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A Bug Flew Into My Face

I recently had the unforgettable experience of feeling a bug fly into my face but not feeling it fly away from my face. You don’t realize how dependent you are on hearing a bug’s exit route, on feeling that tiniest bit of wind created by its wings flapping toward freedom, as opposed to toward your eyeball or nostril, until you don’t hear it and you become obsessed wondering where, exactly, on your person the insect has become lodged.

It’s times like this you realize you’re more animal than human. The human mind — that powerful machine that can do amazing things like erect buildings and invent fake vomit — is encoded with incredibly sensitive bug tracking software that runs quietly in the background until something out of the ordinary, entomologically speaking, happens and it’s all you can do not to think about it.

In fact, I suggest we replace “waiting for the other shoe to drop,” with “waiting for the bug to fly away.” How many times have you actually been waiting to hear another shoe drop? I can safely say zero. Whereas I’ve waited to hear a bug to fly away at least once.

Anyway, it happened in a very public setting — on the red carpet at the Spike TV’s Guys’ Choice Awards, where my co-worker Bryan Bishop and I were interviewing celebrities for an upcoming segment on the Adam Carolla Show. Because of the setting, I couldn’t have the extended freak-out that the situation warranted — the one where I jump up and down and paw at my face and spit and blow and shake my head like a crazy person. Instead I calmly stated, while holding a mic in one hand and unfortunately not a fly swatter in the other, that I felt a bug fly into my face and didn’t feel it fly away, and, oh, hey do you happen to see a dead and/or not dead bug anywhere on my face?

Bryan looked at me and then said, very matter-of-factly that yes he did see something that looked like a bug in my eyelash.

Was he making a joke? Some kind of mascara-based joke? I debated whether to tell him I was wearing individual false eyelashes, which, depending on his level of cosmetic literacy, might look like insects. I decided to hold that information back.

“Are you sure?” I asked? He looked again. “Yep, there’s something in your eyelash that looks like a bug.” I began gently tapping my eyelashes and saying, “Did I get it?” repeatedly. “Oh, now there’s a crumb or something in there,” he said. I have no idea from whence sprang this crumb or what it was. I’m hoping it wasn’t an eye crumb because that’s somehow possibly worse than a bug or at least neck and neck. Eventually I did get it, and except for the fact that I can’t stop thinking about it, my life has returned to normal.

I am left with the sense that nature, while beautiful in photos, is overrated. It’s either the bugs or me. I first fell in love with my now-husband when we were approaching his front door and some kind of cocoon or egg sac containing squirming larva that had become affixed to a nearby fence caught our eyes. “Nature is disgusting,” he said. It was then that I knew he’d never wake me up early to go hiking or surprise me with a kayak.

Sometimes, at my prodding, because we have one so we should use it, we’ll attempt to sit on our balcony with the sunshine and the bugs.

“Isn’t this pleasant,” I’ll say, while things buzz around my face.

And then it’s really just a matter of who says uncle first. This last time it was me, and, frankly, I’m not sure there will be a next time.

Hear more from Alison Rosen on her podcast, “Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend” or on the immensely popular “Adam Carolla Show” podcast. Follow her on Twitter @alisonrosen or visit her website at www.alisonrosen.com. !

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