Some of you know that I have a major aversion to bugs. I don’t care whether you want to call them insects, arachnids, pests, or anything else I hate them. I don’t care that they pollinate flowers or that they feed other nasty flying things that do whatever with the ecology, they can all just leave and get away from me. At the very least they can stay out of the house or other places, which leads us to this epic tale I tell on this Easter Sunday. Not being the religious type, I thought I’d regale you with a tale of glory and honor; be amused.
by Liz Henry via Flickr
Last Monday I was driving home from an evening out. The sun was setting and all seemed beautiful in the car. That is, until I heard the unmistakable sound of a loud buzzing to my left. Since to my left was my closed window, I knew this couldn’t be good. I have great peripheral vision so I expanded my field of vision and saw something large by my shoulder.
In my past I’ve driven off the road whenever I’ve encountered something in my car, or even if it might be outside of the car. I don’t even like looking at bugs, so my response has always been to jerk away first and ask questions later. But I’ve worked on that over the last few years, realizing that the last thing I need is to have a heart attack because of some stupid bug and having people laugh at me while I’m laying in a hospital bed.
In my brief yet controlled panic I pushed the button on the car door to lower the window. It slid down and I braced the steering wheel just to make sure I stayed on the road. Once the window was down I noticed that Mr. Bug, and I knew it was some kind of wasp, seemed to be hanging onto the rubber at the bottom of the window. Eventually though, it blew away, and all was right with the world as I raised my window. I applauded my bravery, then wondered if it had actually gone outside the window. The back window of my car doesn’t lower, otherwise I’d have lowered both. However, I heard nothing, and when I got home & took a quick look I saw nothing; all was right with the world.
That is, until Wednesday, when I’m driving home from a lunch outing. I hear that same familiar buzzing in the back, and looking into my rearview mirror I spot the monster beast on the back window.
Now I’m panicked because the back window doesn’t go down, I’m on a regular street instead of a highway with no place to pull over because I’m in the wrong lane, and I’m wondering if it remembers how I tried to get it to leave a couple of nights earlier.
Eventually I find my way to a parking lot, stop the car and jump out. I now have to look and indeed, the ugly beast is there on the window near the top. My first thought seems brilliant; open the back door and it’ll just fly away. I open the back window; nothing. It’s not leaving; what the hey? I thought bugs liked being outdoors; not this one.
Now I figure I have to find a way to get it to go. I start knocking on the window with my hand, which, for me, is still fairly brave even if it’s on the other side of the glass because I always imagine these things somehow have the powers of The Flash and can vibrate through solids. My hand knocking does nothing except make my knuckles hurt.
Time to find something else to help me. I decide to go to the trunk for my snow brush, something anyone living in the north has, and I have an extra long red metal one. I come back around and start knocking on the window with the brush; nothing doing. I realize I’m going to have to knock the sucker off the window, so steeling myself to what I know will be an attack of retaliation, I start swatting at the thing with the brush side. What it does is crawls up further into the rubber where I can’t reach it; oh come on!
Time for more desperate measures. I need spray. I go to the trunk and start looking around, only to discover I have no spray of any kind. What happened to my window cleaner? What happened to the can of compressed air I always kept for emergencies (remembered later I used it a couple of years ago; guess I’d best replace that). I don’t even have any bottled water to try to throw at it; what am I going to do.
The genius in me finally hits. I have a small can of car smell spray that I bought at Bath & Bodywords. Actually, I’m not sure if it’s for the car, but it’s what I use it for, every once in a while, spraying the rugs in the car; I love scents.
But this was war. I also knew the range wasn’t that great, so I might have to get closer, and without gloves and with shaky hands, this was going to be risky. I get my little can, go into the cave of the horror, and start spraying. The first few hits get all over the window; the fourth one hits the monstrosity, and for the first time it leaves its lair. I hit it a few more times; it doesn’t like the spray. Then suddenly it launches itself, and as I duck I see its bulk heading off somewhere away from me.
I quickly close the back door, jump into the car, close my door and raise my window, take a quick look to make sure it’s not going to try to follow me, and take off. I’m winding the car around in the parking lot to confuse it, then I drive home; isn’t that how you’re supposed to shake a tail?
I get home, close the garage door, listen for the sound of buzzing, and realize that I, a mere mortal man, faced off against a dangerous foe and came out the victor as it beat a hasty retreat. I thought about it for a brief moment, then realized that I could state the famous Klingon battle cry, “There will be songs forever sung of this day.”
I’m just waiting to see who’s going to write the song for me. 🙂