Thursday, October 7, 2010

Don't Bug Me While I'm Driving

On my way to an appointment I stopped in Target’s parking lot to make a phone call; I don’t have hands free and would never talk while driving anyway. While I was on the phone I noticed all these little buggy, hoppy, flying things around the tree I was parked under. They looked like they were tiny mutant moths; except they made a horse fly type sound when they flew.

I closed the windows and didn’t give them a second thought.

Driving along the state highway I saw one of the mutants on the window but a tap on the glass confirmed he was outside. “Asshat” I said aloud, “if I pick up speed you’re gonna be sorry.” It must be the equivalent of a human clinging to a jet.

At the next red light I even took a few shots (see below) – the camera rides shotgun.

Traffic got complicated with idiots who need two lanes to turn off and bigger idiots who change lanes without signaling so I lost track of my mutant friend until the next red light. I was surprised that he was still there and had moved all the way across the window. I really wanted him to leave while the car was still.

I tapped the glass.

And he jumped into my open hand and began thrashing about and buzzing like a lunatic.

And the light turned green. And he wouldn’t leave my hand. And people don’t wait.

So off I drive trying to steer with my knee and open the window with my left hand while the buzzing mutant just hangs on to my right hand for dear life.

The knee and the left hand just weren’t cutting it.

I flap my right hand like I’m doing a jazz revival and he buzzes around the interior long enough for me to open the window.

And he goes right to the window.

And he makes a wicked U-turn and heads straight into my ear. And he rests on my ear. And then he gets tangled up in my hair.

And I’m doing 50 on a state highway. And of course the lights are green for as far as I can see.

I head for the first driveway I see and pull in. I open all the windows of the car and shake my head while covering my ears. I swear he’s gone.

I sit back.

And I hear the buzzing. He is on the back of my neck, making his way into the back of my shirt. This SOB loves me to death.

I jump out of the car and begin doing a dance while shaking my clothes and mumbling eek and uh and oh.

I hear a little voice – “Miss Alice, I think Jeremy’s grandma is here”.

I am in the parking lot of a daycare center. Right in front of the swing set.

“Jeremy, your grandmother is here” – this kid is getting on my nerves. Maybe I’m Jeremy’s Mom, who is he to judge.

“That’s not Grammy” a new little voice shrieks. I assume I am about to meet Jeremy.

I turn to face more than a dozen little people. Eyes wide open. Tiny mouths agape.

The first boy steps forward and accusingly says – “you’re not Jeremy’s grandmother”. I decide not to point out to him that he was the one who said I was.

My eyes search for an adult. Miss Alice is headed my way. All 6 feet, 250 pounds of her. Striding effortlessly across the grass in sensible shoes. My mind wanders to the imagery of what Mama Bears do when their cubs are threatened.

“What’s going on here?” Miss Alice asks in a surprisingly melodic voice.

To the best of my recollection I respond – “there was a bug and I thought it was on the outside of the window but it must have been inside except I did tap the window so I guess there were 2 bugs and then the bug was in my hair and in my ear and it buzzes really loud you know and the traffic was fast and I couldn’t steer and open and get him out and then he was in my clothes and I saw a driveway and that boy said I was Jeremy’s grandmother but I’m not Jeremy’s grandmother and Jeremy knows that so he got upset and I don’t like to kill any creatures but he was buzzing so loud and …”

I don’t think I ever took a breath and I do think I went on for a full five minutes.

I could feel the children’s eyes glued to me. This was way more interesting than swinging or sliding.

I guess Miss Alice has heard it all in what I assume has been a long career because all she said was – “well OK then”.

I got back in the car. I’m pretty sure the bug left when he saw Miss Alice.

As I turned the car around to leave I heard one of the girls say – “she didn’t want to kill the bug, she’s a nice lady but she’s really weird”.

These shots are in the order I took them. It's clear from the last shot that there were 2 bugs and one of them was inside but that didn't dawn on me when it was all happening.


Linda Reeder said...

Hahaha. You ARE really nice, but weird.
And I'm so glad that you were able to keep your wits about you enough to drive with a bug buzzing in your ear! EEEEK! That could have been dangerous, and I'm so glad you are safe.

Anonymous said...

Nice, but weird - I've heard worse!

Ron said...

"she didn’t want to kill the bug, she’s a nice lady but she’s really weird”.

Bwhahahahahahaha! OMG, I laughed my butt off through this entire post - brilliantly hysterical! And could picture this happening to you with such clarity, because of the way to wrote it!

I can't tell you how many times stuff like this happened to my while I was living in Florida and still driving a car. OMG, the bugs in Florida are horrendous. And very persistant.

"I don’t have hands free and would never talk while driving anyway."

Bless you, Dianne! You're one of the RARE ones.

Fab post!


ellen abbott said...

I'm pretty sure that's a stink bug.

Jay said...

