Friday, March 03, 2006

Terror on the highway

Yesterday it was almost 80 degrees here. Have I mentioned my love of North Carolina? Love. Okay. So, since it was so nice out, we were outside a lot yesterday. We ate lunch outside, and Sheri and I took a half-hour break later in the afternoon to go for a walk around the lake (where I saw what I think were ruddy ducks in their winter coloring). When I went to my car that evening, it was still really nice so I opened the windows a bit.

After I had just pulled onto the highway, something horrible happened: a huge beetle of some sort flew into the car and landed on the dash right in front of me. I am aware of course that I am a grown woman. However. I am majorly terrified of bugs. Majorly. Some highlights from my life of bug fear:

1. In Wisconsin, the summer brought June bugs. I hate June bugs. They fly all out-of-control and bang into things, and if you're unlucky and you get in the way, the thing will be you. Ugh. They congregate around lights at night, so each lit doorway was a minefield of June bugs. There was no way I was going to stand in the doorway trying to open the door when I could be barraged by June bugs. So I carried a garage door opener with me. That way, I could open the double garage door (which had lights at either end) and run in through the center, as far from each light as possible.

2. In a related story, one time in high school I took the cordless phone outside to sit in the car while I was talking. No, I have no idea why. We used to play with the electric seat adjustment controls in the car (we had 'chair races' where you had to take the seat through a predetermined course with the various controls), so maybe thats what I was doing. Anyhow. I'm sure I was talking to Kendra. I decided it was time to go back inside but there was no garage door opener in the car, and there was no frigging way I was going to the front door. So I had Kendra hang up the phone and then re-dial my house, let someone inside pick up and tell them to open the garage door.

3. In England, for whatever reason, it is not common to have screens on your windows. I think it is just to torture me. When the windows are open, any and every insect outside can fly right on in. I can't sleep then, because I'm terrified that something is going to get me in the night, and I end up taking some Tylenol PM just so I can go to sleep. I keep telling Brian that we need to get his parents screens for Christmas sometime.

Anyhow. There are more stories, but I think we've effectively established that bugs and I are not friends. So this bug is in the car and I know there is no way I can drive like a normal human being under these conditions, so I pull over to the side of the road. I get out and go to the other side of the car, so that I'm not on the highway side (and some moron doesn't hit me or something). I can see the stupid beetle overturned on the dashboard, trying to right itself. I'm panicking now, because I don't know what to do. Because obviously, I am not going to TOUCH it either. No way. My phone had fallen out of my bag onto the seat, which I hadn't noticed, so I thought I had left it at home. And I was like, crap. I can't even call anyone (although who would have gotten that phone call from me and not totally hung up on me?). I had some sort of newspaper type item in the backseat, and I grabbed that and tried to push the beetle out the open driver's side window while sitting in the passenger seat. Even when I pushed it, it didn't go far. And it was getting further and further in this narrow gap between the window and the dash, so it was harder and harder to reach. I'm really freaking out now, and kind of half hoping that someone will see me and think I have a flat tire, or engine trouble, or something, and stop and help me out (even thought I'd have to tell them that in fact, I needed assistance getting a bug out of my car). Finally, I got one good flick in and I thought it had gone out the window. Phew! I snuck back around to the drivers side of the car to get in. However. The lighting was rather poor, and thus I couldn't see the floor of the car all that well from the passenger side. When I got over there, I saw that the beetle was on the floor on the driver's side. I was afraid to spend too much time over there trying to get it out (again, not wanting to be killed by oncoming traffic) so I just furiously stamped on it. It was pretty well smashed, but even so, I kept worrying while I was driving that I hadn't killed it, and that it was going to crawl up my leg or fly into my face and then I was going to crash the car. So I kept stomping my foot and rubbing it around, just in case.

I did make it home safely, but totally adrenaline-charged. Now I've got to take the dustbuster out there and vacuum the bug up so that I can get back in the car to go to work.


Heidi Ellis said...

I would freak out exactly the same. I detest beetles.

peppersnaps said...

Hilarious, Lis. I'm the same way with the big roaches down here. Thank GOD those didn't exist in Boston -- what would we have done? In fact, I don't really remember having any bug issues on Comm Ave... how did we luck out?