“Please don’t exit the vehicle until it has come to a complete stop” are not words I thought I needed to say while driving with my daughter Ashley. I was very,very wrong. For a girl that takes days to clean her room she can really move and she is pretty darn good at the tuck and roll.
It all began with a ungodly noise. A shrill “my life is danger” scream. The next sound I heard was the car door opening. I threw on my brakes, hit the hazard lights and jumped out to see what was happening. What could be so bad that she would prefer hitting the pavement to staying in the car?
Physically she looked fine but she was jumping up and down and pointing at the car. I turned slowly to see what she was pointing at only to come face to face with a really large grasshopper. He was just sitting there on the car console looking at me like “why are we stopping?” He didn’t jump, flinch or ever appear concerned by our swift departure from the car. It is quite possible that he was momentarily stunned by the high pitched squeal and paralyzed.
Once I assessed the situation I did want any sensible woman would do. I took off my flip flop and jumped into action. I could handle a little grasshopper, right? In one swift Ninja like move I swatted the grasshopper out the side door. Well, I swatted him into the floor board where he promptly crawled under Ashley’s seat. The look of shock and betrayal on her face was alarming. Not only had I not gotten rid of the grasshopper but now he was under her seat.
I tried everything to get to him to come out. I pushed the seat backward and forward. I shoved a Leo’s menu under the seat to try to push him out the front of the seat and he wasn’t budging. All the while cars are just passing us by with no regard for our “emergency”. Didn’t they realize that this Northern girl was going to have a heart attack if she had to get back in the care with this wild creature? The insect emergency aside the temperature was in the 90’s and I was beginning to sweat under my breasts. It was apparent that if the grasshopper didn’t do us in heat stroke surely would.
Desperate for help I flagged down a public servant. His truck said Parks and Rec so I assumed he was a trained professional. I flailed my arms and mouthed “Please help us!” Upon seeing this he put on his emergency lights on the truck and jumped out.
He ran up and asked what was wrong as he looked around for a dead or bloody body. Seeing nothing he turned to us with confusion and Ashley shrieked “There’s a huge grasshopper in our car!!!”
The look he gave us was one mixed with disgust and amusement. He took off his hat and scratched his head while we shared our dilemma. Ashley explained to him that this was a GIANT grasshopper under her seat and he took pity on her and began his search and destroy mission. Minus taking off his flip flop he did the exact same thing I did and was still unable to extract the grasshopper.
When he turned and admitted defeat I thought Ashley was going to faint. If the Park and Rec guy couldn’t do a grasshopper extraction we would just have to leave the car and rent a grasshopper free one to drive home.
As I pleaded with him to take one more look for the grasshopper ,it magically appeared. I think after hearing the screams and being poked and prodded he decided to jumping from the vehicle was his only chance. He crawled out just in time for the Parks and Rec guy to grab him and toss him to safety, saving our day and his life.
I thanked him profusely and told him I gave him full permission to make fun of us to all his friends to which he replied “Don’t worry I will. You ladies have a good day”
The rest of the way home every few minutes Ashley would jump and look around for bugs. I admit I brushed her arm a few times just for fun but we made it the next twelve hours insect free. A very special thank you to our Parks and Rec guy.
***After reading the draft of this post Ashley insisted that I mention that upon exiting the vehicle the grasshopper FLEW AWAY! Apparently knowing it could fly intensified her trauma and will most likely cost me an few extra therapy sessions!