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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Broom Beneath My Wings

Night was a memory, but shadows still lurked in the corners of the kitchen. Silence blanketed the house like, well, a blanket. I blinked in the direction of the newspaper and aimed a watery imitation of coffee toward my mouth.

Through the brain haze, I pondered the best way to use the name Justin Bieber in a blog post to insure maximum search engine potential. Two months ago, nobody had ever heard of this kid. Yesterday my newborn niece was born sporting an “I Love Justin Bieber” tattoo right on her binkie.

Son Two appeared at my side like a spirit. “So, what are your plans for the moth in the bathroom?”

He and I share a common bond. We may disagree on nonessentials like the frequency of bathing or the advantages of using a fork to eat, but when it comes to the inalienable need for a homeland security system to warn against rogue insects, we’ve got our priorities right in line.

I’m fairly certain that in a bid to secure the benefits of a hefty life insurance policy, my husband left the assassin moth behind in the shower this morning. It’s a clever ploy, but my warning system is far ahead of him. Daylight was still a stranger and I was not yet awake enough to know that I had eyes, but my internal sensors had already informed me there was a moth in the bathroom.

I rolled the sports section and nudged Son Two toward the door. “I thought you’d take care of it.”

Right. He’d decorate his first car with pompom fringe and rooftop reindeer before he’d take on an insect assassin with wings of death.

“I’m not going in there. The thing has fangs dripping blood.”

This kid is 19. If he ever marries, I hope it’s to entomologist with a proven catch and release program, or a ninja warrior woman wielding a No Pest Strip in each hand like nunchuks.

Besides, I knew his story was true. Blood-drenched fangs are a natural accessory of rogue moths. It also had the wingspan of a dragon and clutched the wall with spiked talons. Nature’s death machine. And it was probably hungry.

“Well, we could get the broom, wave it around, and see if he’ll fly.”

Son Two looked at me as if I’d suggested we don pink-tasseled thongs and volunteer to lead the cheers at the next Republican rally. To him it was more vampire bat than harmless visitor. “There’s no other door. Where do you think he’s going to fly?”

“The only other choice is to wake up your brother.”

Son One, Rip Van Winkle, hit the snooze button back at the half century mark and still has a five decade siesta to take care of before his eyelids see action. Waking him up before he’s ready is like summoning the Kraken. He rises from the depths, consumes all the groceries, and then resubmerges until suppertime.

Clutching the door frame, Son Two peered around at me. “You go first.”

Who says a child will do anything for a mother that loves him? Well I’m not excited about going all Harry Potter for him, either.

“Okay, give me the broom.”

He hands me the weapon and I embark as stealthily as Rambo on my version of Psycho II: Moth Balls R Us.

As I approached the creature, I realized two things. My son is slamming the bathroom door repeatedly on the heel of my shoe in an attempt to trap me with the monster. Also, if I lose control of bladder functions in the heat of battle, I’ll likely lose the element of surprise, slip through the puddle, and slide into the litterbox like it was home plate.

With one arm in the air like a seasoned fencer, I brandished my broom in the direction of the Moth Monster. “Hello, My name is Inigo. . .” Just then the moth took flight, circling the light fixture and landing on the handle of my broom.

I'm pretty sure it will be easier to remodel the bathroom than just repair the damage. The litter box looks like a strainer and there are spots on the tile that no longer match the rest of the decor.

I decided to name the moth Justin Bieber. It appeared overnight and was kind of cute, but all it did was flutter a little and create pandemonium everywhere it went.


Stacey Graham said...

I would have smacked it repeatedly with a bat and I like moths. Just not Beiber.

Great post!

writinflower01 said...

I pride myself on being a reasonably independent and enlightened Young Woman of the 21st Century, but when it comes to bugs, I scream like a little girl. And find a man to take care of the villain while I hide behind his back. =)

Of course, most of the time I have to resort to my female roommate, but she does an excellent job of cleaning up after the battle. So, in fact, males not needed. *snicker*

So glad you post anecdotes like this-- makes my days brighter! (And I can use THAT, I assure you, now that I have entered finals!)

Anonymous said...

Heh. I'm the one who's been elected the job of bug killer in my house.

And I actually feel a bit guilty when I do. You know- in the off chance the little critter actually *is* some departed relative. ;)

Anonymous said...

I am reminded of the epic battle with the Vorpal Bunny in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The Bunny looked innocent, too -- to the untrained and soon-to-be devoured eye, perhaps....

Amy Mullis said...

I simply cannot kill living creatures. Unless provoked. (Justin Bieber automaticall provokes me.)

Well, it did have sharp, pointy teeth.