Okay, before I start this entry, let me state that I write this with Jesse’s permission.  In fact, I was going to skip over it until he started begging me to write it up.  So, here we go. 

Every spring, our apartment (and many apartments in the valley) has a problem with beetles.  I don’t know where they come from but they come in swarms and their sole mission in life seems to be getting into our apartment to die in air-conditioned comfort.  Most days we find at least one, sometimes still squirming on the kitchen floor, sometimes floating in the toilet or even IN MY CLOSET (okay, I hate it when they do that — once you’re in my walk-in closet, it’s gotten personal).  It’s sort of gross but hey, what can you do ?  You pick the corpse (or about-to-be corpse) up in a tissue, squish and move on.  They’ve already been poisoned by the pesticides sprayed around the perimeter of the buildings so you wouldn’t be doing them any favours by letting them live and tossing them outside. 

At least, I thought it was as simple as ending their short, pointless lives (Men In Black reference for the win!) until last week.  I was lying in bed playing on Facebook when I hear a very strange noise coming from the kitchen.  It sort of sounded like a wounded coyote or, at least, what I imagine a wounded coyote to sound like.  Low, plaintive, but quickly rising in pitch and becoming terrified.  Then, a Jesse-shaped blur comes streaking through our bedroom towards the bathroom. 

“OMG THERE WAS A BEETLE ON THE FLOOR AND I STEPPED ON IT AND I TOTALLY FELT IT CRUNCH UNDER MY FOOT AND OMG OMG OMG OMG GET IT OFF GET IT OFF GET IT OFF ME”

I couldn’t help it.  I started laughing.  Not just laughing.  Cracking up.  I laughed until my stomach hurt, until the sides of my face ached.  I did manage to laugh while I got up to ask if he was okay and if there was anything I could do.  At this point, the shower’s on and Jesse’s frantically washing his foot.  I was surprised he wasn’t curled up in the fetal position.  Then I made a mistake.  Just as he was about to get out of the shower, I pointed at his foot and asked “what’s that black stuff?” (it was a fuzzy).  That set off another minute or so of frenzied washing (from him) and hysterical laughter (from me). 

In my defense, I DID go back into the kitchen and clean up the shattered beetle corpse and guts.  Poor thing (Jesse, not the beetle — you sneak into my apartment to die, you’re going to get what’s coming to you). 

It’s so good that we have complementary fears.  He hates bugs.  I don’t mind them.  I hate pigeons.  He protects me from their poisoned talons and wicked, beady eyes while I flatten myself against the wall and close my eyes, hoping against hope that if I can’t see them, they can’t see me.  Too bad I left the magical thinking stage approximately 20 years ago.

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