Wednesday, July 31, 2013

fan death

Twice, now, I've had the same type of insect invade my car. The first time was this past Sunday, when I was on my way to Fairfax to pick up my two private students for our jjong-party (yes—photos pending). The invader looked, at first, like a wasp: long, mean body, gossamer wings, and dangling legs. I saw it in the rear view; the insect settled menacingly on the upper edge of the back seat, daring me to do something. I stopped the car at a local Exxon gas station, popped the hatchback, stalked around to the back of the car, opened the hatchback, took a good look at the insect, then killed it with a roll of paper towels. The insect turned out not to be a wasp at all, but was instead the distant relative of a fly—it had a long, yellow body with wasp-like coloration, but a fly's head, compound eyes and all. It looked more ready to bite than to sting, so I did away with it, smashing it hard with the paper-towel roll, wrapping it in one towel, and tossing it unceremoniously in the gas station's garbage can.

Today, once again, I had the same sort of passenger on board, although this specimen was much smaller. As I was pulling out of a Wegmans parking lot not far from YB Near, the fly-thing quietly floated into view against the passenger-side window. I slowed the car down, leaned over, and smacked the little bastard hard with my right hand. Unfortunately, I didn't kill it—I merely stunned it. It flopped to the floor and lay there a few moments before suddenly reanimating and flying up onto my dashboard. I lost track of it for a few moments, then saw it again, wedged cleverly in that tight angle between my dashboard and my windshield. I thought quickly: what sort of long, flat object could I use to kill that thing? I didn't have a ruler handy... but I did have my old Korean hand fan from 1988. I use that fan at work whenever the office ladies get stingy with the air conditioning. Instead of complaining about the heat and forcing everyone else to suffer the cold, I simply break out my fan and fan myself.

Watching the traffic on Lee Highway with one eye, I again leaned over and rummaged, one-handed, through my go-bag until I found the fan. Its flat edge would be a perfect fit. Holding the fan like a sword, I thrust it viciously forward into the windshield/dashboard crevice, right at my quarry.

A hit! A most palpable hit!

I struck a second time, inadvertently dragging the fly-thing out of its hiding place and back onto my dashboard. It lay there, stunned and crumpled, one or two legs struggling feebly... then it stopped moving. That's when the thought popped into my head and I cried:


I threw back my head and laughed loudly at my own cleverness.

Alas, that was not the end of the story. I drove a few more miles on Lee Highway, heading toward 66 West, and after a few minutes the fly-thing had un-stunned itself and was crawling drunkenly toward its hiding place again.

"I should've killed you when I had the chance, you little shit!" I yelled. I saw, though, that the thing could no longer fly; it was effectively doomed. I had broken it. It dragged itself into one of the defrost vents and disappeared. I turned my A/C on full, dialed over to the defrost setting, and attempted to blow the thing back into view. No luck. The insect had found a secure spot; it would likely die there. It didn't bother me for the rest of my drive to Appalachia.


1 comment:

John McCrarey said...

Can't we all just get along?