Back from a week long vacation, and I have lots to share on The Pizza, including day-glo pictures of the insides of the world’s greatest Haunted House ride, an in-depth look at a box of trading cards that I found at the flea market (and how I’m now only 1 of possibly 5 people in the world to now pathetically own a complete set), and some awesome balls that I found. Yes! Awesome Balls! Coming Soon! That should be in the neon lights.
But right now, I have a bit of a writing bug, and so I’m just going to tell some bug stories. We’ll start with what I call the “Ambien Dream.” This was the first night of our beach trip, and we were going to bed. I’m going to mention in advance that I purposely decided not to drink very much, because I wanted to get up early in the morning to go for a run. It was that first night in a hotel though, so the bed was weird, sleeping was iffy, and the muttering noises on the other side of the adjoining wall were unnerving.
I was somewhere between asleep and awake when suddenly I saw a spider. A big spider, as big as my hand, with a diamond-shaped blue light on each leg. There were 12 legs. This thing wasn’t from America. Not even from this planet. It was from someplace like…Zimbabwe.
The girlfriend was fast asleep and it was right above her head, on the pillow, inching towards her. My mind was racing. This was bad, really bad. When she sees this thing, it’s going to be worse than last year’s hotel-room Centipede Drama. She still won’t wear the shoe I killed the centipede with. But this blue-lighted 12-legged motherfucker was way worse. When she sees this thing, she is never going to let me pick the hotel again.
Scared as hell, I leaped out of the bed, yanking her awake with me. “You have to get up RIGHT NOW,” I shouted. “What’s wrong,” she asked, panicked. I pulled her to her feet violently, in the dark, pushing her back from the bed. “Don’t look–whatever you do, don’t look–just get out of the bed.” “Oh my god, what is it,” she asked.
I stood there, suddenly unable to speak or move. She was still asking me what was wrong. The lights came on. That’s when I woke up. With no idea what the fuck just happened, I stood there, incredulously looking over the bed, looking for the spider. Again, she asked me, terrified, “what happened?”
“Maybe I dreamt it,” is all I could say. As the rest of my brain began to wake up, I began to remember that spiders with blue lights don’t exist, and even if they did, there’s no way I’d have been able to see it so clearly in the dark. I started to describe how terrifying this spider was, but now it just sounded hilarious. 12 legs? Diamond-shaped blue lights? Come on.
And that’s what became known the rest of the trip as the Ambien Dream. (Even though I did not take Ambien.) Something always happens at this hotel when we stay there. One year, it was the complete evacuation at 3am due to a prank fire alarm. Last year, it was Centipede Drama. This year it was the Ambien Dream and then the following night, a 1am drunk arrest outside our window complete with tasering and wrenching screaming. Oh and the beach? That was fun too.
I was looking around online for a picture of what this spider sorta looked like, but I realize a few of you might be skittish if you suddenly scrolled into a giant, awful spider JPG. So here is what I’ll give you instead:
Spider Pug, Spider Pug, does whatever a Spider Pug does.
This reminds me of another story where I reacted by saving everyone before considering what I was saving them from. I was younger, my parents were on vacation, and me and my sister had the house to ourselves. Apart from minor quibbles, we were having a good time ordering pizzas with the money they left us, and leaving our empty soda cans on the coffee table. We were being rebels.
I was sleeping when I was jolted awake by my sister’s screaming and banging at my bedroom door.
“There’s a bat in the house!”
I jumped up, opening the door, letting her in. “How did a bat get in the house,” I asked.
“I was coming inside and it just flew in past my head,” she said, gasping for breath.
“Are you sure it’s a bat? What does it look like?”
“Yes! It’s huge and black and flying around the light in the kitchen.”
I knew I had to act quickly. I demanded that Melissa stay put in the room. First, I had to save the pets. Bats spread rabies, and could attack the dog, cat, maybe even eat the guinea pig. I bolted out of the room, picking up the dog, who was old and had been sleeping peacefully. I carried her in my room. I went back for the stupid cat. Usually the cat was mean and hard to get, but I didn’t have time to fuck around with her. I grabbed her forcefully and carried her back to my room, biting my lip as she scratched my arms. I lumped her down on the bed, where the dog had already settled back into sleep. Stupid cat.
I heard something buzzing and flying in the kitchen. The Bat. The guinea pig was still out there. I couldn’t leave him behind; I had to go back one more time. Heroically, I picked up the whole guinea pig cage, and marched it back into the room, jostling the little guy and all the food pellets in his bowl. Now that Melissa, Spritzie, Cuddles, and Shuggie were all secured, I moved into phase two.
I grabbed the phone. I ran through the list of things you’re taught all your life. Stop, drop, and roll for fires. Say no to drugs. Never get in the back of the ice cream man’s truck, even if he offers you free ice cream. And when there’s an emergency, dial 9-1-1. OK, maybe this wasn’t a life or death situation, but it wasn’t like I had Animal Control’s number memorized, because we don’t live in Wyoming or some other “wilderness” state.
I calmly told them I needed someone from Animal Control to come out, because there was a bat in the house. I explained the situation that our parents weren’t home, and a bat had flown in. The woman asked me questions. Had I seen the bat? Was I sure it was a bat?
What, does she think I’m dumb? Of course I’d seen… well, actually I hadn’t. And bats don’t usually fly in people’s houses in the suburbs of Baltimore.
“Well, no…” I said, “but my sister did, and she’s sure it’s a bat.”
The woman said she’d page someone from Animal Control and send them over. I hung up the phone. The pets were safe. My arms were bleeding from the cat clawing me. I looked at my sister. Did she even know what a bat looked like? “Wait. How big is the bat?” I asked.
She held apart her thumb and forefinger two inches.
“Bats are bigger than that. Are you absolutely sure this is a bat?”
“No…it might have been something else,” she said.
With that I left the room to go have a look at the bat. Pulling my hood over my head, I crept out, peeking my head around the corner, peering into the kitchen. There was something black zipping around the kitchen light alright. It was a huge, terrifying, bloodsucking…locust.
Embarrassedly, I called 9-1-1 back to explain it was just a locust. Needless to say, they were irritated with me. I opened the door to let the dog out, and she mosied back down to lay in the foyer, where it was cool. I looked at the ungrateful cat, Cuddles, who I’d just saved from certain rabies.
Cuddles. You know who named her that? My sister, of course.