruny

Recently when our son Alex and his girlfriend Aimee were over, Alex looked at the drinking glass in his hand that had a bee design and asked, “Are these flies on these glasses?” This cracked the rest of us up. “No,” I replied. “Why would we have glasses with flies on them?”

But this got us talking. Really, why not? Why do we find bees attractive and flies abhorrent? They are both insects out in the world just doing their thing. And yet in our minds one is worthy of adoration (and replication on countless household goods) and the other is pretty much universally loathed and met with an fly swatter.

But as much as we know that all creatures are doing their part in nature, we just can’t help hating some or at the very least being freaked out by them. People seem to fall into some very distinct camps in terms of who gives them the willies.

Spiders in general are not well liked. There is something about the combination of the numerous scampering legs, the eyes and the (sometimes) hairy bodies that does not read “adorable.” Plus the whole poisonous thing is pretty terrifying. However, I would content that the daddy long legs is a pretty endearing spider. They are the chill Rasta-like spiders with the way they lackadaisically amble along on their comically long legs. Plus that whole walking on water thing is a pretty groovy move.

Mice – though cute as heck – are also loathed by many. Their teeny presence scampering across a floor can cause a beefy man to jump on furniture to flee it, something I find absolutely hilarious. Certainly a 250-pound guy has a bit over a few ounces of skittering fur, but critter fear is not logic based. Plus their larger cousins with those eerie red eyes and long tails are not so adorable. Once I was walking in Central Park with a friend who screamed and jumped when a huge squirrel ran right in front of us across the path. I laughed at this city boy until he told me it was actually a rat. I didn’t even know they grew this large.

But I’d have to say snakes win the most loathed award. People who hate snakes really, really hate snakes. When our family had a hay farm there was a plethora of bull snakes, known as “good” snakes as they are not poisonous or overly aggressive and eat up troublesome varmints. But we knew never to use the “s” word around visitors. If they asked we said we occasionally saw snakes. Truth was we saw plenty. Often we picked them up thinking they were sticks. (That gets your attention and the old heart pumping.) Once we came home from a trip and were greeted by a six-foot one dozing against our front door, a very effective and eco-friendly security system.

You would think a woman who can handle large snakes could handle flies. But I really dislike flies, mainly because I absolutely hate maggots. In our first month at the farm I discovered a outbuilding trashcan chock full of writhing maggots. It was like scene from a horror movie. Then we had an attic vent that their gross little white squirming bodies were falling from (probably due to a dead mouse) onto our couch where I was sitting. This is definitely not something one wants to experience – maggots dropping on your head. So, no, I will not own drinking glasses with fly designs on them. Daddy long legs maybe, but definitely not flies.

By Mary Lynn Bruny. Mary Lynn Bruny writes about local real estate and home-related topics. Contact her at [email protected]. To read previous The Lighter Side articles, go to