Longtime readers know that I’m not squeamish about much, but the bugs down here in the south—unfettered by a nice long winter freeze like the bugs where I grew up—do not screw around. They are free to grow to insane sizes and spend the entire calendar year plotting to suck out your brains through your ear. Or possibly your nose. I don’t know. I try not to think about it.
If you’re a newish reader, and stories about bugs aren’t going to make you scream (don’t worry, I scream enough for both of us!), you can review a few of my various delightful insect encounters in the archives. Why, there was the giant spider, meeting my first camel cricket, my battle with the garden slugs, the tomato horn worms, and—not to be overlooked—just one of many palmetto bug encounters.
The common thread in all of these stories is that I go from being a semi-capable adult human to gibbering squicked-out ball of fear and loathing in approximately .2 seconds. It’s a talent, really.
Last night was a delightful evening here at Casa Mir. The girlchild was out at a sleepover, so we had a wild party here with our boychild. By this I of course mean that we 1) ate ice cream, 2) while watching Chopped (“Please open your baskets! Your appetizer must contain: Duck lips, fiddleheads, fermented goat anus, and cough syrup. Go!”), and then 3) played Qwirkle. We are CRAYZEE!
After Monkey went to bed, Otto and I sat and listened to music and talked for a while, and then—fairly early—decided to turn in.
I went and took a shower and brushed my teeth and Otto was still kind of wandering around when I went to go get into bed. The pillowcases currently on our pillows have some frou-frou cutout bits (think kind of like a large eyelet pattern) that naturally look darker than the solid white fabric itself, which is why I had nearly gotten into bed before realizing that THAT’S NOT A HOLE IN THE FABRIC, THAT’S A BIG BUG.
Naturally, I recoiled. And possibly screamed.
Otto was ready to come to my rescue, of course, as I babbled that there was a GIANT EARWIG on my pillowcase, KILL IT KILL IT CHANGE THE SHEETS MAKE IT STOP. As Otto approached it with a manly wad of toilet paper to squish it, though, I stopped him.
“WAIT!” I squeaked. “I think… I don’t think that’s an earwig. I think it’s a SCORPION. WHAT THE HELL? WE HAVE SCORPIONS??? Please be careful.” Otto is both careful and exceedingly manly, so as he assured me that he’d be fine, he grabbed up the bug and went and flushed it.
Crisis averted, Otto asked if we should change the sheets now. I suggested we just set fire to the bed and move, instead. Because he is MEAN he refused to get on board with my excellent plan.
Once everything had calmed down (I made Otto check every corner of the room for more critters), my darling husband then tried to convince me that it hadn’t really been a scorpion. “It was too dark, plus it was smaller than any scorpion I’ve ever seen.”
Because I just LOVE extended conversation about things that scare the crap out of me, I argued. Vociferously. It most certainly WAS a scorpion, what with its horrible little pincer claws and stingy pointy tail-thing lying in wait to PENETRATE MY EARDRUM had I not seen it before lying down. Also it might have FRIENDS who would be BACK to seek REVENGE.
“If you see another one, you just let me know,” the love of my life reassured me. “I’ll take care of it for you.”
“Thank you,” I said, somewhat mollified.
“I may scream like a little girl,” he continued, “but I’ll take care of it. If I can catch it before it runs away.”
He’s a real comfort, my guy.