This is why I don't roll the windows down on my car. Well, that and I don't want the wind to mess up my hair. ;-)

Dianne said...

linda r - when it was in my ear I was freaking out a bit and really just wanted to stop the car

rob - I've been called much worse ;)

ron - I'm so sick of people on the phone everywhere and anywhere - I just want to scream in their faces to shut the fuck up, nothing they have to say is important that it can't wait til they're home

ellen - a short while after this happened I saw an article about stink bugs and how they're all over the east coast
I think you're right

jay - you should always wear your Viking Helmet while driving ;)

Mrs. C said...

HA HA HA HAAA! Ohhh, bet that daycare provider thought she had a genuine "interesting person" there for a bit. Thanks for the laugh!! :)

Cherie said...

Yup that's a stink bug, we've got them all over the dorm. They look very prehistoric to me in a lizardy sort of way. (I've had ample time to study them, you understand. We kind of keep them as pets. lol) Anyway ... so you were doubly rewarded for not killing it, there may have been a stinky price to pay. The best part of the story for me was that I could read it in your "voice" since you've been posting your videos. :)

Jay Simser said...

You should not tell Jeremy that his grandmother was a bug. It might upset him. Thanks for making today special. j

Grayquill said...

This post enlarged my view of you. Bugs are way too creepy when they are in ones ear or down the neck. I know it's rude to laugh at anothers misfortune but that was way to funny. Your one breathed speech was caught perfectly on the page - very impressive.
I am glad your safe and did not become RoadQuill.

Reb said...

I am glad you are safe. I wondered why you didn't just pull onto the shoulder then I remembered that you don't have shoulders on your roads down there. I would have have been having a screaming fit with a bug I wasn't sure about buzzing in my ear. There are some good things about living in the frozen North, and I think not getting stink bugs is one of them ;) Of course our mosquitoes can suck the belly of a moose standing flat-footed on the ground.

Scott Oglesby said...

That my dear is a stink bug. Pittsburgh is being overrun with them right now.

You’re so lucky! I think I would have wrecked for sure. The worst I did was drop a lit cigarette in my lap while driving on the turnpike. Horrible!

Bob-kat said...

oh boy, that's funny. That made me laugh which ended in a coughing fit as I'm home sick right now, but thanks for cheering me up! :-)

Arkansas Patti said...

That was hilarious and yes I am laughing at your expense but also squirming at the thought. Yikes.
I do think it was thoughtful of you to entertain the childrern.
However, that your actions were normal for Jeremy's grandmother, I'd have had to hang around to see what she was like.

Micky-T said...

Great post. I had a run in yesterday too with these suckers. Working on the house going in and out the front door to my table saw and tools there would be one right there looking like he was trying to get in. I'd swat him away (nothing a critter that tough looking couldn't handle) with a finger and carry on. I came back out and there he was again, swat. And again, and again WTF? Then I took a good look around and saw about a dozen stuffed in cracks and such. Apparently they were taking turns trying to get in.

DJan said...

I remember those bugs, but I haven't seen any of them up here in the Pacific Northwest. Slugs, on the other hand, are everywhere. But then they don't fly either, or crawl into your ear... funny in a weird sort of way. :-)

Dianne said...

mrs c - you're welcome for the laugh!! I'm guessing Miss Alice figured I looked more crazy grandmother than dangerous kidnapper ;)

cherie - I read that they are all over the east coast in record numbers, it's kind of you to give them shelter :)

jay s - the kid who assumed I was Jeremy's grandmother appears to be the "lawyer" of the group - he starts trouble and then offers to fix it ;)

Grayquill - I love that I made you laugh :)
and I too am glad I didn't become RoadQuill - although RQ in some forms can be cool

reb - I see the image of that mosquito and it's scary!! :)
some of the state highways have narrow turn off lanes, only the major parkways and turnpikes have shoulders
this particular spot didn't even have a turn off lane
just 2 lanes of traffic going way too fast

scott - I've done the dropped cigarette a few times, it's horrible!
Once I flicked a cigarette out the window and it went into the window of the car next to me
that was awful, I felt like such an asshat

bob-kat - feel better!! I'm glad I cheered you up

patti - laughing at my expense is welcomed :)
I wonder why that boy thought I was Jeremy's "Grammy" - maybe all crazy old women remind him of Grammy LOL

Micky - oh good lord!! they operate as gangs!? be careful, be very very careful

DJan - I've seen slugs, they're so ugly and would probably follow me onto the highway !! LOL

Daryl said...

I think you were just so smart to stop and get rid of those beetles ... GAH .. I hate bugs .. flying, crawling, creeping .. I shudder as I type this .. eeeeewwwwwwwww

Trisha said...

Too funny! You are that bug are probably life-long friends now. Expect interesting emails and phone calls . . . .

Akelamalu said...

I'd have zapped that bug never mind the kids watching! ;)

Hilary said...

Too funny. Your response to Miss Alice.... I totally expected it to end with "Oh Robbbbbbbb!" because I could hear it in a Laura Petrie voice. You are such a gem.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

EEEEEWWWWWWWW!!! Creepy Crawly...! That would have driven me nuts! Glad you finally got rid of both bugs!

