Little Useless Exoskeleton

The day began with a normal ‘Hello! Good morning everyone!’

In return, I got ‘Ugh, Kate, there was the creepiest centipede in our shower last night!  Wanna see a picture?’

It is shocking to me that I am not phased by these random outbursts anymore.  I am quite entertained by them at this point…I mean you really never know what is going to come out of someone else’s mouth, especially first thing in the morning.  I gently declined the invitation to view the picture, but did let her tell the story (let her?…there would be no way to get her to not tell it) about how she came to find the bug in her shower (while she was in it).

She took us step by step through the killing of the leggy, crunchy creature.  (Ugh, they are so crunchy when you smash them!  Sick!)  First, she had to jump out of the shower and cover herself with a towel.  Then she had to recruit her roommate to witness the heinous beast and help destroy it!  bwaa ha ha!  They doused the beast in aerosol hairspray until it clutched its chest and its 720 legs twitched and curled up into its chest (chest? abdomen? thorax? from head to tail?).  They asphyxiated the little devil….and then heaved a dustpan at it to crush it into a thousand little pieces of leg.  Take that.

Everyone in the room nearly vomited in their mouths.  Myself included.  The mere thought of these creepy little bugs sends girls into convulsions.  I think the worst part for me is the ‘crunch’… when I actually work up the nerve to use the nearest hard surface and tip toe closer and closer…the whole time visualizing the bug seeing me, leaping 6 feet onto me, and proceeding to whip out its vampire teeth (I know they’re in there) and hiss and crawl and crawl and hiss.  Of course they never jump directly onto me.  Sometimes they try to escape…they are lightning fast!  I suppose I would be too if I had 25,000 little legs to carry myself on.  But, the sound of the crunch.  Remember that scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom?  Where they have to walk through the cave and Short Round says to Dr. Jones that he doesn’t think they are stepping on fortune cookies?  Then the leading lady in the movie ( I can’t remember her name) follows them through the cave and lights her candle to see while she walks.  Ugh!  The crunching…and then the visual!  They’re all up in her hair and ears and legs…and just everywhere.  It really would be awful.  But, the sound. The crunching is deafening.

The crunch of their little useless exoskeletons.

So easily crunched…and destroyed, and yet why the fear?  Why are centipedes, silverfish, spiders, and bugs in general so creepy and freaky?  Maybe it comes from us seeing our mothers freak out when we’re young…that our brain is programmed to be afraid of them.  Maybe it’s because all of a sudden they’re there!  ‘ Hello, I’m creepy and I’m on you.’  They seem to come from nowhere, when you’re least expecting them…like when you open a door and Surprise!!  Someone’s face is right there and it scares you half to death.  It’s that ‘fight or flight’ response that gets the adrenaline running.  It makes us prepared to battle to the death.  Or battle to the crunch.  I am for sure not afraid of creepy crawlies when they are in closed, controlled, containers at the zoo.  If I know something can’t get me…and I can approach it instead of it jumping off the wall at me with it’s vampire teeth and hissing, then, I’m cool.

So after this whole day of listening to stories about creepy crawlies, what they heck do I come home to??  I walk in my bedroom ready to change into some comfortable clothes and write a cute little story about Alfredo sauce…and I see a little discoloration on the floor, and it moves.  It moves lightning fast to the very piece of clothing that I was going to put on!  WHY!?!  There’s no way that I can find it…no way that I really want to find it.  So I use my fingers like tweezers to scoot the pants to try to shake the cruncher out from its hiding spot.  Nothing.  My body is literally 5 feet away from the pants because the last thing I want is to wind up smashing my foot in the process of smashing this little cruchy Triscuit cracker bug.  I realize then that I have nothing to grab to smash this little jerk.  So I continue.  I shake the pants again…and

Zoom!  He scurries lightning fast right under the bed.  Ugh!  What now?  At that point I gave up.  Maybe I can lure him out with a dish of water.  Those creeps love moisture, right?  I mean, who am I kidding though?  It’s not like a cat that can be lured out with treats or tepid milk.  It’s a sick little creepy creeper crunchy ‘pede that I did not crunch!!  Now I will be thinking of it all night.  Where is it?  What’s that on my leg (like I’m feeling right now)?  What’s that shadow?  Is that a bug in my ear? (vomit in mouth)  The man of the house that is my knight in shining armor also will not be here until later this evening, which leaves me T minus 2.5 hours to watch and wait.  There is no way he will even find it and kill it…they only come out when I’m here.

It’s strange how just talking about these little beasts makes them appear.  It’s like ‘The Secret’ and how what you put out to the universe will come back to you.  If you put out good vibes, you get good vibes back.   If you think money, you get money.  If you think tragedy and despair, that is what you get.  What do I get?  Speedy crunchy freaky bugs?  It just can’t be.  I suppose there will be a little family that moves in now that I’ve taken all this time to send out crunchy ‘pede vibes into the universe again.  Or maybe I’ll get lucky and actually get the crunch factor that I’ve been agonizing over.

I suppose the couch is comfortable enough.


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