Father’s Day … or Beetle Mania

Today was Father’s Day, which really has nothing to do with my story except that it names the day and perhaps gives you a clue that we are well into three digit hotness here in Ivins, Utah. The revolving sign at Walgreen’s gave us a solid 112 degrees this week, which is hotter than the news was willing to admit, but I live here and my vote goes with Walgreens.

My sweetie and I had a pleasant, quiet day up until about 9:30 tonight. He was able to talk to our “kids” either today or yesterday and after our afternoon naps we went for a little ride around our beautiful Red Mountains in search of hawks and eagles to photograph. We were a little disappointed when all we captured were a couple of quail, a few crows, and one lone hawk… but it was still good.

After we got back home my friend, came over to sit on my front porch and visit. Before long it was dark, and there we were still sitting out there rocking and laughing like teenagers. And when she went home … is where the rest of the story begins.

I came in the house and Lynn had prepared a nice little supper for us, so we sat in our easy chairs chatting and eating and I noticed my back had started to itch. I’m generally an itchy person so I really didn’t think much of it other than it was annoying and scratchy. I was leaning with my back on the leather recliner and when I’d get an extra sharp itch I would rub it back and forth on the leather to scratch it. (Makes me shudder now just to think of that.)

Okay … so here is where it starts to really go south. I needed to go to the bathroom and you have to know this; when I need to go to the bathroom, nothing, and I do mean NOTHING, better get in my way or try to change my course or I could just end up standing in a puddle of yellow foam.

So I am three strides down the first hall, dragging my oxygen and making good time, when I get what feels like a thumbtack sticking into my back and there’s not a darned thing I can do about it because I don’t have time to stop and fix it. I round the corner to the second hall, one giant step farther along and I get another sharp jab in the back like there is a cockle burr making a trail just below my shoulder blades and it keeps sticking me like that all the way to the bathroom, where I gratefully settle myself on the throne just as I get a really intense, cruel jab like from a needle.

Okay, now that I am sitting and have time to think about it for about a second and a half I realize that I am being attacked from all sides by an army of vicious creatures By this time I am yelling, “Ow! Ow! OW!” as I try to get Honey’s attention. That’s when I start peeling off layers of clothing until I get clear down to my birthday suit … all the time whilst sitting on the terlet and making sure that I stay seated until I’m done with the business that brought me there in the first place.

I hear Lynn in the bedroom and I yell out to him to come and see if something has been biting my back. I have to hand it to him; he is quite the gentleman and makes no snide remarks about me sitting there naked as a blue jay while he leans over to look at my back for blood and scratches.

He says, “I don’t see anything that looks like what you are describing. There are a few red marks but they’re scattered around, not in one spot.”

“You weren’t listening,” I sputter. “It was going around my back … all over it! Something was back there biting me!

“Oh, WAIT!” he says. “There IS something back here. Let me get closer so I can see.” And at that he is leaning clear over my bare back mumbling “Eww, you’re not going to like this.”

Well, those of you who know Lynn, would have thought the same thing I was thinking about then: that he was pulling my leg.

“Are you serious or are you trying to be funny?” I ask impatiently. “Something has been biting me and it hurts!”

“No, there is really something here. Let me catch it in a tissue.”

“Catch it in a tissue!” I scream as I frantically try to look between us over my own right shoulder. Of course I can’t see what he is doing. I can hardly breathe with him laying over me trying to catch something I’m not going to like. I’m still hoping he’s teasing me, in spite of the fact that my back feels like it has been chewed on by Dracula.


“Got it!” he exclaims as he extends his two hands right in front of my eyeballs with a wad of toilet paper that is squeezed around a big, black creature with eyeballs and pinchers … and it’s wiggling and twisting to get free!

“Get it out of here!” I scream at his proud offering. Obviously he is starting to get a kick out of me sitting there without a stitch on, screaming orders at him in the key of a Very Sharp C.

“I think it’s just a common black beetle,” he tells me in a placating way that makes me want to kick him out of the bathroom with both feet. He seems to sense the danger just before I am ready to strike and leaves talking to himself about smorgasbords and common beetles and mountains out of molehills.

Finally alone, I set about getting myself ready for bed all the while knowing in my heart of hearts that I was attacked by a voracious, man eating beetle from the deepest jungles of Africa.

Of course, there are over a million kinds of beetles to choose from but somehow Lynn and Mr. Google have determined that this one is a probably just the very common black ground beetle from Europe. (Thanks a lot, Columbus.)

So … this has been a very ordinary Father’s Day with the exception of a very unordinary, humongous black beetle. Even hours later, as I write about my night of Beetle Mania , my fingers quiver and I feel a shudder rolling up and down my spine. So, how was your day?

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