I’m sick of having their cuteness celebrated. If I had my way, they would never appear on another Hallmark card again. Top on my list of reasons I hate them is the terrible odor they emit when they panic. It’s enough to make my stomach roll, and I’m not even pregnant. I shudder to think of what would happen if I were. It would go something like this: hormonal lady spies spotted invader, rushes to commit insect homicide. Evil beetle exudes noxious fumes. Queasy mother brings everything up for a vote. Loving, supportive family also votes. Results come in – it’s every man for himself. Stampede ensues, resulting in five males of all shapes and sizes lodged in front door. Jaws of Life is called.
Perhaps the most egregious violation of my personal space occurred recently when I was working at my desk. Feeling a tickle in my armpit (I am not making this up), I absentmindedly slapped at it. Suddenly I was engulfed in a cloud of that all-too-familiar bug gas. What followed could in some cultures have been mistaken for an ancient rain dance. Throw in a few ceremonial “hoo-ha-ha’s” and there could have been a downpour in Wakarusa that day. Forget flying by the seat of my pants – I went straight to flapping the seat of my pants when a search revealed that it had dropped down my waistband. Thankfully, I wasn’t working at my husband’s office where the whole spectacle would have played out before God and any witnesses passing by on the street.
As if the beetles weren’t enough, a mouse has now taken up residence with us. This brings to mind a ghastly “Close Encounter of the Furred Kind” that I had as a teenager when my family was camping at the lake. My sister and I decided we would sleep under the stars, so we threw sleeping bags on loungers and fell asleep ‘neath the Milky Way. When Mom woke us up the next morning, I felt something scrabbling on my leg. Just then, a mouse jumped out and hit the ground running.
“MOUSE!” I trumpeted to a sleeping campground. My quick-thinking mother, who hates mice even worse than I do, actually brought her shoe down, ka-whump, as it ran past and nailed it. Take that, you little bugar!
Dad, who was safely ensconced in the motor home, said later that he knew for a fact it had come running out on three legs, holding its nose with the fourth. He and I both know that if it had been his leg, he wouldn’t have waited until the’90s to fire off with the first in his string of heart attacks. We also know that there isn’t a dry cleaner this side of the Mississippi with the skill or equipment needed to erase the mark he would have made on his world, so I don’t know why he laughs so hard about it.
Suffice it to say, we now have mouse traps on hand, and my husband has returned from the hardware store with bug spray that at least slows the advance of the beetles. Hopefully sanity will be restored shortly.
Speaking of bug spray, even this has been used by an inventive boy as a weapon of self-defense against a certain two-legged pest. It began innocently enough, just your garden variety dustup that turned nasty when the younger one stole the older one’s driver’s license. A wild chase followed through the house with first one, then the other being locked outside. Seeing his little brother dancing around outside the window, taunting him with the stolen license, was just too much for the senior to handle. Out the door he charged, only to be repelled every time he was within striking distance by a cloud of mosquito spray.
Thank God we have an in-house pest control expert who faithfully addresses issues with both four-legged and two-legged critters. The boys call him “Dad.” I call him “Hero.” He’s got his work cut out for him, that’s for sure.
Here’s to our own personal “Orkin man!” Hoo-ha-ha.