So many little buddies. first Al, now Flip. I know, I know, you don't know who Flip is yet. I plan to remedy that now.
So there I was. tap tap tapping away one my computer late last night. "Jo! Jo! Jo!!" I heard a terrified voice cry. I looked at my firmly shut door and tried to guess how many seconds it would be before my youngest sister barreled through it. apparently, at my house anyways, knocking before you enter went out with the 90s. "Joooo!" Mary charges through the door, just as I knew she would. and they wonder why I like to lock my door.
"What is it, Mary?" I ask, not too interested.
"Jo, come quick. there's a bug on my bed! you gotta kill it!!" one look into her pale face, and I knew the situation was dire. soberly, I rose and fetched my fly-swatter. so the deed would fall to me. why do my sisters always come to me for this stuff? isn't this what brothers are for? maybe it's because I've had the most practice, or because I'm the most hard-hearted when it comes to killing the demon insects. but mostly I think it's because my bedroom is a whole lot closer than the boys'. I follow Mary into the bedroom that she shares with Rachel, who at the moment was curled up in a terrified ball on her own bed, watching the goings-on with frightened, yet relieved eyes.
I jump into the room, flyswatter poised, ready to do battle. bring it on, beasties! come on, cowards! I'll take you all on!!! Mary points a trembling finger to her bed. I frown and lower my weapon. squinting, I get right up close to the bed. That?!?! on the bed was a bug, one so tiny I would never had seen it if I hadn't been looking for it. I look disappointedly at my sisters. crickets, I can understand. beetles and ants, I can understand. spiders, heaven knows I can understand. but cowering in terror because of a microscopic insect that you wouldn't be able to notice even if it was swing dancing on your eyeball? I don't understand that at all. sighing, I picked up the bug with my fingers and carried it away. I had done my duty as an older sister. Mary and Rachel would sleep in safety this night.
In our house, there are several different methods used to "do away" with various insects. my personal favorite is "Obliteration". in this technique, all you do is hit it as hard as you can with a hard object until it just ceases to exist. for the smaller, more innocent bugs, you can just use your hands and carry it to the sink/toilet or, if you're in an especially good mood, outside to set it free. once when we lived in Ceresco, we had an infestation of these ginormous flies, which all seemed to flock to my bedroom. they were very slow-moving, and I spent almost an entire day down there slapping those flies right out of the air. I killed like...50 in one day. at the end of the day I had a little pile of dead giant flies on my desk. it was amazing, and slightly morbid. never underestimate the power of a frightened girl with a rubber-soled slipper protecting her bedroom.
But this time, instead of taking the bug to the bathroom to be properly disposed of, as tradition demands, I took it into my bedroom where I could get a closer look at him. willfully carrying a bug into my own bedroom? was I going mad?? but this one was different. he was really tiny, and even sort of cute, when you thought about it. he had no stingers or fangs, and from what I could see, he didn't have a poison-shooter. still slightly cautious, I put him on the desk where he began to walk in curious little circles.
After a little time of intense scrutiny, I decided Little Buddy could stay. he was cute. adorable, even. he liked to flip onto his back and use his wings to zoom around my desk like some kind of street racer. and so he became Flip. strangely, although he has wings, he doesn't fly. and though he has my whole desk to walk around on, he stays in one general area. every other bug I've ever adopted/captured made a break for freedom every chance they got. not Flip. I gave him a matchbox for a home, and he doesn't leave it, though he could if he wanted to. Flip is a homebody, and I like him that way. I don't have to babysit him every moment of the day and I don't feel like a jerk for making him stay where he doesn't want to be. I can go downstairs and leave him sitting on top of his matchbox and I know he'll be there when I come back.
He's still here. I'm playing with him right now, actually. watching him zoom around my desk to his heart's content. I know someday he'll probably run away, like all the others did. that's okay. I never expected us to become soul mates or anything. but for now he's content to zoom about the desk and circle the top of his matchbox home. aww! he just crawled onto my arm. maybe he's getting fond of me, too! and to think, I almost flushed him down the toilet.
"Hey Little Cobra" --The Rip Chords. one of the best songs ever to listen to in the car. although, I shouldn't listen to it as often as I do. it tends to make me stretch the meaning of "speed limit"...if you know what I mean. :)