When God kicked Lucifer out of Heaven, I’m pretty sure he threw out all the chiggers too. Red bugs, chiggers — whatever you want to call them — are simply the meanest creatures imaginable. They have only one job on this planet. Chiggers stand guard over blackberry patches, and if you don’t believe they’re hiding there, just wear a pair of short pants when you go berry picking.
Your basic male chigger wakes up each morning, shaves, kisses his wife and then heads to the blackberry patch where he sits all day, dreaming of warm flesh. You may have a relative like that too, but I doubt he’s a chigger. Chiggers are microscopic and sadistic. I don’t think any creature gets more excited than a chigger does when he spots a hand, leg or ankle. But, no chigger I’ve ever met will bite you there. A chigger prefers to bite you in more exotic locations. After all, he‘s been waiting all day with nothing but his wild imagination and a bunch of blackberries he can’t eat. A chigger will start out at your ankle and end up in places he has absolutely no business going. Then he’ll sink his teeth in. That’s the definition of pure evil. And if you don’t know some of the places I’m talking about, you haven’t spent a summer in the South during blackberry season.
There’s an old hymn that goes, "When we all get to Heaven." Well, when I get there, the first thing I’m going to do is ask where the blackberry patches are. If Heaven is as good as I picture it, there’ll be plenty of free blackberries. I’m also fairly sure that I won’t get bit by any bugs while I pick. Advanced theology doesn’t specifically address chiggers, but I’ll bet creatures that are unrepentant won’t make it to Heaven. I’m pretty sure I know where chiggers are going to spend eternity, and it won’t be pretty. Maybe I’m not being very charitable, but after getting over fifty painful bites the other day in exchange for ten small blackberries, my compassion and my blood are both running a low. Is trading ten blackberries for fifty bites a fair deal? Your basic chigger thinks so. He’s the master of the blackberry patch, he’s pure microscopic evil, and he deserves what he gets in the afterlife. Fire, brimstone, and chiggers belong together.
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.