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Whoever said truth is stranger than fiction knew what they were talking about. Last week, while I was unlocking the office door in the morning, a bug flew into my ear. Apparently this was what I got for being the first one to get to work in the morning.

If you’ve never had a bug in your ear, you have no idea what it feels like. Believe me.

Initially, I just stood there, thinking, “What the heck?”

Then I stood there thinking, “If it flew in, it can fly out.”

Then I stood there thinking, “It’s not flying out.”

In fact, it seemed determined to continue the forward path that had sent it into my ear in the first place. In other words, it was going deeper.

I was starting to get a little twitchy.

Generally, I’m a relatively calm person. I don’t get excited easily. I don’t get grossed out easily. But the bug was changing all that. Not only could I feel it crawling around inside my head, I could hear its little feet scratching away on its misguided journey.

Obviously, not only did I have a bug in my ear, I had a directionally challenged bug in my ear.

Inside the office, I ran to the bathroom. Apparently I thought there would be some magical quality about the bathroom that would fix the situation. After all, whenever you have an accident or injury at home, you run to the bathroom, right? You don’t run to the living room or the bedroom. The bathroom is the place where you go to stop the bleeding, get some painkillers or look at yourself in the mirror to see if you still have both eyebrows.

The bathroom had no effect on the bug.

A co-worker arrived and we exchanged morning pleasantries. “Hi, how are you? Fine. How are you? Fine. I have a bug in my ear.”

My co-worker gave me a slightly horrified look and said, “I had a bug in my ear once. I had to go to the doctor and have it flushed out with water.”

Horrors. I couldn’t stand much more of this thing creeping around inside my head. I would be a complete mental case by the time I called a doctor’s office, scheduled an appointment and drove there. Not to mention the last time I drove myself to the doctor while experiencing less-than-ideal health I ended up in an ambulance headed for the cardiac unit of a local hospital.

“I think I can flush it out myself,” I said, “I just need one of those bulb syringe things.”

Thus ensued a rather comedic sequence of phone calls made, messages left and calls returned concerning the availability of a bulb syringe in various medicine cabinets and the potential for being brought to the office. In the end, it was decided one was not available.

I couldn’t wait any longer and decided to go to a local store to see if they had one. I grabbed my purse and out the door we went, me and the bug, who was merrily going on his way inside my ear. I figured he was about the size of an average sparrow.

I had just crossed the street and was standing on the corner of Court and Main when the oddest feeling hit. The bug had changed directions. Could it be real? He was headed out. I froze, afraid to move or do anything that might disorient him. I could feel him progressing, step by little six-legged step, until I couldn’t take it any more.

I tipped my head over to the left and started pounding on the right side. In retrospect, I imagine I looked like the village idiot but fortunately the streets were fairly deserted at that hour.

With immense relief, I saw the little critter fall to the bricks. It was the size of, well, a tiny little bug.

Next time, I’m letting someone else get to work early enough to unlock the door. And I’ll be wearing earmuffs the rest of the summer.

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