Know What Really Bugs Me?

Categories Doing, Laughing

I hate bugs.  A lot.

Actually, it’s more accurate to say that I am terrified of bugs, therefore I hate bugs.  I can’t explain it (guess where they get the term “irrational fear”).  I cannot recall any particular bug ever doing anything unspeakable to me, other than a mosquito bite or a bee sting.  But I hate them nonetheless.  As far as I’m concerned, anything with more legs than a dog must die.

Just the thought of a bug is enough to make me feel like thousands of them are crawling all over me, as though I were wearing a wetsuit made of them.  (Not that I would be likely to wear a wetsuit, but that’s the general feeling.)  Ugh!  The number of multi-legged monsters that Fab Husband has slain for me is staggering.  (I just wish he’d remove the bug guts from the scene of the killing after he’s finished…)

I’ve been thinking about bugs a lot lately.  Every day, in fact.  No, it isn’t some form of therapy or sick self-torture.  I have a very good reason for thinking about these horrible creatures all the time.

Kidzilla’s summer program at school is all about (you guessed it) BUGS!!!

They are everywhere.  When we drop Zilla off or pick her up at school, there are bug posters and bug decorations.  Every week of the summer is dedicated to the study of a different bug…spiders, crickets, bees…OH MY!  (You did that in your head, too.  Admit it.)

So while I generally try to ignore the fact that these things exist, I have been confronted by them every day for about the last month.  I even happened across a bonus bug story not too long ago in a posting on How Sweet It Is.  These little buggers are everywhere!

I think they stalk me.

It probably started with a vacation trip to Vermont when I was very small.  I remember almost nothing from that trip except the mosquito bite that swelled into a thing the size of half my torso.  I remember a baking soda concoction that was supposed to take away the itch.  I do not recall seeing the attacker, but I figured anything capable of producing a bit that size is something to be feared.


In elementary school, we played outside at recess time on a sunny playground.  On the side of the building we always found a huge collection of black bugs with red stuff on their backs that looked like blood vessels.  Or, rather, the boys found them…called the girls over to look…and then told us they were killer bloodsuckers.  The girls fled, shrieking at pitches only dogs could hear.  Needless to say I feared those from that day forward.

Imagine my terror when I encountered a handful of them in my Grandparents’ downstairs bathroom…they were always there!  Worst shower of my life was the one I took with two of those nasty creatures crawling along at the top of the shower.


Then there was the time I encountered a very big, very scary spider when I was home ALONE.  Because I can’t be in a building where I know there is a live bug, I had to call someone.  Stat.  This spider was horrid.  Easily two inches in diameter with the hairiest legs you’ve ever seen!  You know what hairy legs on a spider means?  Poisonous!  (No, I really have no idea…but this is the way the mind of a terrified woman works.)  Tried to think who could handle a monster of this magnitude for me.  I called my Wonderful Grandfather.  My Lovely Italian Grandmother answered the phone.

“Quick!  I need Wonderful Grandfather!  It’s an emergency!”

He came to the phone right away.  I cut right to the chase.

“Wonderful Grandfather, how do you kill a poisonous spider???”


WG: “I expect the same way you kill a non-poisonous one.  Why?”

Me: “Because there is one staring at me right now and I’m home alone and nobody is here to help me and it’s going to kill me!”

Pause.  Hysterical laughter.

I was not amused.

When he recovered, he suggested that I leave the poor spider alone because he was probably more afraid of me than I was of him.

I sincerely doubt that.


High school.  Watching a TV show in the basement with my family, I felt something crawling on me.  I said so several times, but they all assured me that there was no bug crawling on me.  A short while later I went to the kitchen for a drink.  I was certain that I felt something crawling on me.  I looked inside my t-shirt and AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!  There was something black and multi-legged on me!  I whipped off my t-shirt and sweats and stripped down to undergarments right there in front of the fridge.  The entire family came running to find me thus, screaming, in the middle of the kitchen while the bug crawled away laughing maniacally.


Years ago, there was some kind of a stink bug epidemic that affected the grounds of the company I worked for.  These armor-clad monsters showed up everywhere…outside the building on the front entrance door, in the hallways, on window ledges, in the ceiling light fixtures…

One day I looked up from my computer to see three of them hovering on the spine of a book sitting on the shelf just above me wiggling their ugly little antennae at me.  They were about to charge.  I ran to get the office vacuum cleaner to do away with them…nothing can live in a vacuum, right?  I was briefly satisfied by the sound of their crunchy little bodies making their way up the hose to the dirt canister.  Good riddance.

The stink bug episode was not over, though.  About a year later, they started showing up in my apartment.  They had found me!  They were after me! I was so terrorized by these things showing up all the time that I would break out in a sweat and hyperventilate when I encountered one.  One night, there was one stuck on my kitchen ceiling.  It was the middle of the night.  I was on the telephone with a friend and she was trying to coach me through squishing this thing.

I couldn’t do it.  I’m pretty sure I was reduced to tears partly because I was so terrified and partly because I was so pathetic.  There was no way I was going to sleep with that thing in the apartment and I could not bring myself to get close enough to get rid of him.

It must’ve gotten really bad because the next thing I knew, she said “I’ll be right over.”  And twelve minutes later, she showed up at my door to slay my evil intruder.  My hero!  I figure she either really wanted to help me out or she just wanted me to shut up so she could go to sleep.  Either way, dead bug.

And now I must face a new bugger every week of the summer.  I can handle the rock painted like a ladybug.  I don’t really mind toilet paper roll bumble bees.  The sock stuffed with grass seed that is supposed to grow into a fuzzy caterpillar is a little strange, but probably harmless.  But peeking into Kidzilla’s backpack every day and finding diagrams of insect parts is pretty rough.  And a well-meaning relative gave her a book about bugs…with life-like photos!  That one practically sent me into a panic attack.  (We’ve hidden that somewhere – only Fab Dad reads that book to her.)

And so this afternoon we are off to a science discovery center.

Betcha they have at least one exhibit about bugs.

Lisa A. Listwa is a self-employed writer with experience in education, publishing, and the martial arts. Believing there was more to life than punching someone else’s time clock and inspired by the words of Henry David Thoreau, she traded her life as a high school educator for a life as a writer and hasn’t looked back. She is mother to one glorious handful of a daughter, wife to the nicest guy on the planet, and reluctant but devoted owner of three Rotten Cats. You can find her adventures and thoughts on living life deliberately here on the blog.

5 thoughts on “Know What Really Bugs Me?

  1. I wish there was a way to put into typeface my horrible thousand legger bug noise…it seems appropriate for this post.

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