Florida Lovebugs Massacre

I've mellowed a lot since my youthful days, especially now that I'm old enough to realize the truth of the statement that it's not worth it to sweat the little things and most things are little things. I'm mostly a peaceable person not wishing harm on anyone or anything, but there are a few exceptions. One exception is snakes. Most truly rational people feel the same as me - the only good snake is a dead snake. I've heard there are good snakes, but I haven't met one. If you are one of those people who like snakes, sorry, but you are weird and you will not be able to change my mind. Other exceptions are mosquitoes, gnats, chiggers, leeches, and ticks. The world would be so much better off without any of those. If you are reincarnated back as one of those things, you must have been really, really bad in your former life. There is one more exception, the Lovebugs in Florida. They don't bite or sting or eat your food growing in the vegetable garden or cause some strange, fatal disease, but when it comes to the annoyment factor, they wear the crown.

If you don't know the creature I'm speaking about, consider yourself lucky. They are small, black and orange lightweight bugs that mate in the air while flying. The female is less than 1/2" long and the male is about 1/2 of her size. They mate tail-to-tail (they are so repulsive looking they can't even stand to look at each other while having sex) and the female slowly flies around pulling her little fella behind her. This might explain why they don't fly smoothly, but seem to lurch around in the air and constantly fly into things. You very rarely, almost never, see one alone as the only time you see them is during the spring and fall mating seasons when they do nothing but mate and fly around while doing it. The little annoying buggers don't even eat, they just have sex constantly.

A while back, I made the unfortunate decision to visit Florida during the Lovebug mating season. When I was in the US Navy, I went to boot camp in Orlando during Lovebug mating season and then I lived in Florida for almost a year while attending a Naval school so I know about the Lovebugs, I had just forgotten about them and their seasons when I scheduled my trip. It won't happen again.

In boot camp in Orlando, Florida in the spring and summer months, there is a lot of physical activity in very hot, humid weather. You sweat a lot, a whole lot. You stand at attention in the hot sun for long periods of time while one instructor or another screams curses at you letting you know just how worthless you are and how you will never, ever be good enough to actually become a sailor in the United State's Navy. And you sweat. While you are standing there ramrod straight and absolutely motionless, the Lovebugs in their sexual ecstasy or sheer stupid clumsiness cannot avoid you and fly right into your stationary head. And there they stick in the sweat dripping down from your newly shorn, almost bald head. The bugs are so weak they can't even extricate themselves and fly away, they just crawl around, one trying to walk one way and the other trying to walk in the opposite direction. They crawl up your nose, in your ears, across your eyes, they flow down your shirt collar trapped by the sweat running down your neck. Little buggy feet crawling around causing itching and you know they are there and you can't do anything about it but endure because you are standing at attention and the slightest movement will result in screaming directed at you individually and even more exercise. Every day I heard, "Don't you dare touch those Lovebugs! Those are the Captain's Lovebugs and if you touch something that belongs to the Captain, you will be dead meat!" I endured and I came to hate Lovebugs.

During my fateful Florida trip. Lovebugs came swarming out of the woods and marshes by the trillions. Paired up to make even more of themselves, they stupidly flew their way over the highway and there I took my gleeful revenge. Their little squishy bodies covered the front bumper and grill of my truck and piled up on my windshield so thick I had to keep spraying windshield washer and employing the wipers just so I could somewhat see the road ahead through the goop. I had to stop twice just to fill up the washer fluid and clean the wipers. I knew later I would have a heck of a job cleaning my truck of all those squished bug bodies, but remembering the absolute misery they caused me those many years ago, I loved the massacre.

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