There are a few things you take for granted living in Southern California – things like an endless supply of avocados, and never getting caught in a surprise rain storm. If you don’t care for guacamole (how could you not?!) and are partial to getting rained on (as I am), you probably would fail to appreciate your surroundings. I often fail to appreciate them, you will note if you follow me on Twitter, that I tend to be banging on about wanting to move to Scotland (it’s the accents, OK?) or New York City (A-Rod and my Yankees!). The Husband likes to point this out to me, this yearning to move elsewhere. One would think he takes it personally…
However, with this plentiful supply of avocados and sunshine comes the odd assortment of irritants. I didn’t really consider them until my lovely English friend Charlotte pointed them out to me on Facebook the other day. Up until now it’s just been part of life, but she’s right, we have some weird things here in San Diego. Weird! OK, for instance, fires, tarantulas, waters where Great White sharks have their babies, women mainlining Botox, tourists by the boat, bus and carload, and what’s up with the annual June Bug festival?
Every freaking June I get accosted by June Bugs. Seriously! I’m the biggest bug phobic person out there, and this annual nighttime beetle convention makes me want to board up my windows and not come out of my house until August, when the buggers have all bugged off to wherever bugs go on vacation. Is there a little buggy holiday village somewhere that they retreat to? I don’t get it. The other evening I was minding my own business in the garage, folding laundry and listening to Chris Moyles, when PING! something hit me on the head.
Now, most people would just brush their hair and continue with their chore. Not me. Anything surprising me (especially in the garage or outside) throws me into immediate panic mode. Not only do my arms begin windmilling automatically, but I commence a siren-like sound which is continuously referred to by my family (of men) as “squealing” or “shrieking”. During this floor show I put on in the garage (I’m sure the two cars were appreciative of my performance) I felt company. Oh, yes, company. As in whatever had attacked me was now residing on my head (and hanging on for dear life because I was doing jumping jacks out there, folks!).
Here’s a conundrum – I don’t kill anything, and yet, from the feel of it, there is clearly something large and unpleasant clinging to my hair. Not cool. While this molestation was taking place, my children were watching TV and not concerned at all. Oh, how blase they treat their mother’s rantings. Well after I flung that sucker as far off my head as possible (with my bare hand!), I watched it land (upside down, naturally) on the garage floor. A flipping June Bug. Mother of God. Let the nightmares commence. (This was as bad as last month when I found a Daddy Long Legs sleeping in the bra I had hung up to dry.)
By this point in the garage I had gone into “Shudder Mode” – this is the post-attack phase, where I can’t quite believe something with that many legs had been on me. I walk over (cautiously) while making “Ugh. UGH!” sounds and twitching. There was the June Bug, flailing his little June Bug legs in an attempt to flip over. Great. Now I had to help him or he’d die. I went and got my bug sucking vacuum, sucked him up, and brought it into the living room. There I presented it as if it were evidence in the June Bug’s trial, and of course of how brave I had been in surviving such an attack. The youngest son looked up at me, and said, “So?” He was immediately told to release the bugger outside, “But make sure when you release it he doesn’t land on his back or he’ll die!!!” I shouted this at my son’s back, which was hunched in such a defeated fashion you’d think he dislikes doing these valiant chores for me.
When he returned to the house, wearing that look that can only be described as, “You’re crazy, lady”, I began the grilling process. “Did you watch to make sure it landed right? Was it far enough away from the house? Did you see it fly away? Did it fly back into the garage? Are you sure it isn’t on you?” The condescending tone in which I’m replied to would curl your hair, seriously. Boys…
Oh, and speaking of weird San Diego things and boys, last night we had another earthquake. Another swaying one. Thankfully it wasn’t as strong as the Easter Sunday quake of 7.2 (that’s a previous post of mine you may want to read) but strong and long enough that I ran down the hall and shouted at the boy to get out of the shower. “EARTHQUAKE!” I squawked. “Oh” was his response. Does nothing rile up teenage boys?! The quake continued on long enough that I sat there squawking several more times and finally screeched, “GET OUT OF THE SHOWER!!!” I eventually stuffed him under the dining room table and didn’t let him out until everything that was swinging and swaying came to a full stop.
So, yeah, I guess we do have weird things in Southern California. But if you like sunshine, San Diego is the place you want to be.