15 Sep 2014
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Surviving Stink Bug Season

Columnist Gab Bonesso has seen masses of stink bugs throughout the area and it's making her tense. Very tense.

Surviving Stink Bug Season

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -

Only this, and nothing more. - Edgar Allen Poe (The Raven)

I have been thinking of this Poe poem lately. While he is speaking of a raven rapping and tapping on his chamber door, I have been hearing stink bugs rapping and tapping on my bedroom window. Not nearly as poetic, I know.

I can’t believe that not only are the stink bugs back, but they seem to have arrived in a much larger quantity this season.

If you don’t believe me then take a drive over to the Market District Giant Eagle in Robinson Township. I was getting a prescription at their drive-thru pharmacy and the entire back, brick wall was covered in them. Covered.

It was a perfect fall weather day too, but there I was siting in line in my car with the windows up muttering to myself and sweating profusely.

As I have mentioned in the past, stink bugs really bring out the worst in me.

I had a gig this week performing at an elementary school out past Monroeville. This school was literally engulfed by stink bugs. As my band-mate and I loaded our equipment in and out of the school there were stink bugs swarming us, attaching themselves to the equipment and they were all over the cars in the parking lot.

Honestly if I am not evoking Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven then I am imagining myself as Tippi Hedren in The Birds (substituting stink bugs for the crows in this scenario as well).

It took everything in me not to overreact and flip-out over this school’s stink bug epidemic. I felt that me acting like a lunatic over a virtually harmless insect might not be a great example to the kids. 

So I practiced deep breathing exercises and sang happy songs to myself, but who was I fooling? I felt like they were crawling all over me. I was convinced they had found a way into my hair or the pockets of my jeans. I knew that the minute I got home they would fly out into my house and plague me for days to come.

In fact the anxiety over whether the stink bugs smuggled into my house on my body ruined my enjoyment of Raising Hope and The New Girl this week. I was so distracted thinking I could hear a stink bug in my house that I missed both episodes.

Look I realize that this is just the beginning of fall. I have to pull it together to survive the season.

Although I have to admit that there is something very cinematic about the beginning of Halloween season and the sudden appearance of an abundance of creepy creatures.

Do you see what I just did there? I just tried to take a negative and turn it into a positive. I am getting better! There is a silver lining! Silver bullet? Stink bug lining? Whatever. To quote Gloria Gaynor, “I will survive”! (I think.)

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