The Florida State Bird

Do you know what it is? Well, if you're a smartypants, you'll say it's the Mockingbird. If you didn't know, now you know it when Jeopardy gets around to state birds. If you're a wiseass (like Liz and many residents of this state), you will say its the palmetto bug. What is known as a Palmetto bug south of the Mason Dixon is otherwise known as a cockroach down here.

A fact of life here is bugs and critters. Don't move here if you're a wuss about them. For instance, I was over at the in laws recently, swimming in the pool and playing catch with younger son. He threw the ball to me and when I caught it behind my shoulder, I felt something else. It was a snake-a foot long, green snake. I got out of the pool, got the skimmer, caught the thing and threw it over the fence into the school yard. No screaming. No freaking.

Yesterday, I got a frantic phone call at 11:30pm. It was Jill, and she was FLIPPING OUT because she saw a palmetto bug in her kitchen. She bought her first home here last November, but she's lived in Florida off and on much longer than I have. You'd think that she'd be used to the darn things.

I don't know what I was supposed to do OVER THE PHONE, because I sure as heck wasn't wasting 10 bucks in gas and another 3 in tolls to go over there and rescue her from a bug (yes, the drive to Lakeland costs that much, folks). She was talking of abandoning the house because she couldn't sleep with this bug in there. My comment was that the house was chock full of bugs that she couldn't see! Was I moral support? Not really, because all my suggestions weren't working or she was too scared to try.

Bug Spray? She'd have to pass the bug to get it. Smash it with a shoe? Well, my intent was that she walk over and put the shoe over the bug, instead she threw a couple. Not as effective. How about a book? None big enough. Phone Book? Not sure where that is. I didn't want to suggest the myriad DVDs she had behind her-even though DVD cases are perfect for bug squashing (big and flat). Because the shoes had been thrown in the general vicinity of the bug, she said she wouldn't wear them again. I'd hate to see a DVD suffer that fate, too.

She was disappointed that the cats (4 of them) weren't aiding her in the quest to get rid of the bug. I offered the opinion that if she was screaming (and she was) you can bet the cats were thinking "She's a lot bigger than me and she's freaked out-time for little old me to hide!" She didn't like that one. Hey, I've never owned a cat, but I think I summed up their thought processes pretty good, don't you?

After about 20 minutes of this, with me searching the internet to see if there were any 24 hour exterminators in Lakeland (that would be a big No), we got off the phone. My stomach did not like that phone call, as I was doing everything I could not to laugh at her, as the laughing HURT.

A little while later, I got an IM. She got the bug out of the house. She'd put a bag on the floor near the stove, somehow got the bug in there *note to bug-when lady screams, HIDE* and pushed it out onto her lanai with a broomstick. Now she won't use the lanai, because the bug was out there.

Moral of the story: If you're scared of bugs, get an exterminator, carry bug spray with you at all times and don't call me. I'll be laughing my butt off at you. I'm a horrible friend, because I won't drive twenty eight miles to rescue you from the Florida State Bird.

Okay, so now you're wondering, is there anything that I freak out about? The initial sight of a mouse will get a shriek out of me, but then it's all about what can I catch the darn thing in so I can put it outside. Bugs, on the other hand, I'm all about the squashing.

Yet another thing where I am soooo not a princess about...


Jill said…
LOL. I'm actually *quite* ok with your laughing ;) If it wasn't ME in volved, I'd have been laughing myself. In all fairness, I'm not girly about *anything* except bugs. Don't like them in any way shape or form... And squishing them? Oh, so not happening... I'd have to get *near* it. After I called you, mostly so you could "be" here virtually ;) I wasn't expecting you to drive out at that hour, I ended up calling Mom... Cause, well, I needed someone "here". Yeah, she's 1000 miles away, yeah, I woke her up... but that's ok. It's Mom.

Tonight I came home from work and *gingerly* explored the house. The exterminator guys were already scheduled to be here on Saturday, but my call this morning had them rescheduling it for Friday. Being here tomorrow would have been better but oh well. And yeah, I would have *totally* abandoned the house. Logic does not rule when it comes to me and bugs!

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