It was a bright and sunny day, so Dad and I decided to hit the road and do some errands followed by lunch at a new restaurant. We were having such a nice day.
Suddenly, as we were tooling along in the family truckster, I felt a slight presence on my right arm. I looked down and shrieked, and I must say, I was quite impressed with Dad’s non-reaction. I know that if I had been in the driver’s seat, I probably would have screamed, flailed my arms in horror, and crashed into the nearest vehicle beside me. But Dad maintained our lane.
“What’s wrong?” he asked with great concern and probably a bit of annoyance as well.
“Get it off! Get it off!” I screeched, trying desperately to rid myself of the nasty creature, all the while constrained in the car by my seatbelt. Fortunately, I was able to shake it off, but I had no clue where it had gone. Was I sitting on him, had he headed over to Dad, or was he crawling somewhere along the floor?
Fortunately, he was at my feet, so I somehow had the presence of mind to stamp on him. Sorry wildlife lovers, but it was him against me. The gloves were off!
I felt a little calmer now, so Dad did not have to pull off to the side of the road immediately but was able to drive to the nearest parking lot instead.
While the bug appeared to be lifeless, it turned out that one of his gargantuan legs was wiggling a bit. Dad decided to euthanize him, rationalizing that he was near death, so it was kinder to end it all sooner rather than make him live out a few extra minutes in the heat.
What had precipitated my reaction was this:
The nice name for this insect is a palmetto bug, which is Southern for cockroach.
The interesting thing was that I kept feeling his presence on my body. Every itch and every breeze made me wiggle in horror. Dad was no help. As we were standing in line at the supermarket, he lightly touched my arm, knowing how I would react.
“You’re not my friend,” I told him with a scowl on my face. Then we burst out laughing as the cashier looked on with a questioning face.
So ended our bright and sunny adventure.