potato bugs

Sara and I were talking on the phone late Monday night. I don’t remember how we got on the subject but I was telling her about the time I saw the potato bug. I was in front of the television at home in Camarillo. This was years ago. I know, because I was watching the fall of the Berlin wall, bare feet pulled up under my on the couch, mouth agape, brain numb. A spot of movement caught my eye. Something was moving across the carpet. Even from far away I knew it was a fat potato bug.

Sara interrupted my story at this point.


What’s a potato bug?


Don’t you know what a potato bug is?
Those big
ugly bugs? Look
like crickets? Like fat ugly crickets?


I’ve NEVER heard of a potato bug.
You’re making that up.

This got her started on her own bug story. She told me that she saw a huge bug once, with her neighbor. It was night, and this bug was huge. She and her neighbor looked at it for, like, an hour. Black eyes. A smiling face. While she related her story I did a Google image search for ‘potato bug.’

Check out what I found. Excited, I looked through the gallery and described the big stripy beasts to her. ThenI sent her a potato bug e-card. The next day I got a notice saying my e-card was picked up. Mere nanoseconds later came Sara’s reply:

Woo-hoo! Yeah!!! That’s it, our mystery bug! Now I can rest in peace.

Man, we’re easily amused. But to make this all even more fun, why doesn’t everybody who reads this send ME a potato bug ecard? Let me know if you’ve heard of them before. And let me know if you like them!

Oh, and that potato bug I saw on the carpet while the Berlin wall was coming down? It turned out to be a scorpion–a realization that made my naked toes curl as I stooped over it in the semi-darkness. That was the original point of the story I was telling Sara. Before the potato bugs shanghaied it.

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