Before I begin this story, let me point out a spelling error. It’s not my spelling error, but it might be yours. It may surprise you to know that the word “gnat,” pronounced “nat,” in fact begins with a silent ‘g.’ In fact, the word “gnat” shares this silent g in common with the words “gnome” and “gnu,” the latter being a sort of antelope also known as a wildebeest (pronounced will – duh – beest.) If that doesn’t surprise you, then it may surprise you to know how many people I encounter who think that my screen name is pronounced “world g-nat.” (While writing that I accidentally spelled “name” as “gname.” Yeah, I’m tired.) There are also quite a few people who think that the Gnome desktop environment is called the “g-nome” desktop environment. These people never cease to amaze me. If you’re one of those people, it’s ok – this behavior is easily corrected. And if you choose not to, you can continue to be wrong. Ai gust hop eu enjoi yt.
And now the story: Several days ago, I brought a plant into my room. It was an avocado plant that I had grown from a pit a few months ago, which had died and then come back to life. This led to my naming it Lazarus, but that doesn’t matter. When I brought it down to my room, I noticed that there were several gnats circling the area just above the soil. I assumed that as the plant began to grow, they would move on and live elsewhere. What I didn’t anticipate is that they would find a new area to frequent: my face.
A few days later, I would notice a single gnat hovering around me all the time. While I was at my computer, while I was watching TV, while I was doing my homework, always. They didn’t follow me to school, but no matter where I went in my house, a gnat was sure to follow. In fact it seems that my house has been filled with gnats, and that one of them has taken it upon him or herself to to encircle me at all times. They land on my screen, sit on my papers, walk along my keyboard, and just generally bother me. Now most people would notice this and conclude that they had a small gnat infestation, and either swat the little buggers or wait for their 24 hour lifespans to expire, slowly decreasing their numbers. That’s what most people would conclude, but not me.
A gnat infestation seems like the simplest explanation, and that’s what I assumed it was at first. But then I realized something: my screen name is worldgnat. World and gnat. What are the chances of that kind of coincidence? And why would the gnats only follow me and not any of the other inhabitants of my household? And once I thought about this I figured it out: I must be manifesting some form of superhuman ability. For one reason or another, I must have the power to control gnats. It’s only logical. Why else would fate lead me to choose my rather unique screen name and also lead me into the middle of a gnat infestation? Clearly I’ve been intended to server a higher purpose. I must be destined for something great.
Why I haven’t been able to control the gnats entirely yet I’m not sure. I’m assuming that my gnat controlling abilities will develop with time, and that eventually I’ll become angry at some injustice in the world, and as I express my anger, a giant swarm of gnats will fly into action and cause a ruckus. Eventually I’ll begin to instruct the gnats to do my bidding, and I’ll fine-tune my abilities to the point where I can command them to do anything. Shortly thereafter, I’ll fly around the world on a cloud of gnats fighting bad guys and solving crimes, only being stopped by cold weather and bug-spray. My enemies will equip themselves with DEET, but I’ll foil their plans by having my gnat army drop smoke bombs into their secret hideouts so the cops can get to them.
So if one day you see a group of bank robbers running down the street swatting at the air, or you see a group of employees of a closed-source software company running down the street after a swarm of gnats carrying copies of their source code, you’ll know that worldgnat isn’t far behind.