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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Spring (the season) (07/23/09)

TITLE: Buzz Off!
By Joanne Malley


Buzz Off!

I’m no fan of bugs. Period.

One word comes to mind for things that slither, crawl, buzz, or bite. Now granted, “repugnant” sounds harsh when referring to any of God‘s creatures, but stay with me here--it’s kinder than calling them detestably revolting. I feel those words are better reserved for the way I look when I skip the morning make-up routine.

Now that it’s spring, those pesky critters will emerge with their grotesque heads and nasty body parts. That’s when I prepare for quite a battle in the garden. Since I love to plant flowers, this creates a major problem.

Whether I dig, weed or plant, you can bet your bippy the ones that sting or bite will claim me as their human host. I feel very outnumbered and unjustly assaulted. They either set up home in my hair or go straight for my jugular to nosh on a free meal. No bug spray, swatter or garden tool seems to deter them from their main mission. Thankfully, the fight against them is nothing like the battle sustained against my daughter for the hair straightener, but it gets almost as ugly.

After all my arduous work, I’m sure to emerge from the landscape resembling a gargantuan, swollen, red welt. If I remember correctly, my husband finds this look a tad unflattering. Not because he said anything, but because he wore the same expression of horror when I asked him to massage my feet. One thing I know for sure; his body language never lies.

It upsets me that this is the form of thanks I get for keeping our gardens beautiful every year. Why do I continue to offer myself as a sacrifice for the sake of nature’s beauty? I’m better off spending a month in the Amazon with an indigenous family. At least there I’d get some sort of appreciation for my uncompensated efforts.

Before long, after all the hazardous work is done and I’m nursing my itchy, scabby wounds, it’ll be time to begin with seasonal allergies. Just my luck. The onslaught of symptoms will include wheezing, dripping, swelling and redness. My bloodshot eyes will beg for sympathy. I know I won’t be getting any inside the house, because my husband is still wearing his expression of horror from last year’s attack in the garden, despite the fact that I survived by a tight margin.

I remember he took one look at me and declared he’s the one who deserves the sympathy. The nerve. I reminded him that the vows we recited were “for better or worse” but he’s convinced “worse” is mild compared to the freak that stood before him. He argued that he didn’t marry me looking like “that” and scrambled to rationalize why he shouldn’t even come near me. With the way he often exasperates me, I can’t say this is a bad thing.

Something I learned through the whole ordeal is that calamine lotion stains my skin. As if the bumps, redness, itching and oozing wasn’t enough. However, being the perfect example of a failed science project made me extremely popular and I liked it. I was stared at in public everywhere. Little kids whispered about me to their parents. I was consistently offered the front of the line in the grocery store and free coffee at Java Mart. The special treatment sufficed for being cut from the cheering squad back in the day. See. God does remember to always make it right for his children one way or another.

No kinks, roadblocks or even bugs should deter us from persevering. A life without perseverance is like a bug without wings. If I allow God to be my wings, there’s no type of bug, from crustacean to arachnid that I can’t conquer.

Feel free to call me an idiot, but I know one day my endurance and bravery will send a message to the world. Maybe someone, preferably my husband, will realize that I was acting in obedience and these two personality characteristics are needed for a life lived with Christ. More importantly, my sacrificial actions would not have been in vain. I can only hope that’s when my husband’s guilt sets in and I finally get my foot massage.

Like I said…I’m no fan of bugs. However, who am I to decide which tools God uses to send me life’s messages?

Even if they are detestable, revolting creatures.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/30/09
I enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek humor in your entry, and I'm with you on the bugs.The spiritual application you made fitted the piece very well.
Laury Hubrich 07/30/09
Awesome. Love this:) Excellent. I'm itching right now, by the way, just from reading your entry. Excellent, did I say that?
Mona Purvis07/30/09
Let's just face it...whose husband gives foot massages? I know mine would offer that same look. Rich story.
Marita Thelander 07/30/09
Your humor had me smiling all the way through. Something I needed very much today. Thanks.
Kaylee Blake 08/04/09
I want to be you when I grow up. I can't write humor like this if the life of every single person I loved (and my dog) were depending on it. The only thing I tripped on was this phrase "you can bet your bippy." Thinking maybe that's just a regional saying I haven't heard before? Great job!! Deserves a win.
william price08/07/09
Great monologue. You have the bestest sense of humor and minister the best points without beating me over the head with it. Great. God bless.