I had to laugh when you said you would never drive and talk on the phone...But, steering with your Knees while taking pictures is better??? LOL! OY!

That bug is really kind of "beetle" looking, too!

ds said...

Oh, priceless! I don't know how you managed to drive with all of that blooming buzzing confusion going on--much less get out your camera. So I can't say which is funnier, visualizing you in your car with camera, bug, knees & violent drivers, or you in the driveway facing Miss Alice and Jeremy. Clearly that woman has seen everything...
Thanks for the laughs!!!!

RiverPoet said...


"I flap my right hand like I’m doing a jazz revival" - classic!

Yes, you had a stink bug stalking you. I have my own stink bug story. The little bugger actually put its chemical-smell all over the back of my neck and hand when I brushed it away as I sat in Borders doing homework. The smell was so strong that it made me ill, and I had to go home and wash up with tomato juice.

I'm pretty sure the thing was in cahoots with the guy who was coveting the leather chair and electrical outlet I was hogging.

Just sayin'....

Peace - D

Jeni said...

If that happened to me -an encounter with an icky bug like that, in my ear, my hair, etc., -my jeep and I would probably have ended up being towed off to the nearest junk yard from my having rammed into a tree or some other immobile object! EGADS, girl -that would rank right up there in my book as a very scary encounter of the Third Degree for sure. And also -the bug does look like it's a big old stinkbug too!

Granny Annie said...

Well, this story made my day. Now you do realize, don't you, that is is a total miracle that you and others in your path, survived this ordeal. Not only did you fight the bug you took pictures. OMG! Yes, it was a stink bug, so just be glad you didn't smash it.

Mare said...

You are too funny!! I really was kind of glued to the screen to find out what was going to happen next!! You were smart to pull off the road for both the phone call and the bugs...Yikes!!

Volly said...

...and after you drove away, another kid said "Yeah, she's weird, but she sure can dance!"

Knight said...

What is that thing? I am not a nice lady. It would be dead.
I love the jazz revival line. Great imagery. Laughed my ass off!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

yep its a stink bug! Not a fan of bugs. yikes!

gaelikaa said...

Eww! I hate bugs. But we all come up against them some time. Congratulations on a situation well handled. Congratulations to on your POTW nomination.

Anonymous said...

So very, very POTW worthy!
I confess, I would have laughed even harder but I figured out early on (from your buzzing description) that this was a stinkbug. (Your photo proves that theory correct.) I can assure you that it is a good thing you didn't smash it, or the kids would be talking about a strange STINKY lady! LOL

Thanks for the big smiles this morning!

Tabor said...

Ah yes the invasion of the stink bugs that are EVERYWHERE these days. At least they do not bite. Congrats on your POTW...a great laugh.

Jillsy said...

fantastic post to start off the day! thanks for the great laugh! Here from the Smitten Image...and btw...congrats on POTW!

Land of shimp said...

What a wonderfully funny story. I'm here via Hilary's by the way, congratulations on the POTW mention :-)

Just joining in the bug identification chorus, you met up with a stink bug! As a fellow weirdo who is always getting caught in the midst of doing things exactly like this (no seriously, almost exactly, mine was an albino spider that had me whirling around like a dervish in a parking lot), I feel your pain :-)

By the way, it could have been worse. Long ago a friend was sitting at a light, when a sparrow swooped in through his passenger side window and didn't exit. It then began pelting around the interior, ramming into every square inch of vehicle and the driver, as he desperately tried to pull away from the light, and get the heck out of traffic. A cop behind him pulled in after him to find out what was going on, and as the cop appeared at the window to ascertain the difficulty...the sparrow finally found the exit, and his last act of avian defiance before flitting off into the day? Buzzing by that cop so closely that the poor guy hit the deck with a squawk of his own.

My friend leaned out of the window and said, "I'm sorry, are you okay?" *beat* "Please tell me you aren't going to give me a ticket for that."

And the mortified cop bounced to his feet and without so much as a backward glance, beat feet the hell away from there.

Cricket said...

Heh, heh. Very funny - except for the "bug in the ear" part. That would have wigged me out good. I got a bug caught in my ear once and had to lie down, pour water in and drown the little (bad word).

He floated out. (Shudder) At least I wasn't driving at the time.

Congratulations on the potw.

christopher said...

Great tale. And couldn't be told any funnier than by you.

Congrats on POTW.

jabblog said...

Shudder! Much as I admire all those colourful little creatures I prefer not to be in close contact with them. You did remarkably well - I'm sure I would have crashed into something!

CherylK said...

How hilarious! I can say that because it didn't happen to me but in all honesty, I'd have freaked.

So that's a stink bug, huh? I think I took a picture of one that was sitting on my computer, last night. Husband kindly got rid of it for me but not before I got a shot or two. (My camera rides shotgun, too.)

Congrats on POTW even though I'm late reading them. It's such fun.

Carrie Lynne said...

LMAO! ha ha ha,you should see me dance and scream like a little girl when I encounter a spider. Funny stuff..I'll be back.