La Cucaracha and Other Non-Bug Stories

I blame Spencer*.
Until he showed up on our doorstep, telling us how our neighbors across the street had been plagued with “spiders and cockroaches and packrats,” things had been fine. Fine.
I told the young salesperson we were good and actually realized, hey, I haven’t seen any of those nasty bugs since April Fool’s — and those were all plastic and I was the one who put them all over the house.
For some reason, my kids tend to be deeply disturbed by bug sightings in the house.
Sure enough, that very night, I am sitting on the couch watching TV when No. 3 made a rare summer appearance, emerging from the playroom where he was engaged in a very loud game of Fortnite (because there is no other kind).
“I just saw a big cockroach,” he informed me.
“And did you kill it?” I asked.
“No, I didn’t have anything I could use.”
That was apparently the end of his status report and he turned and left the room.
Soon, a text came in on my phone. From my son. On the other side of the house.
Eye roll.
“Can you ask Dad to come here?”
Sure enough, my 5’10 14-year-old son who fearlessly ate sushi from an amusement park *and* shot down a clear glass slide 1,000 feet above a Los Angeles sidewalk off the side of a building needed his daddy to rescue him from a bug.
Cockroaches, I have absolutely no problem handling. It’s the bigger stuff, like lizards, that creep me out and so I make my husband scoop them up and take them out and one time — which I still am in therapy over — there was a baby snake at the edge of the fireplace. We came very close to putting the house on the market that afternoon.
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I feel like I need to share this screen shot with other people who would be similarly and appropriately shocked and outraged (so obviously this would not include Gwyneth Paltrow): It is possible to buy a $360 kaftan for a small child who would outgrow it in a week.
More physical proof that I never loved my children that much because I failed to splurge on them in such a manner. I did, however, buy a $36 Gap hoodie that had fringe all around the edges and it made my infant son look like he had dreds and that was totally worth it.
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Can you believe Kleenex BLEW a GOLDEN (booger) opportunity to write “Sneeze this moment” on this travel-size packet of tissues? So, so disappointing.
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That story about teens growing “phone bones” has been a hot topic of conversation around my house. (Read about the study here).
No. 3 — whose head is constantly at a 45-degree tilt — called it fake science, but it seems pretty darn compelling to me. But what I am surprised about is that we haven’t already started developing thumb problems from texting, like more cases of arthritis or joint issues. I would just like to go on the record now with my clever name for any texting-related syndrome that develops: carpel thumbel.
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So, I’m signing off for a bit because we’re headed to the Big Apple for Forced Family Togetherness** and I’m not sure exactly what we’ll be up to, but I do know that I have big plans to leave copies of “This.”  all over the city and hope I don’t get arrested for littering. It’s part of my grassroots marketing effort since my attempts to talk Michelle Obama into letting me be the opening act on her book tour have failed miserably.
*I bet his name was not even really Spencer. But then, if my job was going door-to-door selling people pest control packages, I’d use an alias, too, but I’d go for something funny like a character from “A Bug’s Life.”
“Hi, I’m Flik. Are you happy with your pest control service?”
And now I’m distracted thinking about possible names for the pest truck that is always at the start of the “Bob’s Burger” episodes and so maybe I’ll write in and suggest “Pride and Pestilence” or maybe “Where the Dead Things Are.”
**Known in some circles as “vacation”

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