I hate bugs. I really hate bugs. And I'm scared of bugs. And I don't think this is unreasonable.

When I was young, when I saw a big bug, I'd get my mother and tell her to kill it. She'd have that face on like, "I can't believe this is my son." But I make no apologies. Think about it--

People are scared of monsters. And bugs are tiny monsters. Picture a person-sized fly or a person-sized beetle. That's a blatant monster, right? So why does being a tiny monster let bugs off the hook? They're still a monster.

Bugs are little monsters that fly. How scary is that?? And not only do they fly, but they fly towards people. And land on people. And then they BITE you.

People are scared of mice. Why? I don't get it. They're little and furry and cute. When's the last time you were bitten by a mouse? Now, if mice looked terrifying instead of cute, and instead of darting around trying to avoid humans at all costs, they flew through the air and landed on people and then BIT people after landing on them-- well, then I'd hate mice. And I'd be very, very afraid of mice.

But that's not the case. Mice don't do that. Only bugs do that.

People are scared of snakes. Why? It makes no sense. They're sleek and handsome and they want nothing to do with people either. They only bite when you scare the shit out of them. And they don't fly.

Christ, I heard a fact one time that the average person has eight spiders a year crawl in their mouths while they're asleep. What the hell? Why is anyone okay with that? If mice tried to crawl in my mouth when I was sleeping every month in a half, you can damn well bet I'd hate mice.

You're undoubtedly thinking, "Why is this dude freaking out right now?"

Well, I have two explanations: I'm exhausted. And I'm going to the Amazon tomorrow.

I knew for awhile that I was gonna go somewhere this summer, but only recently did I stare at the world map for awhile and try to figure out where. It's not that long a trip so I decided to keep it in the Western Hemisphere. I had never been to South America, so I walked up a foot away from the map in front of South America and looked at it for awhile. It's a pretty silly-shaped continent. Anyway, I decided to keep to the north because it's winter down there, and finally settled on the Amazon. It's a river and a jungle, I explained to myself.

So I bought tickets and got all excited, and then one day a couple weeks ago, I remembered something--

There are incredibly large bugs in the Amazon. And they have malaria.

Let's talk about this for a second. Not only are there flying monsters in the Amazon-- but these flying monsters are bigger than the flying monsters I'm used to, they look scarier, and they all have a contagious disease. And not only are they large, contagious, flying monsters, but they're large, contagious, flying monsters whose objective it is to bite me and suck my blood.

Forgive me for buying a mosquito net.

Anyway, on a related but immensely hilarious note, I could watch this drastic change in demeanor and accent 750 times and it wouldn't stop being funny.



Anonymous said...

Are you serious?! The amazon?! Aren't you scared? Who are you going with? Are you going by yourself? How the hell do you manage to travel to these places by yourself such as China and the Stans?! What if you get lost and robbed and stranded in the forest with tribal peoples?

Anonymous said...


thought you might get a kick out of this thread...


go through at least the first 2 pages :)

Baker Wannabe said...

if i were you, i would pack a case of off spray. nothing else. they now carry deep woods sportsmen. not only can you go deep into the woods - you can also be active in the woods. and of course be bug free. they have yet to come out with a jungle version though. may the repellants be with you.

Anonymous said...


I enjoy your blog and all ... but why the PHUCK did you have to give me that statistic of bugs crawling in the mouth. It pays to be naive and hopefully have a short memory.

O.K. here's one for you. On average 4 out of 5 American reality show contestants come back with bug larvae in their ear/nose canals after visiting the Amazon. The eggs lay dormant for years and can spread to turtles.

Anonymous said...

to the previous poster: leave winston out of this. what did he ever do to you?

Jodie said...

OOH! Amazon! Pictures please!
I can completely relate to your bug phobia. Only I've learned how to throw my shoes and/or slippers accurately, so I can keep a safe distance whilst effectively killing them.
And yes. Why are people afraid of rats/mice? They are cuddly.

Anonymous said...

omg, i can't wait for another ridiculously funny travel journal. i wish you have a camera crew following you. cuz it's gonna be entertaining. have a freakin great trip!

Anonymous said...

How the hell do you choose these traveling destinations?! "Least visited by tourists", or maybe "bird flu and malaria places"?! Whatever, anyway, have a great trip, we're all looking foward to hear about your latest 'adventure'.

Anonymous said...

Yes! I knew there'd be more great
adventure and some suffering.

Nearly stopped checking back here
before remembering I have nothing
better to do ,can't wait.

Tony Danza ...

ps This just in ,snakes are scary,
just one experience with a 'rubber
rope' you realize is looking at u
and has the ... well they have em'
there I think.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Forgot the whole "Where is Matt Dancing the Jig" ... I want to know what Tim is going to do for an encore.

Nat said...

Did you get the anti-I am going to die if something bites me- shot(s) before taking off on your wild, wild adventure?

I met an awesome woman in Costa Rica who slept in a mosquito tent indoors because she was as OCD as I, but was smarter than I in taking preventative measures. I didn't and I got bitten a few dozen times and then waited a year to see if I got sick, because apparently that's how long it takes to really know if you've caught something deadly, so more power to your mosquito tent, apparently they work.

Anonymous said...

not the video was really funny... hilarious.. for malaria, they sell meds for that.. before you get into the place, you'll just have to take the pills... It totally sucked. I went to this place and we had to take precautionary measures and we took the pills -- we also used mosquito nets -- kinda cool. =)
Be safe!

Jodie said...

Dear Tim,
Hi! It's August already. I hope the bugs haven't eaten you yet because I'm sure we miss your posts.

Anonymous said...

yes, where are u, tim?

Anonymous said...

Tim Urban, post more.

Jodie said...

Hush! Tim might be at the mercy of tiny flying monsters. Have you no mercy. :(

Jodie said...

Also, Tim, I thought you might be interested in playing this game:
I have no idea why I thought of you, but maybe because it has a map and insects.