“If it’s so great outside, why are all the bugs trying to get in my house?
Jim Gaffigan, comedian
Misery loves company. It is the reason we don’t like to admit certain things to others. We think we’re the only one and when it turns out others are experiencing it too, our miserable isolation transforms into joyful camaraderie. We revel in the fact we are not alone.
Such is the case with bugs in my house. At a friend’s backyard patio party recently, the subject turned to our uninvited six- and eight-legged guests who easily outnumbered us invited two-legged types. This led to the bravest among us admitting that bugs in her yard, weary of nature, had been seeking the comfort of her climate-controlled home in record numbers.
We could all relate.
The biggest problem in my house this summer has been roly-poly bugs. I have no idea what the scientific name is, but it should be rollus-pollus agra-vaaa-tus. You know the ones. They crawl along looking pathetic and, when threatened, immediately curl into what appear to be miniature bowling balls hunting for tiny pins to knock down.
They accumulate by the dozens on my front porch and die, having fallen short of their goal of getting inside my home. Within two days of sweeping them off the porch, their cousins are back again in equal number, also dead. The toughest of them make it inside where they run the risk of encountering an invading menace we both dread — scorpions.
As a kid, I was stung by many bees and wasps while playing outside. But it took 61 years for my bare foot to cross paths with a scorpion inside the comfort of my own laundry room.
The skinny on scorpions is, they are shy creatures who generally don’t want confrontation and sometimes play opossum in hopes of escaping attention. My sting was a result of physics, in that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. This includes bare feet and stingers. When my unsuspecting foot molested his space, he did the only thing he knew to do to separate us. This had the effect of activating Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion involving equal and opposite reactions. Upon being stung, I screamed like a little girl.
That said, experience reveals scorpions are not always so passive-aggressive. Sometimes they are just aggressive. Last week another scorpion swaggered into our den, looking like he was the one who had signed the mortgage on the house and willing to fight anyone who disagreed.
Upon approach, his long tail and stinger arched high as if to say, “You want a piece of me, big boy? Come and get it!” A blast of Hot Shot reduced him to tears, and he was soon knocking on eternity’s door.
It seems safe to say when that door opened, it was entry into what we politely refer to as Hades — a more suitable permanent climate for so nasty a customer.