Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I Hate Bugs

In case you didn't hear me the first time, let me repeat myself so there can be no doubt:

I hate bugs.

I learned about the whole Circle-of-Life thing in science class years ago, but I still hate bugs. They are not natural. I can tolerate ants and flies, and that's about it. Anything with more than four legs just gives me the willies. I can't even bear to squash them - the crunch sends shivers up to my hair. I swear I can feel it for days. Ew. My typical Death to Buggy method is spray them with bug spray - or, if I'm out, to suffocate them in AquaNet.

Unfortunately, my house is old and drafty, so at any given time I have a veritable menagerie of bugs to keep me company. The bathroom and kitchen seem to be the congregating points for the critters that take up residence here. No amount of bug spray, ant traps, or insect bombs eradicates the problem. I'm still not used to it.

So. . . this morning I decided to shower before work. Normally I shower at night or on my first break (one of the many advantages of working at home), because most days I am not coherent enough to tell the difference between the razor and the shampoo at the ungodly hour of 6 o'clock in the morning.

I stumble from the bed, miraculously missing spinal injury on the train Braeden left in the hall, and blunder my way into the bathroom. As usual, I toss my towel over the shower curtain - and then I see it, brazenly lounging in the bottom of the tub.

A meatbug.

Of course that's not the technical name. Years ago we had an infestation of these ultra-fat crickets. Think Danny DeVito with six scrawny legs. My sister and I christened them meatbugs, and that's what I've called them ever since.

Now I know that this insect is not going to harm me. But I have to get it out of the tub before I can shower, and this poses a problem. Crickets jump, you see, and if that thing lands on me, you'll be reading my obituary in the paper - death by cardiac arrest. It's getting late, and I know I'd better hurry if I'm going to start work on time. I look around for something to zap the bug. (Hubby had the AquaNet squirrelled away somewhere, and it takes too long, anyway.) I decide to grab a hand towel and try to trap the bug underneath it. Maybe I can wad it up in the towel and safely deposit the whole thing on the front step without having to feel it squirming through the terrycloth.

But the cricket is faster than my aim. I throw the towel down, and it jumps out of the way. Thank God it stayed in the tub! After a few minutes of this game, I realize it's time for Plan B. It's in the shower already, so maybe I can convince it to take a leisurely swim down the drain.

Turns out this is one seriously stubborn cricket. I can see the darn thing straining against the flow of water, hanging on for dear life. So I turn on the shower head and aim it right at him. He reaches for the shampoo and belts out "Singing in the Rain."

Okay. . . so it wants to play dirty. By now, the hand towel is soaked, and I have a moment of brilliance. Physics says the wet towel will be faster and more effective than the dry one, so I should be able to bury my little contender in a sea of wet purple. Praying that my aim will be slightly more accuracte, I lob the towel into the tub as hard as I can.

Bingo! The meatbug is trapped!

But what to do with the towel? I'm not about to wring out the water with the cricket wadded inside and risk the crunch of exoskeleton. So I head to the bedroom in search of a container for the wet towel and drowning cricket. Finally I yank the garbage bag out of my wastebasket, carefully wad the cricket up in the towel, and deposit it in the trash. Then I place the whole thing outside the bathroom door. Don't want to risk another invasion while I'm nekkid in the shower.

By this time, I have exactly two minutes and thirty-four seconds to clean up. So much for waking up easy.

I still haven't moved the trash can, though I did inspect it for signs of cricket later. Apparently it made a valiant attempt to escape, but I guess a leg got snagged in the towel. It lay where it fell, having died an honorable death.

Next time I'm waking Jeff. He can squish the bug.

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