Lady Bugs

February 6, 2008
Day 6 of living in a dorm. The heat was unbearable and the lack of sleep was catching up to everyone. I was especially tired of being sweaty and surrounded by 28 girls at all times. (Don’t get me wrong, I like girls, I have several who are my friends, but putting 28 of them together is God’s way of being mean.) There was barely a time when I could remember going to sleep before 11:00 at night. Tonight was the night however. It was going to be the first night that I would actually be able to go to sleep before 10:00pm. That dream was short lived.
I lay in my bed on the verge of sleep. Across from me sat my roommate reading. I could only see the dim light of her lamp cascading across the room and onto my bed. It was quiet and only the faint hum of fans circulating hot air could be heard. It was then that disaster struck. While looking up at the ceiling I noticed little black dots. There were one or two big dots as well. I wondered what they were but wasn’t sure. Out of curiosity, my roommate and I got up to see what these mysterious black dots could be. I turned on my lamp beside my bed and light flooded the room. That’s when we realized what it was.
They were not just black dots, but rather, they were ladybugs. (Lots of ladybugs.) Because there were quite a few of these tiny creatures, the two of us decided to alert our RA of the situation. We walked down the hallway to her room that stood ajar. Upon explaining that we had a “ladybug” problem, our RA responded by screaming loudly “WHAT?” You see, never before had anyone had ladybugs overtaking their room. (Aren’t we just lucky?)
We all headed back to our dorm to investigate the situation. Since there was not much we could do that night, we decided it would be best to try and catch as many of them as we could and let them free outside. (We were trying to preserve God’s creatures.) Jen, our RA, climbed on top of my desk and proceeded to try and brush the ladybugs off the ceiling and into her hand. This only produced a negative effect. Immediately, they began to fly around the room. Of course, Jen screamed and we screamed along with her. Normally, I do not have an abnormal fear of ladybugs but when they are flying at you unexpectedly, you really have no other reaction other than to scream.
Jen was amazed that ladybugs could fly and declared so. We of course laughed at her. (Apparently they have no ladybugs where Jen comes from.) How could one possible go through life not knowing that ladybugs do in fact have wings and fly? It’s a mystery to me.
Attempt number two at extracting the ladybugs only resulted in more screaming and dashing around the room. Then a cup was brought out. Our goal was to trap the ladybug underneath the cup and then somehow maneuver it so that the cup and the ladybug could be taken outside. (This proved to be harder than it sounded.)
We caught a ladybug underneath the cup but at this point, our plan lacked in constructive thinking. When we tried moving the cup, the ladybug only flew away again producing more screams and sleepy neighbors in our doorway. This was when paper was introduced into the equation. We caught a ladybug under a cup and then slid the paper between the cup and the wall. This idea was much more successful. At least, it was until we got the cup out the window.
The bugs only wanted to fly away until you actually wanted them to fly away. Jen held the cup out the window and removed the paper. Naturally one would assume that the ladybug would fly away to freedom but this was not the case. Instead, it crawled to the bottom of the cup where it could not be reached. We tried everything just to get the ladybug to go away but nothing worked. Finally, after several minutes of violent shaking, the ladybug flew out of the cup. (Unfortunately, the cup was still in the room, producing no effect whatsoever.)
We had no ladybugs down and about 20 to go. Only now we realized we had baby ladybugs to try and deal with. They are like tiny black dots. It’s hard to see them and impossible to catch them without killing them. We were left with only one choice. (NOTE: If you are an animal rights activist, you should either A. stop reading this as it may dampen your day and make you outraged. B. Read on, get angry, and attempt to inform me of the cruelty of killing innocent creatures. All of which I don’t care about nor will I try to atone for my actions. Please choose option A so I do not have to deal with you. END NOTE) We had to squish them.
We worked our way around the room, squishing them in Kleenex, one by one. After two large ladybugs and fifteen small ones, the dirty job was done. We had completed operation “take down the ladybugs”. Now it was about 11:30. (So much for the whole, going to bed by 10:00 theory.)
The room was restored to order, our RA was restored to her room and all angry and curious neighbors were returned to their awaiting beds. As for me, I returned to my bed. I informed my roommate that I was now going to sleep and to forward all my messages to my personal secretary, Mrs. Don’t Wake Me Or I’ll Eat You. My roommate told me to go to sleep and I was happy to oblige.
As soon as I had closed my eyes, I saw light flashing around the room. I also heard a terrible sound that would have made anyone capable of murder. I turned to figure out if world war three had broken out or if my roommate had just lost it. It was the latter. She was crouched up on her bed frantically waving her lamp around the room. She either meant to interrogate her imaginary friends or to annoy the crap out of me. Whatever the reason, it was working.
I informed my roommate that when I said I wanted to sleep, I did in fact mean the kind of sleep where you are in a state of partial or full unconsciousness, during which voluntary functions are suspended and the body rests and restores itself. (Yes, that is a definition from the dictionary.) Totally unaffected by my statement she told me to go to sleep then. (How in the world is one supposed to sleep with a mental patient on the loose in her room along with tiny bugs waiting for the opportunity to attack said person?)
Needless to say, I tried to return to my state of sleep only to be startled by yet another scream. By the time I had turned to see what had happened, my roommate was sprawled on the floor next to me with a look of complete horror and mortification. I inquired into her awkward appearance and sudden decision to be on the floor. It seems that we had not succeeded in getting rid of all of the ladybugs. There was a very large one, and several small ones currently circling her lamp. Mistaking her polka dot bed spread for a giant ladybug, they had all swarmed toward her.

