The “Love Bug”

A while back my non-traveling job took me to Florida – and surprisingly not Orlando. Yes, for the first time I went to a city called Jacksonville. (Alright, well, first I went to Orlando because of a little thing called a “ground stop” at O’Hare and then I drove to Jacksonville, but yeah, my final destination was Jacksonville) I mean honestly, who doesn’t enjoy a short three hour drive in the middle of the night to make it in time for an 8AM meeting with someone else’s customer?!? I have no complaints though, once I finally made it to Jacksonville the people there were really nice; saying “Please!” and “Thank You!” and “Excuse Me” and calling me “Ma’am” – all those little things you never hear in Chicago when someone is trying to run you down at a crosswalk. “Not-my-customer-who-I-had-to-travel-all-the-way-to-Florida-to-do-a-bake-off” (or NMCWIHTTATWTFTDABO for short) was pretty cool too. I learned a lot of fascinating stuff when I was in Florida. Ironically, none of it was work related. 🙂

It was lunchtime on Day Two and “the guys” and I were sitting around the break room eating lunch and talking cars. I generally get enough “car talk” at home with my Engineer Boyfriend (its either cars or Adam Carolla these days) and did my typical “engineer boyfriend tune-out”. For over thirty minutes I  listened to them drone on about what was necessary to preserve the exterior of their cars (yeah, haven’t heard this ONE-THOUSAND times before!) and why a car wash was way too abrasive, etc etc. I was totally bored. But then out of nowhere I heard someone say “and then there is the problem with those love bugs”. The Love Bug I thought! I loved that movie!!! Lindsay Lohan! Man, I could finally contribute!!! I heart celebrity gossip!But no, unfortunately they didn’t seem to be talking pop-culture. My next attempt at including myself in the conversation

“OMG!!, you drive a punch-buggy? I have always wanted a punch buggy. You know with the little holder for the flower and stuff. Do they still have that? I have always wanted one in pink.”

fell flat on its feet as well. (a lot of blank stares and probably some “blonde jokes”). You see what they were referring to was actually an aspect of Florida that I didn’t know anything about! After a lifetime of visiting Disneyworld the only bug I had ever come across was our friend the mosquito. Oh and a cricket. As in Jiminy.Allegedly Florida has this type of bug called the love bug. In fact they actually have a “love bug season” – like we in Chicago have…I’m not sure what we have actually, that “week in the middle of June that is really nice season”? Anyway, these bugs are born or hatched or whatever it is that bugs do, and then immediately attach themselves (in a sexual manner) to another bug.  The duo stay attached to each other for their entire bug life. (Twenty minutes or so) According to wikipedia:

…the “love bug”spends the entirety of its life copulating with its mate. Sometimes they even play a tug of war as one bug tries to fly one way and the other flies the other way.”
I found this story rather sweet. (No one else at the table did). I brought up the fact that doves mated for life as well. (No one saw the connection) Either way I do see this as the ultimate love story in the insect kingdom.  Kinda like “Casablanca”.But it isn’t all fun and games. If you happen to have a little run in with these little nymphomaniacs they will win every time.  They will explode onto your beloved automobile in a big black mess. An acidic mess that begins to eat away at the outside of your car if you don’t clean it off immediately. Man, would that ruin Mr. Engineer Boyfriends day/week/month/year! 

So take this as a public service announcement. And avoid what Floridians refer to as “the black haze”.