Boycott the Bug
Boycott the Bug
It all started when I was six years old.
I know I wasn't supposed to be up that late, but I couldn't sleep, and I just wanted mommy to let me sleep with her.
She sometimes let me sleep on the floor in her room when I was really scareded. Daddy said it was becoming a habit – whatever that meant, but mommy always gave in.
As I stood outside their door, I kept hearing mommy sayin things like “Stop” and “Don’t” and “Oh Jesus”… that last once scareded me real bad cuz mommy never said Jesus’ name like that and I just knew something was awfully wrong!!
I tried to open the door and it was locked…so now I started to cry…well wail as my daddy would say later. I was sure someone was trying to kill my mommy, and I couldn't get in to help her.
Real quick like, the door opened and there stood daddy – I figgered he must have fought off the people that were hurting mommy cuz he looked all worn out and sweaty… mommy was sitting up in bed looking tired and sweaty too, but also happy.. Through my tears, I heard daddy explain that mommy was fine. “Mommy was just bitten by the uh…um.. “Love Bug”, he said with a wink at mommy.
She DID look okay to me, smiling at daddy and all, but I knew then and there, I didn't want no stinkin love bug biting me.. It sounded awfully painful. That bug had to be stopped!
By the time I reached second grade, I was feeling pretty confident that I had successfully dodged that love bug! I never heard it biting mommy or daddy again... and I always remembered to check under my bed and behind my curtains to make sure it wasn't hiding nowhere, trying to sneak up on us. That is until Penny Sue Baker transferred to our school from somewhere south...
Penny Sue had really long red hair and the greenest eyes you ever seen on someone.
But she was so annoying!!!
Every day, she chased me all over the playground!
I kept tellin her to leave me alone, I wanted to play football with the guys, but NOO we never got to play no football, because she chased me ALL the time.
If I timed it jus right, sometimes I could get away from her for a little by running through the kids that were swingin…but that didn't happen none too often. The worst part was if she caught me, she was always making puckery lips at me, like she was a fish or something, and she punched me in the arm so many times, I thought it was gonna fall off.
One day she missed my arm, and socked me right in the eye!
Right then and there, I decided I didn't like her none…and ran off to tattle on her. Ms. Leslie took me to the nurse, who gave me some ice for my eye…it was while I was standin there holding that stupid bag of ice that I heard those dreaded words....
“Freddy”, Nurse Shay said, “Penny doesn't mean any harm, in fact I think she has been bitten by the Love Bug…and I think it is so cute”. Well I didn't think it was so cute..! And Ms. Shay wasn't the one with the black eye.
What kind of bug makes people act so dern crazy anyways?
I was determined to find that bug – no matter where it was hidin! That bug HAD to be stopped!
I made it safely to High School without hearing any more about that stupid Love Bug. SMH…
School was hard enough – what with 2 elective courses, basketball and baseball practices and workouts at the gym. I sure as heck didn't need any bug biting me. I preferred to be called by my middle name now, which was Charles.. Freddy was so babyish. The only one that still called me Freddy was Pop Pop, well, the only one that got away with it anyway. I might only be 15, but I was “filling out nicely”, as Pop Pop would say, and not too many people gave me any grief.
Ninth grade started off quiet enough. My best friend, Tim and I spent a lot of time together as usual. Right around the middle of the school year, we decided to go see the hockey playoffs together. It was decided that the best way to get there was for me to ride home on his bus then his mom would take us and my dad would pick us up.
I liked having the little bit of freedom that my parents had started to give me. They said as long as I stayed on the honor roll, and did well in the field, they would consider adding more freedoms as I got older.
I hadn't been to Tim’s house for a long time…guys don’t have sleepovers you know, and it was always easier to hang out at my house since my mom was home and could shuttle us around when we needed it.
I was really looking forward to hanging out at his house.. His dad was a doctor for the big University Hospital, and he had every gadget I wish I could afford. His mom was super cool, the only down side to being at his house was his little sister, just fifteen months younger than him who always seemed to be in our business, no matter what we were doing. I hoped she wasn't going to be around tonight – this was guys’ night only!
Dinner looked delicious!
Mrs. Metcaff sure could cook!
I was just pulling my seat out, getting ready to chow down, when the prettiest vision I had ever seen came walking into the room. There is NO WAY this was THE Shelby Ann, the pest, the guy time killer… the little sister.
When did she get so pretty!?
All of a sudden I got real sick to my stomach. My knees buckled and I could barely eat. What little I did force down, didn't seem to want to stay there.
I could not stop staring at Shelby..!! she had the prettiest mouth…the softest looking hair…and smelled really really nice…
I had to go home without going to the hockey game, which was a real bummer because the team was sure to wrap it up tonight and take home the cup. I didn’t know what the heck was wrong with me…?
Mom took me to see Doc Jones the next day. Doc and I go way back, well, since I was born.
He was a pretty decent guy for a doctor, I never felt embarrassed around him, and he always made me laugh with the corniest jokes you ever heard.
Doc came in, all smiles, clip board in hand.. “So Freddy, why did the house go to the doctor…”?
“Because it had a window pane”…
“Wow, you must be sick, you didn’t even crack a smile at that one Freddy boy!”
Holding my stomach, I painfully told him that he should call me Charles.. I liked him, sure enough, but he was no Pop Pop. “Well, let me take a look, Charles”….Doc said emphasizing the Charles…..
After a few minutes, he left the room, looking perplexed.
In what seemed like an eternity later – he came back in with a huge grin on his face. “I just talked to your mom, and while I can’t seem to find anything actually medically wrong with you, I think this might be a classic case of you being bitten by the Love Bug, Charles”, he said as he tousled my hair.
“WHAT!!??” I practically screamed! “The Love Bug…??? Are you sure!!???” “I didn’t see it anywhere…. how did it find me!!??”…
Mom grinned at me the whole way home… like a silly bobble head or something.. just grinning and bobbing her head.. What is wrong with these people!? Whipping out my phone I updated my status to HMU – maybe some of my friends could take my mind off this Love Bug nonsense..
That Bug definitely had to go!
I am not sure what exactly happened next....
All I know is that after that day, I never wanted to leave Shelby’s side.
We went to every dance, every football game, and every high school function together.
Most of our friends started calling us C&S for short.
We went to the same college, and loved every moment of it. I couldn’t imagine sharing my life with anyone else….
I know for a FACT that I never saw anyone look as beautiful as Shelby did the day she walked down the aisle on her daddy’s arm. I swear the light hit her just so from the back of the church, and she glowed like an angel.
Life was certainly good… I don’t know how I got bitten by that Love Bug, but if this is what it was all about, well, it wasn’t really all that bad.
MAYBE… just maybe the Love Bug could stick around for awhile…
“Meet Christina Marie..is she not the most beautiful baby you have ever seen”? I narrated as I held the camera in front of me, smiling as I watched the screen.
She had arrived just a short six weeks ago, and a more perfect baby has surely never been born.
I had heard horror stories about screaming children, all night feeding sessions, and marathon pooping extravaganzas, but my perfect little daughter did none of those things.. “This video is going to Gram and Pap’s”, I said sing songedly to Christina – “they live too far to visit often, but I will make sure they don’t miss much”, I assured her..
“HEY!” I exclaimed..did you see that? Shelb…Hey Shelb…come quick! I think she just smiled at me!”…
Absentmindedly I swatted at my leg…nooo.. it couldn’t be…could it?!
George Strait - The Love Bug
If this story touches you in any way, good or bad, please feel free to comment below. Your comments inspire me, encourage me, or help me to see the error of my ways and are always welcomed!