Thursday, October 24, 2013
I love my husband. I feel like I should get that out there before I tell you how I almost killed him in cold blood this weekend — I love him. I’d marry him all over again. I like to hold his hand and sit really close to him in church. Sometimes I miss him when he goes to work and occasionally, after almost 16 years of marriage, I still get butterflies in my stomach when I’m going to see him after one of us has been traveling for a few days.
So now that I’ve got my deep and endearing love for Zebulicious out there, let me tell you a story.
The door that enters our house from the carport is apparently the place to be if you are a mosquito. Every day there are mosquitos swarming in the doorway. If the screen door is opened for even a split second, it is unavoidable that our house will soon be teeming with skeeters. Zeb and I are both constantly screaming at our kids and anyone else who dares to open the door, “Shut the door. The skeeters.”
Here’s something you don’t know — Zeb is an insect assasin. There really isn’t another way to put it. He doesn’t simply end a mosquito’s life — he murders it and gets joy out of watching them fall to the earth. It’s not uncommon for him to scale furniture to slap at a mosquito lurking in the corner of the girls’ bedroom, or hop on top of the kitchen counter to slap one down with a dish towel. I actually appreciate his enthusiam for exterminating the little blood suckers, I hate waking up to bites on my shoulders and feel terrible when I notice a fresh crop of bites on the girls over breakfast.
But every once in awhile, Zeb’s enthusiasm for wiping out every mosquito on our property can be, well, frightening. Let me set the scene:
A quiet house. Three blonde babies tucked soundly into their beds, pink rounded cheeks at rest. A young(-ish) mother gets out of the shower and puts on her pajamas. She walks through the house flipping off light switches and makes her way to her bedroom where she finds that her husband is already sleeping. The young mother climbs into bed, turns on her bedside lamp and grabs the book on her night table, she hears the faint buzz of a mosquito across the room but ignores it. She settles into bed and loses herself in the story. Minutes pass, engrossed in the story she turns the page when suddenly her husband leaps to his feet on the bed and slaps his hands together so loudly her heart briefly stops beating.
“Ha. How you like that?” Her husband cackles maniacially at the dead mosquito in his hands.
Honest to God, I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I really couldn’t be mad because, I mean — Dang, those are some ninja-like reflexes. But you get the idea — you never know when and where Zeb’s Exterminator Ninja is going to show himself and you need to be prepared for your heart to skip a few beats.
This past week, Zeb took a day off of work for a little staycation. He was working on building a bicycle shed in the backyard. A few times throughout the day, I’d gone out to check on his progress.
I was standing in the backyard being eaten alive by swarms of mosquitos and said as much, “I’m going inside. My legs are getting eaten up.”
What happened next will be a source of disagreement for us for years to come.
What I remember happening was that he yelled, “Mosquito,” as I was walking away and naturally, as you do, when someone screams something at your back, I turned just in time to get smacked in the forehead by his hand slapping at a skeeter.
What Zeb says happened is that he saw a mosquito biting my shoulder and by him yelling, “Mosquito,” he was warning me that he was going in for the kill shot and I wasn’t supposed to turn my head.
Regardless, he smacked me in an attempt to save me from a skeeter and I reacted just like one of my girls would have and whacked his arm.
“What is wrong with you?” I yelled at him.
“Why did you hit me?” he yelled at the same time.
“Why did you hit ME?” I yelled back.
I have no idea what my neighbors would have thought had they looked out the window at that moment and seen us swatting at each like two toddlers fighting over a toy. We were both incredulous. Zeb couldn’t understand that I’d rather get bitten by a skeeter than randomly smacked upside my head. And I couldn’t understand why I had expected any less from Zeb, the Ninja Exterminator.
Robin O’Bryant is an author, humorist and speaker. Her latest book is “Ketchup is a Vegetable and Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves.” Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter and visit her blog at www.robinschicks.com.