What Fresh Texan Hell Is THIS: Jurassic Bugs

WARNING: THIS IS A POST ABOUT BUGS. BIG, GROSS, SCARY BUGS. THERE WILL BE CURSING. LOTS OF CURSING. IF THAT OFFENDS YOU, STOP READING NOW. DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU.

When I was a small Midwestern child, I had a dinosaur infatuation. So much so, I wanted to be a paleontologist with ever fiber of my being. I wanted to dig up bones, and make plaster casts to ship them back to museums, because I wanted to be able to stand next to one of those lovely rearticulated skeletons and say, “I found that, I’m the reason why you can all see this now.” Then, HRH reminded me that the digging happens in the desert, where it’s really hot. And there are REALLY big bugs. HUGE. Quickly, my dreams dissolved. I don’t do bugs. 

Flash forward 30 years and my little Midwestern self is living in Texas, home of the Jurassic Bug. Living in the Midwest, we don’t have a lot of creatures that you should fear, really just a couple of spiders, but I just stayed away from wood piles and unfinished basements and the like. Mainly, I was plagued by mosquitos. I was once sitting at a fire, wearing bug spray, in jeans, and those little blood suckers bit me from the underside of the mesh chair I was sitting in. Now, my first exposure to Texan bugs was to grasshoppers. Grasshoppers so massive, they could’ve had an agent and starred in Disney movies. I have dubbed them “Grasshoppers so big, they should wear pants.” They didn’t really bother me, not even the day when we were eating outside on the deck and there was one sitting on the back of my chair, looking over my shoulder. They were big, they were ugly, but they aren’t going to bite. If anything, you stared at them, waiting to see if they would burst into a song and dance routine, because they were like cartoonishly large.

Then, one night, while sitting on the floor of The Blonde One’s room, trying to get him to go to sleep, our sweet, but brain damaged, cat goes into Lion On The Serengeti Mode. He hunches, his butt wiggles, he pounces, and then jumps off and redoubles his efforts. *sigh* I figure it’s a spider, so I go and grab some TP from the bathroom and turn on the lights to see what the cat has captured. It was a FUCKING SCORPION!! My first, which flipped me out. He was probably only about 2 inches long, but I beat the shit out of that thing with a flip flop and then sent it to a watery grave, just to be sure. It freaked me out a bit, but I felt that I handled it well. And the cat didn’t die, which was a big plus. Later, I found out that most scorpions won’t kill you, but still. If that was what I had to look foreword to, I could hack it.

In the 2 months since, we have been beset by pest control companies. I turn them all over to The Hubs, because I got married and automatically gave up all bug killing responsibilities. He says that he can take care of it himself, and I trust him, because he has never failed me in the bug killing department before. Then, I made him kill something he called a spider in our powder room, that was so big it jammed up the dust buster he used to suck it up. The very next day, he comes in from work, with a young gentleman in tow who is going to spray our house for pests. Knowing me, The Hubs has brought a fella who claims that everything they use is plant based and natural, yet still effective and won’t harm kids or pets. OK, I’m game. Besides, they have just turned over the empty lot next door, and I have been warned that this will create an up tick in the dreaded scorpion. The kid says he’s going to send someone out the next day, and even if I’m not home, he will treat the outside. I point out all the wasp nests that are getting built and he says they will even take them down for me. Awesome.

So, the next day, I try to take the Ys swimming at HRH’s subdivision pool because our’s is closed. Now, it looks like it’s going to rain, but I’m going to try and squeeze it in because our pool is closed and we promised The Blonde One a swim, and you don’t tell an autistic something unless you are going to make it happen. I figured that the bug guy would come while we were gone and I would just reschedule the inside spray, because there aren’t any bugs inside, except the crazy spider. Well, it DID rain and we DID’T swim and I DID miss the bug guy. He left a lovely invoice saying that he sprayed outside and took down the wasp nests. Perfect. I set the invoice aside and tell myself that I will remember to call to schedule the inside spray.

Flash forward to today, I wake up and pass the back windows, and see my dumb, little cat, sitting in the middle of my patio table, eating a June-bug, and surrounded by the contents of a bag of shredded cheese. He looks up from his catch and gives me the ‘Sup chin jut and goes back to his munching, because he knows he’s an INDOOR cat and shouldn’t be there. You can literally hear him thinking, ‘If I act natural like, she will leave me be, because she hasn’t had her wake up juice.’ Out I stalk, separate him from his prey and drag him back inside. Great. I had planned on doing yard work today, but seriously, not sweeping cheese off my deck. *sigh* I have coffee, prowl the interwebz, feed children, medicate myself and The Blonde One, and decide that I am going to run out and sweep off the patio before heading out to take care of the over grown landscaping. So, out to the patio I head, waltzing right past a pair of shoes and grab up the shop broom we keep outside. I begin sweeping cheese and construction dust off my patio and when I make a pass along the front of the fireplace and I swear I see a plastic bug. I mean, it HAS to be a plastic bug because it’s so BIG. Then, I realize it’s a scorpion on it’s back and it’s probably real, but it HAS to be dead, right, we’ve been sprayed! I pull the broom back and it flips over and goes into attack stance at the broom. Oh, shit! I’m shoeless, in PJs and all that I have between me and pissed off, 5 inch long scorpion, that is hopped up on cheese, is a shop broom. I do the only thing I can do, I scream like a banshee and begin beating the shit out of the horrible beast. I hear laughter, and it just makes me squish harder and push it back to the edge of the deck. Die you Laughing Bastard, DIE! Once I am sure that it’s over the edge and not hanging on to attack again, I take a few minutes to take some deep breaths and collect myself. Then, I realize that the laughing is coming from the construction crew next door, who are preparing to lay the concrete foundation. Fuckers.

I sweep the rest of the deck, but then remember a story that HRH once told about a friend who had been outside doing yard work, a friend stops by and they go inside for a drink and when they come back out, the friend brushes a giant bug off her shoulder. When the woman doing yard work starts to freak, the friend says, “Oh, relax! It was on you in the house, but I didn’t want to brush it off in there.” I start sweeping  faster, because suddenly, I can feel things crawling all over me. I clean up the cheese as fast as I can and then run screaming into the house, cursing and stripping my clothes on my way to the shower. This sends the Ys into hysterics. “Look at Funny Mommy! She’s saying naughty words and taking off her clothes!”

I give myself the full Silkwood shower treatment, and I’m pretty sure I scrubbed a few layers of skin off in the process. After dressing in clothes that were throughly shaken out, I call the bug company and schedule them to spray inside and out again. I tell her to leave the natural crap on the truck, I want the Full Napalm. They won’t be out until Tuesday. Until then, I will be wearing shoes to bed and carrying a welding torch where ever I go. Oh, and those overgrown flower bushes? They are going to stay fucking overgrown until Wednesday, when I can be sure that they have killed all the shit that is living in them.

Here’s to hoping you have a great, and bug free, day.

 ~AB.