Wednesday, March 3

A Bug's Life

Every week we get a delivery from Boston Organics, which delivers a big box of organic fruits and veggies to our door. Now, I've never doubted the organic creds of the company, but a big fat green preying mantis/grasshopper/green thingy that appeared with our veggies definitely speak to the pesticide-free nature of our produce (and made me reconsider my avoidance of all things Monsanto).

Now, I understand it's important not to telegraph our fears and dislikes to our children. I can look any spider in the eye. I can check under dark beds and peer into dark closets without nary a shudder. I can show my kids the baby mice at our local Audubon without throwing up.

But this was a bug I could not face. It's not that the bug was so bad; it's that it was sitting in the kitchen. Pie is screaming. Doodles refuses to go near it. I'm frozen.

"I'll just throw a bowl over it and then we can figure it out," I say.

"Okay," says Doodles.

"Ahhh! Ahhh! Ahhh!" says Pie.

I take a bowl. I approach the bug. I back up from the bug. I approach the bug again. I back up from the bug. I approach the bug again. No can do. What if it jumps away when I put the bowl down?

"You do it!" I say to Doodles.

"No way!" he says and he escapes to the family room to play his Didj.

I call Adam. He's not in. I text him: BUG! Bug emergency! We're trapped in the kitchen!

I call my neighbor Beetle on her cell phone, because I know she's due home from the library any minute. But it turns out her daughter's class there goes longer than she thought, but she'll be by when they're done.

In desperation, I even call my sister. In New York. She was always so good about letting herself into my NYC apartment, while I hid out in the loft bed, to retrieve the dead mice on my floor that my cat would try to turn into lunch. Tweedle Twirp, unfortunately, is unavailable. Or at least screening my calls. One can never be sure.

I put Pie on the counter, because she's too scared to be on the floor, and we watch the bug to make sure it doesn't hop away anywhere.

Finally Adam calls. "Are you kidding me?" he asks.

"It's a big bug. Don't you have a meeting?" I ask.

"It's at five." It was 4:10 at the time.

"Great. You have time to come home, get rid of the bug, and then get back to your meeting."

You'll be shocked by this, but he declines.

"Just smash it with a broom!" he says.

"That will kill it!"

"You want to rescue it??" he asks.

"I don't want to kill it!"

"Here's what you do," he offers as his last suggestion. "Grab a sheet of newspaper. Throw it over the bug. And then have the kids jump on it. Make it a game and see who can stomp on it first."

Yeah, that was helpful.

Luckily, it was only minutes later that Beetle and Tab show up. Of course they ring the front door bell. And we can't get to the front door. Because, you know, there's a bug there.

We open the kitchen door and yell to them to come around.

All I can say is thank goodness for Beetle. She took that bug and scooped it up and took it outside. The bug was rescued. And then it promptly died. Seriously. Right outside. It keeled over. Dead.

You just can't win. And now, I'm going to eat some pesticide-free apples. And try to ignore the fact that my daughter will forever be freaked out by preying mantises/grasshoppers/green thingies. Because of me. Because, you know, you just can't win.

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