Of stinkbugs and men

I have three rough and tumble boys. They play sports; they wrestle each other; they leap off furniture; they catch toads; they do stunts on their bikes. They are little men’s men, daredevils spurred on to great feats of bravado by unpredictable rushes of testosterone.

They are rugged, undaunted envelope pushers, at all times and in all situations, provided none of those situations involves insects in the house.

A moth in the house sends them scrambling like they’ve heard air raid sirens. A spider elicits high-pitched wails, like they’ve become air raid sirens.

They run to Daddy, known for his skill as insect trapper and disposer. He produces his most reliable tool: toilet paper. With a little wad of paper, he catches the bug and flushes it, because, as every schoolboy knows, insect Heaven lies beneath the swirling waters of the potty.

Insects are pulling out all the stops when it comes to sneaking into our house.

If Daddy is not home, they make the best of the situation by running to Mommy. Mommy takes a more distant view of insect disposal. Mommy sprays bugs, notwithstanding the fact there is rarely bug spray in the house. Mommy will spray whatever bottle is closest at hand on a bug: Windex, antiperspirant, Pledge, poster adhesive. If she can’t kill them, she’ll certainly make them spotless, confident, lemon fresh, and sticky.

I’m no great fan of insects, but I have learned to take a measured approach to finding one near me. Mommy has been known to challenge Usain Bolt’s 100 meter time when confronted with a bee. Of course, that was before she had children to protect. Now, she throws the troops to the ground and covers them with her body as if shielding them from exploding shrapnel. It’s all very heroic.

I’ll let you decide where the boys inherited their reaction to insects.

This year, our plague is stinkbugs. Five years ago, I’d never heard of stinkbugs. Now, they are everywhere. Despite their name and ubiquitous nature, I’ve never smelled a stink bug. They only stink when you squash them. This should serve you right if you are the type to shoot bug guts all over your walls and countertops. Even odorless bug guts make for poor décor, and squashing them deprives them of their basic right to ride the maelstrom down the pipes to Valhalla.

You stink, and your mama dresses you funny.

Stink bugs are relatively harmless (unless you are fruit), but that still doesn’t mean I want them in my house.  The boys don’t want to imagine big, ugly beetles crawling on them at night. Unfortunately, a stink bug’s second favorite activity, after mowing fruit trees, is to come into our home in autumn, and the boys’ window AC unit is the easiest place for them to do it.

This leads to cries for rescue. Daddy charges in, armed with his lethal toilet paper, and whisks the offender off to the Great Swirling Reward. The unwanted stink bug is gone, the area is secure, and my own three cherished little stink bugs can go to sleep.

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27 comments on “Of stinkbugs and men

  1. Suze says:

    “ride the maelstrom down the pipes to Valhalla.” PRICELESS!

  2. Gibber says:

    Bugs and spiders seem to have entitlement issues. My Hubby is supposed to be my rescuer when it comes to particularly spiders. As of late we’ve had a ginormous one in our garage window. What does Hubby do? Leave it there and name her Betty. So much for my knight in shining armor..
    It stinks. Probably like stink bugs.

  3. Beth Wey says:

    Great story. I can just see LaRay with a bee! Stink bugs are sneaky too. They show up everywhere.

  4. Just Joan says:

    Yeah, the stink bug plague is ON. I admire your TP/flush approach, but your wife’s propensity to spray them with whatever is at hand cracked me up: “Windex, antiperspirant, Pledge, poster adhesive. If she can’t kill them, she’ll certainly make them spotless, confident, lemon fresh, and sticky.” LOL, Snoozing. 🙂

  5. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Another great and humerous write, Scott. Yeah we have stinkbuds here too and I must admit they are ugly. And scary looking too. I’m known to actually carry spiders and bugs carefully in a wad of tissue or toilet paper outside but stinkbuds? Sorry nope. They get the royal flush treatment in this house too. LOL

  6. Tom W says:

    You can expect to hear from the John Steinbeck estate. Dead authors can be worse than live ones. It’s a good thing you don’t have mice running around the house or they would really nail you.

  7. […] Snoozing on the Sofa Saving the family from invasion… […]

  8. Sandi says:

    she’ll certainly make them spotless, confident, lemon fresh, and sticky. –

    yes, I concur. If we have bugs, they are going to be clean bugs! I already have 2 dirty creatures roaming the halls.

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