So yesterday I got this free Kindle book about a couple of ferocious dogs who terrorize people in a cabin. I haven’t read it yet, but I did get a kick out of the author’s foreword, which talks about the impact of JAWS on people’s opinion of sharks, and expresses concern that people might read his book and then mistreat dogs. The foreword is basically a reminder that the book is just fiction. Do NOT go out and kick a dog because you’ve been so deeply affected by this novel.
Oh, sure, some of you might get a chuckle from the author having such a high opinion of his book’s ability to traumatize readers. Me? I’m thinking “Oh no! What if Mandibles has caused readers to kick down ant hills?” Mandibles came out almost ten years ago. How many ants have lost their lives as a result of the power of my storytelling?
Yes, ants suck. Especially fire ants. But that does NOT mean that it’s okay to go around kicking down their homes, just because my book gave you the heebie-jeebies. Nor is it acceptable to do the whole “magnifying glass in the sunlight” trick, or to pour gasoline down there, or any of those things. Mandibles is just a book. I know it feels real, and that it causes you to swat imaginary ants off your legs, but please, don’t go on wild insane ant-murdering sprees. That’s how people become serial killers.
Okay, look, if you’re outside and an ant crawls on your arm, it’s okay to squish it. I’m not saying that ants are a protected species. All I’m asking you to do is to resist the temptation to read Mandibles and then seek bloody vengeance against their kind. That’s all.
Are we cool? Good.