Ms. Goodman vs cricket: My 15 minutes of YouTube fame

I hate bugs.

I mean, I REALLY hate bugs.

If it creeps, crawls, stings, bites, flies, jumps, or spins a web, it is my mortal enemy.

I don’t understand people who study bugs. What’s there to study? They’re evil, and they should be destroyed.  (The bugs, not the people who study them.)

Even ladybugs creep me out. But that might be because my house seems to be the ladybug burial ground. They come to my house to die. I can’t explain it, but I have found hundreds of dead ladybugs, and I’ve only ever seen two or three live ones.

But the worst of the worst, the most evil of all creatures on the earth are spiders and crickets. And the hellish hybrid creature that I call a spricket. They are indigenous to my parents’ basement and embody all of the worst characteristics of spiders and crickets. They can jump AND climb walls, and are even uglier than either spiders or crickets.

The biggest problem that I have though is that I am completely incapable of killing bugs. It’s not that I don’t want them dead, because I do. I want them dead more than I hate the Cowboys. I hate them more than I love Bruce Springsteen. I hate them more than I hate Duke basketball. We’re talking extreme hatred.

But I can’t kill them. I just can’t. I want to. But I can’t. If they make a mess when they’re dead, I’m too grossed out for words, because the only thing ickier than a bug, is dead bug guts on your wall. And I won’t step on them because I’d have to throw out the shoes I used. And I’m NOT giving up shoes for a bug. No way.

In college, this was where my male friends came in. I used to call my friend Matt in the middle of the night and tell him he needed to come over to kill the spider on my ceiling.

“Are you kidding me?” he’d ask. “No, I’m sleeping.”

I would beg and plead and eventually he would come over to kill it so I would leave him alone and let him sleep.

I’m still mad at him for moving to California. Although he may have done that to get a decent night’s sleep without having to worry about me calling him to be my personal exterminator.

But now it’s harder because most of my guy friends are married or have serious girlfriends, who somehow don’t like it when I ask their man to come over in the middle of the night. And I live alone. So if there’s a spider on my ceiling, I have to deal with it myself.  Which usually involves tears, hyperventilating, and a really long shower after the deed is done.

Luckily, I’ve discovered a solution: the vacuum cleaner. It’s perfect. The bugs can’t escape it, and there’s no mess. But I always worry that they could still be alive and crawl back out of the vacuum and be angry with me, so I leave it running for a few minutes after I suck up the bug to make sure it’s dead.

Of course, that didn’t work for the spider that I found at my old apartment in College Park. I opened the door one day and saw it out there, and never went onto the balcony again. That spider was so big that if I DID pull out a shoe to try to squish it with, it would have pulled out a BIGGER shoe and hit me back. When I moved out, I left the patio furniture there. The spider could keep it. I didn’t want it anymore.

I don’t know why crickets freak me out so much. I know they’re stupid and therefore incapable of being as intentionally evil as spiders, but they’re SO ugly and gross. And they jump. And they’re not always smart enough to jump AWAY from me. Or maybe they ARE smart and know that I’m WAY more scared of them than they are of me and are therefore trying to intimidate me when they jump toward me. If that’s the case, their plan is working.

Unfortunately, I can’t even pretend that I’m not afraid of crickets. Because there’s video evidence* of my fear. And despite my pleas and threats, my former student has left it on YouTube.

I’ll show it to you, but first I want to explain the circumstances.

Just so you don’t think I’m THAT big of a synonym for a cat.

Well… on second though, never mind. I don’t think there’s anything I CAN say to explain this one away, except that I REALLY hate bugs and the cricket in the video was REALLY big.

But I will tell you this, if you come at me with a bug, and I don’t have a vacuum cleaner handy, I will get you back for it. I don’t know how, and I don’t know when, but you will pay. So Nick and Tigran, watch your backs!

*If you’re reading this someplace where the youtube video doesn’t show up as embedded in the blog (like at school), here’s the URL:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRUZYHw1zBo