Once again, operation “take down the ladybugs” was in full swing. Only this time, it was only she and I to carry the mission out. After having been brutally scared by her attack, my roommate was too frightened to attempt to kill the ladybugs herself so I was left to the task. This is when the ladybugs figured out my weakness. I’m short. They all immediately went for the ceiling and just out of my reach. After several unsuccessful attempts at jumping toward them, I gave up. My roommate was forced to take over the job. (At this point, I had taken the camera out to document.)
I don’t know who was more afraid of dying, my roommate or the ladybug. Either way, my roommate definitely won on the loud scale. She closed her eyes tight and swung her arm at the ceiling only managing to make the ladybugs fly around her and go right back to the ceiling. While this was not going well, it was certainly entertaining from my standpoint. The battle between human and bug went on for several minutes until the first ladybug was killed.
Once she squished it in the Kleenex she then proceeded to squeal, dash toward the garbage can and throw the Kleenex into the trash as if it were on fire. It was then that I thought it appropriate to point out that the garbage can she had just placed the tissue in was in fact right next to her head when she slept. I then continued to tell her that at any point during the night, the ladybugs might return to life and crawl into her bed to seek their revenge.
To this I received a good deal of glaring.
Having now been satisfied that it was indeed safe to sleep again, we decided to retire for the evening. (Right, since when in this story has that ever actually been achieved?) I complained because I was tired and it was now 12:00. Mind you, this was TWO whole hours past the time I had wished to go to sleep. My roommate went back to her bed, only to find two baby ladybugs crawling on her sheets. (I’m pretty sure someone hates me.) The bugs were dealt with but my roommate was an entirely different matter. She declared that there was absolutely no way she was going to sleep in her bed. It was a ladybug graveyard.
If she was expecting me to offer to let her sleep in my bed, she was sorely mistaken. Now grumpy and seriously lacking in compassion, I turned on my side and went to sleep. The next morning I awoke to find my roommate lying on her bed with a tiny ladybug crawling on top of her.
I never had the heart to inform her that she had had company last night while she slept. It didn’t seem like the nice thing to do. (But hey, since when have I been nice?) This ended our escape with ladybugs. The only thing this experience brought me was the great appreciation for God’s wonderful creatures. Without them, how else would I have fantastic pictures of my roommate in her prime as well as a story to share with generations to come?

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