By DARREN HANDSCHUH
There are benefits to every season, but that time between the cold of winter and the oven-heat of summer is by far the best.
Some people call it springtime.
It is when temperatures rise to comfortable levels, trees break out in leaf and residents of the Okanagan come out of hibernation like pasty white ghosts to once again enjoy outside activities.
But humans are not the only ones waking from a winter slumber.
Bears are waking up from their annual slumber and woodland creatures of all shapes and sizes are venturing into the sun in search of food and some, um, er, well, you know.
But there is a more, insidious breed of creature waiting to resume it's reign of terror upon the land. A beast of such horror grown men and small girls flee in stark raving fear.
I refer, of course, to bugs. I hate bugs. Doesn't really matter what kind of bug it is, I hate 'em.
Even suspecting a bug is on me is enough to make me twitch and dance around like a fool. I could pretend to care if people see me spaz out, but what is more important looking cool to those around you or getting rid of a bug, or even the possibility of a bug being on you.
Well, call me Disco Darren because I will do the bug dance every time and I do not care who is around to see it.
�Excuse me, but is your husband OK?�
�Yes, he's fine. He just has a bug on him. Or near him. Or he is thinking about them. Or someone told him there was a bug with 20 metres of him. Or he felt something brush against him and he assumed it was a bug. Or...�
Snakes � no big deal. In fact, they are pretty cool.
Bears � treat them with caution and respect and you will be fine, but there is no rational way to deal with a bug because bugs are pure evil. They are mindless monsters with a single mission in life � to crawl down my shirt.
That has got to be one of the worst feelings in the world. And even after you get rid of the bug, you spend the next several minutes imagining there are more of them crawling over your skin.
When you are on fire you are supposed to stop, drop and roll. When a bug crawls into your clothes it is more like strip, smash and flail.
And those little mutli-legged beasts are the one thing about spring I truly hate. After a bug-free winter, your defenses are down, your reaction time has slowed and you have been lulled into a false sense of bug-free living.
So when the bugs do start coming back out, I spend more time dancing than Fred Astair.
Even as I sit here writing this in a relatively bug-free office, I can feel hundreds of the little blighters crawling all over my head in a bid to race down my neck, get under my shirt and build a nest in my arm pit.
I am not sure if this is true or not, but I have heard stories of spiders laying eggs just under someone's skin and that person carries the eggs around until they hatch and a billion little spiders come cascading out.
If that were to ever happen to me, well, let's just say it is a good thing I have a life insurance policy.
If I survive the horror and my heart doesn't leap out of my chest and go running down the block, I would likely never set foot outside of a hermetically sealed room again.
At least not without a full bio suit on.