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Ten Hours to Big Bugs and Other Stupid Things

October 12, 2014

I’m going to skip right past all the reasons for yet another lengthy hiatus from this blog and tell you a true tale of bugs and other stupid things—and perhaps harsh judgment on my part.

Yesterday I traveled to the Houston area with my husband to retrieve the RV he lives in while working out of town. His next job is in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and he’d left the RV in Houston to first make a quick trip home to Amarillo for a two-week reprieve. When I say reprieve, I mean the pause-in-which-you-work-your-tail-off-to-install-hardwood-floors-before-you-have-to-return-to-your-paying-job kind. But that’s another story.

We left Amarillo several hours later than planned due to sleep deprivation related to complications of said reprieve, so we arrived in Houston late last night, ready to crash.

Before I continue with my story, let’s talk nasty—as in bugs are nasty. Anyone familiar with the Houston area is likely also familiar with the giant cockroaches. People have cute names for them like “water bugs” and “palmetto bugs,” but I like to call them what they are: Spawn of Satan. I suspect our RV was more susceptible to the little monsters than usual in that our RV space was right next to a stream or canal or some such water source that also happened to be lined with trees. They say the big roaches are tree roaches, but I haven’t gotten (and probably won’t ever get) close enough to one to properly identify what kind of roaches we are dealing with. Do Satan’s minions really need specificity in labeling?

So, back to our arrival in Houston. Because I’d encountered those nasty little creatures a month or so before on a short trip to visit my hubby, I cautiously entered the RV, hyper-alert and on the lookout for them. Almost immediately I saw a dead one (the best kind) on the floor.

Tim had gone in a few minutes before me to tidy up while I gathered my things. (He hadn’t been expecting me to come back with him when he left, and might have been a little slack in his housekeeping efforts while working long hours with few days off.) I wondered if he’d just killed that bug or if it had been there since before he left Houston two weeks prior. I knew it wasn’t a natural death, because its body was squished and dismembered.

I started worrying out loud about the inevitability that before the night was over, we would experience Creepshow-like trauma at the hands of these terrifying mutant pests. Tim came out of the bathroom, and as he walked up behind me I saw a live bug (the worst kind) cruise out from under one of Tim’s ammo bags, heading for his recliner. I shouted and pointed supervised while Tim grabbed the nearest object—which, oddly enough, happened to be a drill—and pursued the enemy. He hurled magazines and tipped a table over, whacking away unsuccessfully at the despicable little intruder.

The bug scurried behind the recliner (which looks more like an upscale leather desk chair, but it reclines and has an ottoman). Tim jumped onto the recliner, knees first, facing the back, and as he hurled himself across the arm trying to reach the bug with deadly force, I heard KACHUNK! A bolt shot out from under the seat and Tim was propelled in the direction of the hand that was still swatting at the bug with the base of a drill.

If you’ve seen my husband, you’re probably already laughing. For those of you who haven’t met him, picture a 6’2” bear of a man engaging in this activity in the confined space of an RV living area. We have a pretty big RV, as far as RVs go, but it’s still a pretty small space for any kind of physical activity involving a man the size of my husband.

The urge to laugh and concern for the sacrificed chair was squelched by my need to know if he got the bug.

He did not.

I stepped forward and moved the ottoman out of range of Tim’s flailing feet as he recovered his footing, valiantly continuing his pursuit of the bug, even while sprawled out from the crash of the chair.

He finally landed a deadly blow to the bug just as I spotted a bigger, uglier bug—on MY FOOT! Creepier than the bug was the fact that I didn’t even feel it until I saw it perched arrogantly on my toe. My naked toe. The vicious predator had been hiding under the ottoman I’d just moved, waiting to attack.

I shrieked and yelled something about bugs and killing and I don’t know what all at my husband. By the time he turned around, the bug had gone underneath another footstool, to which I pointed while I continued screaming directives about killing it.

Tim moved the footstool and before he could kill the bug, it escaped under the couch. Exasperated, Tim made a couple of attempts to find it, then pronounced it gone.

I vehemently protested. A bug is not gone until it is dead—period.

It was then that I demanded requested that he either get some bug spray or get me a hotel room for the night. Preferably both. He agreed to the bug spray but regarded the hotel suggestion as ridiculous. His words didn’t say it, but his expression and tone did.

I reluctantly accepted my fate, but only because I don’t want to be a diva and I don’t like to spend money unnecessarily. To me, staying in an RV (think close quarters) after spotting three of these horrifying creatures within two minutes of arriving is what’s ridiculous, and I’m pretty sure I used words to make my opinion clear.

Tim promised he’d never seen one in the bedroom of the RV. I thought that was also ridiculous, and found no comfort in it.

Without further hesitation, we locked up the RV and headed for Walmart, the only place still open where we could buy weapons for the mass destruction of bugs. While there, we decided to grab a few other things we needed, like something for me to sleep in, because no way was I bringing my luggage in till all the bugs were annihilated. Call me paranoid, but I have a conspiracy theory regarding most bugs. I’m pretty sure they’re out to get me. I have a traumatized big toe to prove it.

Somewhere between the coffee creamer and women’s pajamas, we found a display sporting this:
Really? Who comes up with this stuff? I mean, it may make an adolescent boy laugh, or a person of any age or gender—for a moment. My question is, would anyone actually buy this stuff? I can see a few people here and there buying it for someone as a joke, but will it really be a big enough seller to warrant the cost of creating, marketing, and distributing it? Surely not.

Then we found these two items on either side of the same display:

Fart toys


fart toys


While these two aren’t quite as obnoxious as the Poo-Dough, I still don’t understand. We tested these two items and found them boring and lame. The few fart noises lacked variety and the laugh-inducing quality that a good fart noise should have. I have to admit, though, I can see these two items selling a little more successfully with some tweaking.

Testing them took me back to the days when home computers became commonplace. Not long after we got our first desktop computer, one of my kids discovered the Fart Machine. Anyone remember that little gem? It was basically an application that made every kind of fart noise imaginable, complete with hilariously descriptive names identifying the various fart species with surprisingly specific accuracy. My kids were fairly young then, and they found this to be very entertaining. I have to admit it made me laugh a few times. In my opinion, the iFart Shuffle and Fart Piano don’t measure up to the entertainment standards of the legendary Fart Machine—they are yawn worthy at best.

As we left Walmart armed with bug spray and other items necessary to survive the night amongst the soon-to-be-dead creepy crawlers, I pondered what life must like for someone who creates things like Poo-Dough and the iFart Shuffle. I mean, we all have crazy ideas from time to time, and might even have a good laugh over them. But it seems to me you’d have to have a lot of extra time on your hands to actually create and market something so silly and most likely unprofitable. It seems like a colossal waste of time, energy, and resources.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I really don’t see these items selling enough to cover the cost of putting them out there. Most people may pick them up and “test” them out of curiosity, like we did, but will put them back down when their curiosity is satisfied. No purchase necessary.

Bug spray, on the other hand, will surely always be a big seller. Because giant cockroaches are evil terrorists, and they are the exact opposite of funny.

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  1. osirisalive permalink

    *sets camper on fire*

  2. Kensi Kempf permalink

    Why does all the funny stuff with Tim happen when I’m not there?!!

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