Thursday, June 4, 2009

Those Pesky Critters

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was fast asleep, dreaming about chocolate, and the beach, and my future husband when…

“BJ?” someone whispered. “BJ?”

I sat up and suddenly my forehead made contact with the top bunk. “Ouch.”

“I’m sorry to wake you. There’s an emergency down in cabin 5.”

Visions of fire, or lightning strikes, or 10-year-old campers’ limbs flushed half-way down the toilet filled my mind.

“What? What is it?” I asked as I frantically pulled on my shoes.

“Well,” the camp counselor-in-training said, “There’s a spider.”

“A spider?” I asked. “Are you kidding me?”

“No – it’s like this big,” the C.I.T. said as she pointed to her fingernail. “I’ve never seen one so huge.”

I rubbed my throbbing head.

“Let me get this straight,” I said. “You woke me up for a spider?”

“Well… um… we’re kind of scared of it.”

“Who is bigger?” I asked. “You – or the spider?”


“Who is squishier?” I asked. “You or the spider?”

“The spider.”

“Who is scared-er?” I asked, my concussion temporarily blocking my English-speaking abilities.

“I’m scared-er,” she said. “That’s why you should kill it.”

I don’t remember what happened next. Maybe I killed the spider. Maybe I went to the hospital for my throbbing head. Maybe I gave my C.I.T. a throbbing head.

I do remember this was not the last time I was asked to kill a critter. In fact, in my six years as a camp counselor I was asked to kill exactly 320 spiders (may they rest in peace), 42 cockroaches (may they not hold it against me), and 1 camper (may they be fortunate I did not oblige).

The point is, I have never been scared to kill a critter. Until now.

I don’t know what it is – but something happened when I started talking about having kids. Now – anytime I see anything slightly small or defenseless – it makes me maternal.

“BABE!” I screamed to my husband the other night. “THERE’S A BEETLE IN HERE!”

“Do you want me to kill it?” he asked as he bolted into the room.

Tears filled my eyes.

This was not exactly the response he had expected.

“What Babe? What is it?” he asked.

“KILL it?” I said. “Are you kidding me? I want you to take it outside. Gently. And feed it some grass. Or whatever it eats.”

It’s amazing how life changes so quickly. One minute you’re a bonafide critter killer, the next you can think of nothing but saving the creatures.

Maybe this is just a phase. Yes – let’s believe it’s just a phase. Otherwise, my house is going to be taken over by poor, defenseless spiders who might bite my future children.

Wait a minute. Where did I put that flyswatter?


B.J. Hamrick is a local humorist who can be reached at, unless she's searching for the bug spray.


Debbie said...

You make me laugh every time I visit your blog! : )


BJ Hamrick said...

Thanks, Debbie! :) You make me laugh ALL the time.

I know all about waiting--for the right guy, for high school to end, for my boobs to come in (two out of three ain't bad).

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