A Bug Named Sue

Bug Off - Image by Mel Candea via MorguefileNow, I’m not saying that you *have* to applaud me or give me an award. I’m just saying that I deserve your applause. And an award.

There was a bug.

A little beetle-looking bug. Brown. Some legs (I’m guessing there were six? Isn’t that the standard for bugs?). Wings. But wings that were not yet unfurled. Let’s name it Sue.

I only saw Sue because the cat was chasing her. And failing. Failing hard. The cat would run up to Sue. Sniff her. Sue would put on a burst of speed and escape. Then the cat would run up to Sue. Then sniff her. Then Sue would put on a burst of speed and escape.

The race lasted for the length of the kitchen. I watched it, breathless, hoping to see the Sue lose the…battle? That might not be the right word for it. It was more like a baby learning how to crawl and falling asleep mid-movement.

Sue survived all the way to the table. The cat gave up. Well, more than it already had. And Sue was just sitting there on the tile. Looking sad.

I made a deal with Sue. I wouldn’t throw a massive book on her, and I’d put it outside to live out the rest of her little beetle life, but only if she let me sweep her from the tile and onto the dust pan with the long handle that kept me from bending down and getting too close to her without her showing me she could fly.

I figured a verbal agreement was better than no agreement at all, and got the broom and dust pan.

Sue refused to get into the dust pan at first, but the second time, she let me sweep her up and calmly sat there – a little oval of brown in what could be a sea of blue, but was really just some cheap plastic.

Sue held very still as I walked the dozen steps to the back door, and she didn’t jump into the air and attack me with her wings. She just chilled out on the dust pan as I opened the door and stepped out onto the cold concrete of the back patio.

Apparently Sue had gotten comfortable in the relative safety of the dust pan, and she refused to get off it. Without a cat bothering her, I guess she didn’t feel the stress to move. Or maybe Sue hated cold weather, too.

I had to tip the dust pan and gently swat at Sue.

No, I didn’t kill her!  She upheld her end of the deal, so I upheld mine!

She finally slid onto the ground, and I’d like to think that Sue nodded her little beetle head in appreciation for all I’d done for her.

So, hold your applause, for now. Once I finish getting the trophy engraved, there will be an awards banquet. But Sue will not be invited.

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Sign: Please don't drop off your unwanted pets and other animals here. We will just have to dispose of them.

When mom groups go from bad to worse…

Sign: Please don't drop off your unwanted pets and other animals here. We will just have to dispose of them.I admit, I love belonging to mom groups in Facebookland. They are full of drama and crazy. You don’t get to see that sort of thing in public unless you hang out at Wal-Mart at two a.m., and since I have no urge to be at Wal-Mart at all, much less at two a.m., I use my groups to keep me happy.

Sometimes, though, I have the urge to respond in a way that I know will get me kicked out. I can’t get kicked out because, as I mentioned, then I’d have to go to Wal-Mart, and that isn’t a good option.

Instead of posting my responses, I just write them down for myself. But this one is something I want to share because it’s coming up on Christmastime, and I know that this isn’t going to be the only post about getting a pet for the family.

The post was pretty simple – the mom asked what kind of pet she could get that would be “low maintenance.”* 

I couldn’t resist the urge to comment, so I kept it short and sweet: if you don’t care if the animal lives or dies, any pet can be low maintenance.

I’m not sure if she saw it, or if anyone else saw it, or if someone went ahead and deleted it because I’m such a mean bastard.

So here goes my full response:
Hey, we want to get a “pet” – you know, a living, breathing creature that that needs, love, attention, and all the basics of life (food, water, shelter) – BUT we don’t want it to be a hassle.

In fact, if it would take care of itself and clean up after itself, and not cost us any money, that would be ideal.

Actually, if it kept completely to itself unless we wanted to pay attention to it or show it off, that would be the icing on the cake.

Because while we love the idea of a pet, the actual pet part of it is just totally inappropriate for our busy lifestyle.

Plus, you know, sometimes we go on vacation, so we can’t take it with us, and what if we have kids that don’t like it or don’t want to take care of it?

It’s not like you can return it, and if you just set it free, people think you’re mean and callous, and we don’t want anyone to think of us like that. I mean, here we are, wanting to open our lives to this pet – we’re obviously loving and caring or we wouldn’t even consider it!

Picture of rock on beach

My pet rock, Rocky

*(Now, look, I do get it if you haven’t owned a pet before. You might be leery of that commitment. It last for years. We’ve had cats that lived into their twenties, dogs that cracked a dozen years, and even goldfish that made it through a decade! But if you need to question your readiness, it’s time to buy a nice cactus, not an actual living being that will rely on you.)