© 2010 Aaron Atkinson

Please Remain Calm

It was a coolish summer evening last Sunday and I was driving with the windows down. I was just about to exit my neighborhood when wham! a solid blur of brown and cellophane wings whirred in through my open driver’s-side window and hit me underneath my left ear. The sound and the sudden smack against my head surprised and scared me enough that I let out a slight, masculine scream.

Despite the fact that a large bug had flown through my window, hit me in the face while I was driving, and was doing a stunned, flopping dance in my lap, I was able to calmly pull into the next cul-de-sac, shift the car into park, unbuckle my seatbelt, and open my door.

That’s when the fuse on my calmness burnt out.

I sprang from the car, brushing the dazed cicada from my lap with wild swings of my arm, all while dancing an impromptu jig and evoking a guttural ewwweyhweeeehhhyhewh.

When the frightened, cicada finally took wing and flew away, and after I had sufficiently rain-danced the last of the adrenaline from my system, I stopped and took a deep breath.

Then I looked up.

20 feet away two young, bathing suit-clad boys were standing in their lawn quizzically staring at me while the rotary sprinkler they were playing in went shhhhh-sh-sh-sh-sh shhhh-sh-sh-sh-sh shhhhh-sh-sh-sh-sh. The cold water dripped off their torsos, but their puzzled gazes held fast. It was like they had never seen a grown man dance and yell like a scared little girl.

There was nothing I could say.

So I got back in my car, turned on the air conditioner and drove away. Of course, that’s after I rolled up the windows.


  1. skyla
    Posted September 24, 2010 at 2:06 pm | #

    How does that masculine scream go, again? LOL!

  2. meg
    Posted September 28, 2010 at 10:21 pm | #

    You will need to demonstrate this scream when we see you again!

  3. Aaron Atkinson
    Posted September 29, 2010 at 2:37 am | #

    Four words… Home Alone, Kevin, aftershave. Ahhhhhhhhh! 🙂

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