ZYTARUK: Standing ‘disgustipated’ before the dragon’s lair

Sometimes you have to sweat the small stuff, especially when it goes bump in the night

Sometimes you have to sweat the small things

So let it be written…

 

I am sooo tired.

Wobbly tired.

About a week ago, I was busy reading when my wife brushed by. “I saw a big bug. It’s on the handrail,” she says.

With some gruff and a measure of grump I unseated myself and ventured forth to bounce the intruder from our otherwise welcoming domicile.

Like most fathers, I am the designated creepy crawly copper, boldly going where nobody else in our family will go. You know, the lone knight at the misty entrance to the dragon’s cave.

Our teenage sons have not yet grown into the role of bug killer (Insert scorn here. Well, scorn lite, let’s say).

As paterfamilias, the task falls to me. It’s a chivalric job; one requiring cunning, stealth, courage, true aim and maybe a stick, a jar and some tissue paper. It’s not all bad, really, as I bear serious animus toward anything possessed of more than four legs, with the exception of lobsters, crabs and other yummies from the sea.

I digress. By the time I got to the handrail, the “big bug” was gone. And so I went back to my book.

All was forgotten until last night, when at about 3 a.m., my wife got up to go to the bathroom. “I heard that bug again,” she remarks in passing. “It’s in the room.”

I flipped over onto my back in response, not unlike a walrus on a sandy beach. “Mmmm hmmm,” I murmur.

A few seconds later I open my eyes, and there it is, hanging from the ceiling above by some kind of disgustipating insect toe or something.

“Lord, what the $%@# is that?!” I shriek, leaping from the bed. “A bat?”

Our boys down the hall remained sound asleep, despite my girly caterwauling. Teenagers…

Now the thing was thwack-thwacking away against the ceiling with savage abandon. I flipped on the lights, ran to get a jar, and when I returned the bug was gone.

Gone.

My wife and I stood at the bedroom doorway, the entrance to the dragon’s cave, blinking with bleary eyes.

I embarked on my wee-hour bug safari but couldn’t find any trace of the beast.

And so this is why I’m sooo tired. Try sleeping with a bug bigger than your big toe lurking nearby. If you drop your guard, it just might suck out your tonsils.

The creature remains unidentified. A UFI: Unidentified flying insect. It kind of reminded me of these things we had in Winnipeg called June bugs.

I recall as a young boy riding my bicycle down Covent Road and seeing what I thought was a sparrow flying toward me. We collided with a crack, this bug with my forehead. I was surprised I didn’t get a goose egg. It was enough to knock me off my bike.

Indeed, I’m no stranger to large bugs. Do you know, in Guatemala, they have these spiders that pee acid on you? Alien has nothing on those guys.

In Mexico, I remember plunking down on the side of a stone planter after a rain, and looking down beside me, seeing a rising sea of hundreds of cockroaches thundering my way. Not your little Chinatown roaches, mind you, but big, reddish-brown zeppelins that, when in flight, hum like low-flying, heavily laden transport aircraft.

I guess what I’m saying is that while I don’t like bugs, I’m not easily rattled by them.

This one, however, has got under my skin. Not literally, and hopefully never that. But I still don’t know what it is, or where it is, and until I do our bedroom will continue to be its lair.

Maybe my wife and I will both be sleeping on the couch tonight…

 

So let it be done.

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