Bugs and Bikes Don't Mix

A summer or two ago, I experienced an absolutely altogether horrifying event (for me) that nevertheless manages to amuse others immensely in the present when told by my husband. We were riding our mountain bikes down the street, down a small hill towards an intersection. I've had this habit, developed as a dare-devil kid, of turning my head to one side to listen for on-coming traffic. That's when that terrible event took place.

I always loved to ride bicycles, probably because by the time I learned to ride one (I was 12 years old!) I had a lot of catching up to do. But the only bikes I ever had were ones trash-picked by my dad (there is still an old orange 10 speed frame in my parents' basement today) or bought at garage sales. Yet I still loved riding them. I especially loved to ride them no-handed.

There was this loop I'd do. I'd peddle across a rather busy street (several car accidents had taken place on that same corner in the past) into the neighborhood on the other side. Then I'd start my loop. I'd start no-handed, and gather speed and momentum. There were few times I'd actually have to pedal. Around a looped street, I shoot right across that busy street back onto my side, where a downhill street wound around, defining the limit of my neighborhood. And then, a quick left hand turn in which I'd have to lean w-a-y over, still with no hands, and then down a huge hill. I didn't have a speedometer, but I think I probably hit about 20 miles and hour or so. Which is pretty fast when you're a girl riding a beat-up used bike with no hands.

Surprisingly I never crashed during those crazy, hair-flying-in-the-wind rides. But, goofy me, when I did crash, I was also trying to speed somewhat unsuccessfully. Still as a kid, I was trying to take a corner too sharp (when I was still relegated to the sidewalks - the streets at that time were verboten) and I didn't make it. I crashed headlong - into a mailbox. I flew off the bike, the mailbox tumbled to the ground a second after I hit the pavement. At least I came up laughing. My bruises didn't hurt that much. The mailbox didn't make it, however. It never recovered, no matter how I righted it, it kept falling over. I peddled away, looking over my shoulder convinced the man of the house would run out after me.

But to my current bicycle mishap. As I said, I had just turned my head to listen for traffic. There wasn't any. Except for that moth attempting to cross my path. He apparently mistook my ear for a tunnel (must be that little light that shines through from the other side) and he took a detour.

Bob looked up at my high-pitched eeee-eeeee scream and watched in amazement as I crossed the road, unheedingl any stop signs, made a perfect dismount with a flip and a quarter-turn, and began pounding the side of my own head with my fist, still screaming incoherently, Eeee-eeeee!

Now for my dignity's sake, I have to explain my reaction. Have you ever had a living creature lodge itself into a bodily cavity, where it CANNOT back out, so it goes ever forward, buzzing all the while? To me it sounded like a small Cessna in my head. It was like an alien abduction where they put something nasty in an equally nasty bodily orifice. All I knew was this: There was something alive inside my head (finally!) and we both wanted it out!

Bob finally got me to calm down and stop hitting myself. My earring had come out and there was actually blood inside my ear. I hit it so hard trying to get that damn bug out, I had tinitus like crazy - the bells of Notre Dam had nothing on me. We went back to the apartment, where Dr. Bob set about performing an insectomy. He couldn't see the moth at all, and he was too nervous putting tweezers in there for fear of shoving Mr. Bug further in. Then he came up with an idea that only the "Bobs" of this world are capable of devising. he got the vacuum cleaner.

Snapping together hoses and various attachments, he switched it on and brought the tube to my ear. Eeeee-eeeee! I screamed again. This time it tickled the shit out of me! A few seconds of sucking, and he examined my ear again. Reaching in with the tweezers, lo and behold out came the moth. Quite dead, though from my screaming, head-pounding, or ear-sucking I don't know.

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