In California, where I used to live, there are 0.0002 bugs per capita. I totally haven't done any research on that. But I know. I KNOW. Here, in Iowa, there are 999 billion bugs per capita.
I've been pretty good about accepting it. Partly because now I have two impressionable kids and I don't want them to learn that the right way to react when seeing a bug is to run screaming from the room. Even though, obviously, that is the ONLY SANE way to react. I try to be brave. You know. For the kids. I like to think I've grown as a person because of it. But really, I'm kidding myself. I might be saying, "Look, kids! A Wolf Spider! Nature is so neat! Let's get a book and learn more about it!" Yeah, I might be saying that out loud, to my kids. But inside? Inside, my soul is dying. And I was just kidding about that "Let's get a book and learn more about it" crap. I don't do that.
So a few days ago I had to take some Piggy Bank Craft Kit pictures (I am the Plug-Freakin'-Master!). And since piggies belong outdoors, for the most part, I needed to take the pictures outside. I have not been appreciating our backyard lately for two reasons.
Reason 1: It's freaking hot, yo!
Reason 2: Japanese Beetles have infiltrated our county this year. Yay. For. Us.
Reason 1 I can deal with. Reason 2 gives me the creeps. Those things are everywhere. And while I do believe that pesticides are the answer to EVERY BUG SCENARIO, and we've sprayed our yard, they're still here. The correct way to spray for bugs is to attach that bug killer spray nozzle to your hose, and yell, Scarface-style, "Say hello to my little friend!" and open fire. I don't think my husband did it that way. And that might be why they are still partying in my backyard. (Nice try anyway, honey! Love you!)
I know the beetles can't hurt me. But they buzz. I find that buzzing insects are much more scary than the non-buzzing variety. You know what else Japanese Beetles do? They dive bomb me. I swear it. And just the other day I had the joyful experience of one embedding itself in my hair. Icky Icky, double ICKY!
So, back to my Piggy Bank photo session. I'm outside in the overrated outdoors. I'm trying to hurry because it's hot and I don't want a beetle to land on me. I don't like their little claws, either. Anyway, I speedy, speedy, speedy take the pictures and go back in the house. I'm safe at last. Make sure to go back and read that last sentence in an ominous tone. And add the "duh duh Duh!" you're-totally-doomed sound effect.
I'm in the process of hooking my camera to my computer when I feel something on my back. Something like little beetle claws. Of course. I reach back and try to grab/throw it off me. I'm quickly searching around on the floor but I don't see it so I start to freak out. And I instantly get all sweaty and icky and I'm wearing a spaghetti-strap flowy-type dress and I'm worried that the beetle got inside when I tried to grab it.
So I go into emergency-panic-mode and strip the dress off up over my head and go running half-naked through the house to the bathroom. Because I NEED TO MAKE SURE IT'S NOT ON ME! The front door happened to be closed, but it wouldn't have mattered at that point. PANIC-MODE! Who cares who sees you in your underoos when you're fighting for your life? I leap over my kids who have been oblivious to my emergency.
"Mommy! Why are you naked?! Where is your dress?! Why are you running?! What are you DOING?!"
And as I'm turning this way and that in front of the mirror to make sure that my soul is not being eating alive by a Japanese Beetle I realize something. At my age, you really cannot strip a dress off your body as fast as I did without pulling at least a dozen mini-muscles in your back and shoulders and arms and I really need to do some more yoga or something.
I guess the moral is that I might be too old to be scared of bugs. I should be more scared of pulling a muscle or breaking a hip.
Turns out, the beetle had landed under a chair. So we found it and killed it. Because it is NOT my responsibility to save stupid MF-ing bugs that make poor decisions.
And one more thing. Do you see what I just went through to create my Piggy Bank Kid Kit? Dedication, baby. Dedication.