the time when I totally messed up some books.

I’m still on vacation but I thought I would share this humorous (at least to me) story.

I’ve always been the type of person who hates messing up books. I never underlined passages or highlighted or wrote notes in the margins in textbooks in college or law school. I would even sort through the used books for sale to find the one that had the least damage. I always want to cringe when I see someone writing in their books. Same, I wince when I see someone break a book spine by folding the cover over backwards. I even hesitate to dog ear pages – only as a last result.

But there was one time where I totally messed up some books.

One night, when I was living in DC, I was in my room perusing the internet. It was late, the city was peaceful and still, and the only sound I could hear was the hum of my computer. I had just sent an email when I heard a strange noise. It sounded like fluttering, like wings beating rapidly together, and I saw a dark shadow out of the corner of my eye. I figured that a moth had somehow gotten trapped in my room and was attracted to the light of one of my lamps and promptly forgot about it. Until a few minutes later I heard the fluttering noise again and I glanced over in time to see that no, it was not a harmless moth.

But rather, it was a huge cockroach-esque type bug crawling over my lamp shade.

It was monstrous. This bug was HUGE! It was Godzilla crawling on buildings HUGE. Its wings were huge and its antennae were huge and it looked at me as if to say “Yeah, I’m a huge bug and I’m getting my huge bug cooties all over your lamp.”

I wanted to scream. I wanted to jump up and get as far away as I could from this bug. I wanted to run out of the apartment and not come back for days. But most of all I wanted this bug, this bug that had dared to intrude into my room and had dared to walk over my things and touch my things, to die. I knew I had to take action.

So I did what I usually do when I see a bug in a place it doesn’t belong – I got out the hair spray.

I’ve found that hair spray works very well to eliminate bugs. But then I looked at the bug again, with its huge bug legs, and thought maybe the hairspray wasn’t enough.

So I went in my bathroom and got out the spray bleach too.

Armed with my sprays I stealthily approached the bug. I got off one squirt before the bug flapped its huge bug wings and flew away.

I was determined to decimate this bug. I furiously started spraying the bug trying to slow its flight down. I’m following the bug with the spray when, just my luck, it landed behind a stack of books on my windowsill and I’m horrified as I realize that I just hairsprayed a precious stack of books.

Which would be fine, if I wanted to make sure that my books had no fly-aways. I mean, it was 4x Mega Hold Rave, the kind you used in junior high and high school when you wanted to make sure your hair didn’t move for three days.

So, I’ve got Rave 4x Mega Hold all over my books now and the bug was STILL alive. I managed to chase the bug into my closet, all the while spraying it with hair spray and bleach, until it fled into the corner behind my shoe rack.

I never found the bug so I can only theorize that it managed to crawl away and die in a cloud of Rave and bleach. On the other hand, the covers on my books didn’t move for six days.

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