Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bright Is the Ring of Words

My first in-car pump was interesting to say the least. Figuring out how to maneuver the pump, a power converter, the horns, bottles and my shirt in a very small space while trying to maintain some modesty was quite the task. Thankfully, night was falling and I wasn’t too terribly concerned with what passers by might see. But, I also needed to figure out how to pump successfully without flashing the world, so it was a good environment for my first try.

After we were on the road an hour or so, we stopped for a late dinner drive thru and the grease fest began! I wasn’t sure if my system could handle 3 days of fast food, but we didn’t have much choice. Hubby took the first shift driving as both the kids thankfully drifted off to sleep.

Hubby decided to drive as long as he could, thereby making it my job to sleep so I could take over when he could no longer keep his eyes open. Unfortunately, I was not able to sleep for more than a few minutes at a time, as every bump and swerve jolted me out of sleep and into instant panic mode. Ever the control freak, I am not a good passenger in the car. Every peep from Port sent me spinning in my seat, giving me one wicked case of stiff neck and back and a raw underarm from reaching behind my seat far to many times.

I don’t know how he did it. Maybe it was the excitement of the trip or perhaps the 3 Red Bulls he slammed, but by about 5:30 AM, Hubby was finally feeling the pain and asked if I could drive for a bit. I thought I could as long as we could stop for some coffee first. We stopped in the tiny TX town of Van Horn at a po-dunk gas station that looked like it *might* have a decent cup to offer. As we pulled into the parking lot, my weary eyes struggled to focus on the details of the surroundings. Hubby stopped our car and I looked out over the surface of the parking lot. Small black objects moved all about, and I blinked repeatedly and squinted to try to figure out what they were. The parking lot was crawling, literally, with ½ inch long black beetles.


I thought I was seeing things. Again and again I looked. They were everywhere; crawling, climbing, stacked on top one another in every nook, cranny and surface as far as the eye could see in the light of the little gas station. I hesitated to get out of the car, and as Hubby urged me to go get my coffee already, I wondered if he even knew what was lurking just outside my passenger door. Surely he wouldn’t want his fair wifey-poo traipsing across the crunchy landscape?? He was sleepy and he really couldn’t have cared less about my squeamishness, so I gingerly got out of the car and proceeded to tip-toe around thousands and thousands of beetles.

There was a scent in the air – one can only assume coming from the crushed buggy masses – and surprisingly it was somewhat sweet.

I made my way into the gas station, rubbing my eyes and seeking out the black elixir I love so much. (man, I’m getting all flowery here, aren’t I?) Thankfully the shop was stocked with “gourmet” coffee and giant vats of my favorite creamer, so I filled up the largest cup they had and smiled like a Cheshire cat when the total was a measly $1.35. Sweet!

Steaming cup in hand, I tuned into the conversation between the local-yocal cashier and a wayward traveler that had also stopped for a late night pick-me-up. The Yocal and the Traveler were discussing the beetle phenomenon outside the door and the Yocal told him that it was way worse than the cricket plague of last year. Though, he said, it was pretty bad last year “cuz the birds couldn’t fly”.

Puzzled, the Traveler questioned the Yocal. I was lingering at the door now, intrigued at such a random and bizarre statement.

“Well sir, the birds ate all them crickets and their bellies were so full they couldn’t fly. They all just stood on the ground and waddled around for days.”

Mmmmhmmm… gotta love local folk-lore. *wink-wink*

D :)

p.s. I found a YouTube video of a beetle infestation in TX back in 2001. This is EXACTLY what I saw that night last week. The video is NOT for the squeamish, but if you are curious, here is the link.

1 comment:

Jenni said...

Eek! I got a full chill, WITH shiver, and could not finish the clip. I CANNOT believe you got out of the car! I would have sent hubby for the coffee and peed in a cup if I had to! EW! I am SO gonna have nightmares!

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