posted by Matt W on December 5th, 2012

The other night I was cleaning up the dinner dishes with my daughter and we heard a blood curdling scream from upstairs. As my wife was the only other person in the house, we were pretty sure it was her. Neither of us stopped what we were doing. My wife screams like that for two reasons only: missing a deadline or appointment, “We forgot to turn in the school fieldtrip form, UURGH!”, and for bugs. My daughter and I were pretty sure it was a bug.

“There is the biggest bug I’ve ever seen in the upstairs bathroom!” is shouted down from upstairs.

Bug it is. My daughter starts to chuckle. “How big do you think it is this time?” is my daughter’s perfectly cynical response? “I’ll go with pretty big, over an inch, or any size spider for a buck.” I respond. “You’re on” is her confident reply. I take a few paper towels with me from the kitchen ‘just in case.’

I walk into the bathroom just in time to see her jumping up from the toilet, frantically running into the other room and screaming, “It just moved, I thought it was dead! I THOUGHT IT WAS DEAD!” My “Why did you scream so loud the first time if it was dead” comment apparently wasn’t as funny as I thought. I should have waited until I got back down to the kitchen and shared my humor with a more appreciative audience. Anyway, it was pretty big, probably an inch and a half. The thought of my daughter owing me a buck (there’s nothing better than taking money off your kids in a bet) fills my easily distracted brain until the bug makes another mad dash towards safety. Luckily, I brought the paper towels as I would have probably lost the sucker if I had to go after it bare handed.

“It looks like a cockroach and they never travel by themselves. There must be hundreds in our house”, is my wife’s attempt at nervous insect conversation. “It’s not a cockroach; it has way to big of wings. Go get my reading glasses so I can get a better look at it,” is my crazy old man attempt to calm her nerves. Apparently, my attempt backfired as she was even more freaked out that this bug and ALL its relatives had “air access” to her as she slept. I decided just to flush the bug and change the subject.

We haven’t had the best of luck with bugs in our houses. While in California, we had a huge ant problem in our house which even disgusted me. When we first got to Tennessee, we had a few run-ins with some pretty nice sized creatures and made a new friend in our exterminator. We pay him every month to come to our house so “episodes” like the “huge flying creature” from the other night don’t happen. As we live in Tennessee, we still find plenty of bugs in the house, although I will say they are all pretty woozy or dead from having to walk through the exterminator’s maze of non-toxic insect repellents (how can something be non-toxic that is designed to kill something?). So, while I am always surprised with the intensity of her hatred towards bugs, I do understand; although I still don’t get the spider thing. No matter how many times I tell my wife how important spiders are in keeping the rest of the insect population in check, she does not consider them her friends. In fact, she holds spiders alone as the most hated creatures on the planet. Weird.

Well, I continue to dutifully remove the bugs that make it through the exterminator’s gauntlet whenever summoned by the insect hating queen more commonly known as my wife. With paper towel in hand, I mercifully remove the spiders and other creatures and place them outside on the rail of my deck. And if I’m lucky, like the other night, I can take a dollar off one of my kids in the process.

Hey, she never paid me.

File Under King of the Castle