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I need Professional help. Many of you already know this, but yesterday, in the parking lot of Acme (my local grocery store), it became painfully obvious to me as well.

Yesterday morning started like most others, too early and with a million things to do leaving me little to no time to ready myself for the day. I managed to wake up early enough to shower though, since I
was making an extra effort to appear normal for Jake’s preschool
orientation. I dressed up a bit more than usual too, again as part of
the facade of being a functional adult.

Orientation went off without a hitch and Jake cried when it was time to go leave (hopefully a good sign). We got home just before lunch, so our mid-day madness ensued with toys everywhere, jelly smears from the
kitchen to the bathroom…and all down my shirt caused when I plucked Jake
off the top of the kitchen table.

Having had enough, and not really even half way through my already long day, I cleaned Jake up, fed the baby and put them both down for naps. After changing my shirt and delivering the baby monitors to my
husband’s home office, I was out to the grocery store before having to
pick up Joey from Kindergarten.

It was still warm, but breezy yesterday, and after changing I put on a black short sleeved sweater from Ann Taylor. It was one of my favorite pre-pregnancy shirts that I hadn’t worn in quite some time. As I drove
the five miles to the store, I wondered what could be itching against my
back knowing it couldn’t be a tag on this previously worn shirt.
Unfortunately, it was in the center of my upper back, and not wanting to
crash my car, I decided to wait until I got out of the car to remove
the object from my sweater.

Upon arriving at Acme, with the clock in my mind ticking away, I forgot about the itch and ran into the store. I began my “Super Market Sweep” style shopping, and somewhere around aisle five, the itching
resumed. Not being the only other customer, and not wanting to look
like a complete lunatic, I was unable to really determine the cause or
resolve the itching. I adjusted my sweater and tried to ignore the
persistent itch which now felt like a quarter sized lump of prickles.
WTF was in my shirt?

I used the self checkout in hopes that it would be faster, but the constant movement from the cart to the scanning mechanism to the bag and back to cart was almost more than I could bear. My cell phone rang and I
could barely walk and talk as I made my way to the car. I hung up the
phone, loaded three bags in the Suburban, and no longer cared how
ridiculous I looked, I needed to get what I now imagined was a tumble
weed out of my sweater.

Looking similar, I imagine, to a dog chasing its own tail, I reached as far around my back as I could, grabbed the hard and crunchy object that was entangled in fabric of my sweater and pulled. I felt the object
break and a portion came loose in my hand while the rest flung back
with the clothing to further irritated my skin.

“What the AHHHHHHHHH!” I screamed. Did I say screamed? I meant I cried out loudly in sheer terror at the half crunched object in my hand. There, in the palm of my hand, was the upper torso, head, and one giant
antenna of the most gargantuan and disgusting (dead) cricket I had ever
laid eyes on. “It’s in my shirt!” I continued to yell and frantically
reach at the remaining carcass. “Oh, God! I can’t get it! I can’t get
it!” I continued to cry out in the parking lot of Acme.

A man, probably in his mid thirties, came running after hearing my pleas. He set his bags down and shook the back of my shirt. “It’s still in there! It’s touching me!” I wailed.

“What is it? A bee? Is something stinging you?” he asked. Before I could answer, and seeing the fear painted on my face, he reached his hand down the back of my shirt, felt around, and after what felt like a
lifetime but must have only been a few seconds in reality, he pulled out
the bottom half of the Jurassic sized cricket. The bottom half, which
was perhaps the worst of the two halves, with it’s giant musical legs,
was now in his hands and he began to closely inspected it. “Uh, I think
it’s just a cricket, Miss…” he said now looking slightly embarrassed.

Sensing the strangers awkwardness at the realization that the creature in question was just a cricket, I immediately came up with a lie. “Oh, thank God! All I saw was brown legs and I thought it was a wasp. I’m extremely allergic to
bees. Oh, thank you! Thank you so much.”

The man, now obviously feeling slightly heroic again and not so much like a public groper, said it was no problem and he was happy to help. I didn’t know what to do at this point either, so I went to hug the
stranger, but stopped half way. I then attempted to shake his hand but
it was more like a high five. Super awkward.

A small crowd (yes, crowd-kill me now) of about six people had gathered a couple parking spaces down, and the hero relayed to them that I was allergic to bees and had an insect in my shirt. They all nodded
and one man shook his hand as he walked past.

At this point I wanted to abandon the rest of the bags and just drive home never to return to my local Acme again. Instead, I moved with incredible speed and loaded the bags as fast as I could. I nearly cried
as I drove home wondering how far I should move to never possibly see
any of these people ever again.

After unpacking the bags and hurrying over to Joey’s school to get a parking space, I had a few minutes upon arrival to really let this all sink in. I pondered, and not for long, how the cricket got into the
sweater in the first place. My laundry room is in the basement, and
this time of year (which is probably when I wore the sweater last), is
infested with giant disgusting crickets. The basement is 85% finished,
sealed, dry walled, etc. so my guess is these incredibly foul insects
are getting in through the sump pump. There’s never any food down
there, and I always see them in my laundry baskets, washer, dryer vent,
etc. so my assumption is that they eat laundry as a primary food source.

So get the phone book, call the exterminator, I need professional help.

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