Tuesday, October 9, 2012


So, after about 500 blog posts, you think you know everything about me, right?

Well, here is something you may not know:  I hate bugs.

No, it's deeper than hate.  It's terror. But, not only that - a combination of terror and disgust, is what it is.  With a little horror thrown in, and a lot of urping noises.

This goes for what most people call your more attractive bugs too.  I'm as likely to scream if a butterfly lands on me as if a cockroach does.

I know why too.  There is no mystery about where the disgust comes in.

It's their legs.  Their skinny, horrifying, wiggling little legs. They are thin, like hair, too threadlike to hold up the fat bodies some of these creatures have.  There are too many of them.  And, some legs are hairy and some have spikes but all are just pure puke-inducing.  Did I mention that they wriggle?  And, if you step on the bug, it doesn't stop the thing from squirming; it's just causes post-death restless leg syndrome.


So, nobody is allowed to step on bugs in my house.   Or kill them in any manner, because of the problem of leftover legs.

In fact, they must be carefully moved, alive, put outside, which is my husband's job.  Not only can I not stand the thought of a convulsing insect leg left somewhere, but I also kind of think that, gross and alien as they are, they have a right to their repulsive little lives too.

But mostly it's the legs.

The other day, after my new iPhone five (smirk) arrived in the mail, I went to Best Buy looking for spare chargers. Outside the store was the biggest, uglist, Floridianist bug I've ever seen.  That thing was shiny black, beatle-like, and about as big as Paul McCartney.  No California bug looks like that; it was clearly a Chinese import, fallen from a box.    I shuddered and stepped around it. My motherly instincts kicked in, and I yelled at my younger son to do the same, to stay away.  I went into the store.

(Younger Son ignored me, by the way, and took a photo with his phone, which I will not post here because I don't want to see it again - it's already in my nightmares.)

Soon though, I was lost in the magic that is Best Buy, the smell of electrons washing over me, soothing me, making me forget all about the horror outside.

They were out of the iPhone cables, as was to be expected right after release day.   We also wanted to buy a case for my son's HTC phone so we accomplished that much, and then left.

As I went out the door, in my slight ballet flats, I decided to call my muscular older son.  I had a piece of furniture that needed to be moved and I thought he could meet me at home.  If I left Best Buy right now, and he left his house right now, we'd both be at my house at the same time.

I used Siri,

"Call Older Son"

"Okay.  Calling Older Son"

As the phone rang, I walked to my car, and I heard a crunch.

And, I knew. Immediately.   I knew what it was and what I'd done.

I screamed.

Now, maybe you have known somebody like me, who doesn't like bugs, and who screams when they have to interact with one. I know I have a special "bug scream" that is more high-pitched than if I was, say being attacked by a knife.

And, I know, because I had a liver biopsy and I have been attacked by a knife scalpel.

I used my bug scream, there in the Best Buy parking lot.  And a lot of people looked at me and by a lot I mean everybody.  From inside, too.


I still shiver thinking about it.  The shoes were thin, so thin.   I could feel the body give way as I heard the crunch.  The stuff of nightmares.  I want to scream right now.

I took off my shoe but I couldn't put my foot down because of the probability of stepping on dead bug legs, and I sure couldn't look at the bottom of the shoe, thinking there also might be little legs wiggling still, clinging to the sole in the last vestiges of life.  So, I hopped around on one foot, searching for a patch of grass to wipe the shoe, still squealing, "Oh no, oh no, oh no."

I totally forgot I'd made a phone call.   That had connected.

I was still trembling and muttering when my phone buzzed in my hand, and my son's ringtone played.

Oops.  He'd heard all that screaming, hung up and called me back, panicked.

"Hi honey, sorry, I just stepped on a bug."

Let's just say the words that came out the other end of the phone when he realized his cancerous mother had called him screaming at the top of her lungs because she'd stepped on a bug were big, adult, grown-up words.

Now I know my little boy is a man.

And now, he, too, can carry bugs outside for me and protect me from their horrible, horrible legs.

I'm so proud.


  1. Ann - I have just lived this with you! How well written - I felt I was there with you! (I'm glad I wasn't!).
    Funny what gets to us and what we take in our stride!
    Keep smiling!

  2. Haha!! Brilliant!! You had me laughing the whole time. I hate bugs too and I have a pretty blood curdling scream especially reserved for spiders.

  3. Oh my goodness, that gave me the icky chills! Yuck, yuck yuck. I empathize completely - in fact, in that had happened to me, the shoe would have stayed behind in the parking lot. Forever. Your poor son must have been scared to death! This will be one that goes down in the annals for sure. Thank you for the laugh. :)

  4. Really Ann, really? LOL 0__o

  5. I have been doing the breast cancer dance for 5 years now. I appreciate what you do here on your blog. It make me feel somewhat human to know that I am not alone in this crazy cancer world. I have a bug story to share. Walked into my house one night, turned on the kitchen light and saw somthing big and black on my kitchen floor. I began stomping and screaming, then realized I was killing a pizza magnet that had fallen of the fridge. Lucky for me I live alone and no one saw my exhibition. Keep up the good work that you do.

  6. daddy-long-legs. WHY DO THEY EXIST?!


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