The name is everything…

zeuslightning.gifIn two days the acids will eat paint off a car. In less than one day, countless deaths make all travel risky at best. Guts splattered. Citizens take shelter indoors. A curse from the Almighty?

Our family just got back from Orlando and Disneyworld. I’m blowing the lid off of Florida’s best kept secret…

LOVEBUGS.

Do not be lulled into complacency by the saccharine name… a marketing ploy by resident entomologists, trying to keep up property values, no doubt. Lovebugs, my rear end. More like Egypt’s eleventh plague. lovebugspencil.jpg

Plecia nearctica to the geeks in our midst. And they’re swarming in record numbers this year–the year the Giovannetti’s bring their kids to Disneyworld. Ha ha, Lord.

Swarms of slow moving flies spend a month MATING–that’s right. Mating. Little hind-ends stuck together. How they coordinate flight that way is a wonder from the pit of Hades. Annoying beyond all description. Bare skin draws the amorous arthropods like silk sheets on a Vegas heart-shaped mattress draw honeymooners: your arm, your leg, your hair, your nose… just one more place for lovebugs to “do it.”

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Their bodies are so fragile that the slightest brush off causes a catastrophic explosion. Insect entrails to wipe off yourself and your kids. When loading up the car, we constantly hurried the kids so we could minimize bug infiltration.

The delightful mating season comes twice a year. If word gets out, the tourist economy gets flushed to the great septic system below. Whoever named them lovebugs deserves a medal of honor from the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

lovebugsgrill.jpgLovebugs make driving hazardous. Their tiny brains interpret the carbon and the warmth of an interstate as an ideal place to lay eggs. They never make it to the asphalt. They are smashed on grilles and radiators–by the thousands on our rental (thank God for rentals). The fatty acids of their guts will corrode the paint within 48 hours (did I already thank God for rentals?).

Wiper blades and window squirters cannot keep up with the viscera of smeared lovebugs on the windshied. Twice between Orlando and Sarasota, I had to scrub–using plenty of elbow grease–the lovebugs off my windshield, just so I could see.

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Note to self: Buy stock in Florida car-wash companies.

My kids thought it was cool-gross.

Me too. At the restaurant, the hostess had to go through the formality of asking: “Would you prefer to sit inside or outside?” She didn’t even wait for an answer.

Yeah, so I got a scorpion sting on my ankle in my bedroom in northern CA… Who cares? Still beats lovebugs.

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