February 1, 2015


In addition to writing fiction and poetry, Dr. Belinda Hubert is currently working on getting her novel Shrink Wrapped published while writing a second novel, Crackers, as well as a collection of poems and short stories about life in the Midwest..She works as a clinical psychologist in a private practice in Lowell, Indiana.


I’m a bleeding heart, live and let live sort. A little old grandmother for cripe’s sake. But the worst any of us human critters has done, it’s in us all. Hatred resides in the darkest part of my soul for those imitation lady bugs. I hate potato bugs. Experiments in natural pest control. Not my experiments, mind you. But somebody brought them out here. They eat aphids. So what? Aphids or potato bugs? No contest. Typical human arrogance, thinking we can outsmart mother nature.
They are attracted to white, ­like the white cliffs of their native lands. When it gets cold, they inch inside the crags and cracks to ride out the winter. My house is tall. And white. The siding is where they go in the fall when they get cold - usually after a frost or two. Just when you start to think it won’t happen. Every year. Every damned year. The little suckers bite and if you swat them for it, they stink you. Very UN­ladybug like.
I think every year that they aren’t coming. This time, I won. They are finally done. But nope. They come. Just one day, they’re everywhere ­ creeping in every crack, riding in the door on your shirt, crawling all over the ceiling in the kitchen. If you toss them out, they just march relentlessly back in.
They make me furious. I can’t bring myself to poison them because we have a well and frogs in our pond. As a citizen of this planet, I won’t spray weeds or bugs. I learned the hard way you can toss them on the floor and stomp them and they still come up crawling again. It hardly slows them down. You have no idea how long it took me to find out they’re pretty much unstompable. I call out the beastly, merciless side of my spirit after years of tolerance, catch and release, and it’s all for naught.
So now I trap them in a jar. They’re easy to catch. If they’re crawling across the kitchen ceiling, they’ll eventually fall down. They drop ­onto the table, the counters, your neck. So, when they get within reach, I scoop them into my bug jar and slam the lid. They can live in there for days ­ only getting air when I open up for the next guy. But I do not care. Let them suffer. I even find their captive stink gratifying when I open the lid to get another. “Your stink defends against nothing! “ I think, as I knock them to the bottom with a tap, open the lid and trap the next guy, slam the lid shut. I’m so ashamed.
It amazes my bleeding heart every year. They come and my ardent, stunningly gratifying round up into the bug torture jar ensues. The invasion eventually stops. Kind of the way they start. Just done. I might see a stray or two as the winter goes ­- maybe one a month, and even though the jar is put away, I still have no mercy. I snatch them and toss them in the toilet. Flush. Even the winter ones don’t get thrown outside on the off chance they find a way to survive. But by February or March, all trace is gone. Guess that’s why I think I won this time. So, if you ever think you’re above the base cruelty of your fellow humans, think again. It’s in there. Someday you too will meet your potato bug.

~Dr. Belinda Hubert~

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