a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Menaced by stink bugs

Stink Bug, originally uploaded by juliealicea1947.

“Laugh it off, laugh it off; it’s all part of life’s rich pageant.” – Arthur Marshall

“He is a man of courage who does not run away, but remains at his post and fights against the enemy.” – Socrates

By Amanda Gillooly

I don’t want to get all Tom Petty on anybody, but I don’t scare easy.

Unless it has to do with needles, open wounds or bugs.

While I can steer clear of most enterprises that involve the first two, I’ve been unable to avoid that last one. In fact – stink bugs have been an aggressive menace to my mornings.

I’ll admit: I’m a bit of a superstitious writer. To successfully compose copy on deadline, many things must go right – myriad stars must align. My handwritten notes must be neatly extracted from the legal pad from which it came, stapled at the left-hand corner and placed in a manila file folder before I can even begin. 

To continue, I also need a bandanna or other hair band to keep my unruly short hair from hanging precariously in my eyes while I type.

Finally, I need coffee. And if I don’t consume that first cup during a few quiet moments of reflection while perched on the swing on my front porch, the ledes just don’t seem to materialize with any ease.

So, despite the stink bug infestation Pittsburghers like me have been bemoaning (and openly cursing with profanity in some cases – mine included) I refused to let the enemy win and stay indoors with my morning cup of Joe.

But bravery comes at a cost, and for me I paid it about two weeks ago when one of those bastardly bugs dove into my cleavage, briefly becoming trapped between my bosom and its harness.

Not wanting to squish the thing (I’d never get that stain out of a white bra – do you have any idea how much a Body by Victoria demi will cost you?), I reacted calmly and rationally.

After emitting a hearty “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” I stood up and brushed at the ugly little bug, causing it to fall further down into the depths of my 38-Cs. After that, it was pure panic.
For a moment of true terror, I almost ripped the blouse off – but just then the stink bug in question took his cue and flew away.

And I immediately felt like an ass, looking around to see if any of my long-suffering neighbors had witnessed my lapse into momentary stink bug insanity. They didn’t.

I’m usually a jolly enough Irish girl, but I was not pleased. It wasn’t funny. It was an assault to both my boobs and to my ability to do my job.

On the defensive, I started wearing a hoodie at all times while on the porch to prevent any wayward insects from making their way near any of my under things. It was by no means a decisive victory against the enemy as much as it was an attempt to live in peace until they all die with the change of the season.

Hey, I’m a humanitarian like that.

But then, as I was enjoying my coffee and trying to invoke the Muse earlier today, I felt a creeping up my leg – a movement that stopped midway up my right thigh. Under the yoga pants.

But I had learned my lesson. I didn’t mess around with any brushing, although I will admit I let out a hell of a yelp as I promptly dropped trou on my porch.

Problem = solved.

Just this time, I laughed and laughed. 

At myself. 

I was thankful for the whole exchange.

Sometimes just when you are taking yourself too seriously, a stink bug comes along and makes you jump around like a fool.

And I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was thankful for cute panties, too.

Amanda Gillooly is a freelance writer in Pittsburgh, whose stories appear in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and publications of the Innocence Institute of Point Park University. She has an over-sized cat named Lincoln that some people have mistaken for a raccoon.


Scott Beveridge said...

You crack me up

Jason said...

It fell into your 38-C's? I am guessing a male stink bug.