Of “cold fronts,” lovebugs and sanity

The hint of a declining summer — I hesitate in using the word “fall” for describing early September weather in Southeast Texan — has produced a bit of excitement. It is not the type of excitement that makes one go naked and running down the avenue screaming. Nonetheless, several people I encountered today expressed enthusiasm for the “cool” Canadian air that is forecast for the beginning of a new week. Lows in the 60s and high temperatures in the mid-80s are enough for even the most petulant Southeast Texan to “turn that frown upside down.” Jeez, you don’t know how long I’ve been waiting to use that term, that hokey, bromidic saying that I also despise.

Being September the hope of generally cooler temps sometime by November isn’t all that fills the air around the southeastern corner of Texas. And I think I can speak for most who live in or are visiting this area when I say that of what I speak is not the least bit a cause for elation. I give you the lovebug or as we like to say around here: “Thuh luuuv-buggg.”

Earlier this afternoon I was waiting in the grocery store aisle to buy some cooking spray. Yes, I use it most of the time to cook something in a pan. No, I need not explain. A lady was examining the various cooking sprays — used to there was only Pam, lovely young thing — and she asked: “Is this the kind you use on your car for lovebugs?” She went on to explain that if you spray it on your car the love bugs will come right off when washing it. I had never heard that, or if I did, I don’t remember it.

Perusing the Internet, where you get the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth including half-truths and non-truths, a number of sites attest to the abilities of cooking spray — to spray on a pan before cooking. Yes, it seems from several quick looks online that Pam, or other cooking sprays, can help facilitate lovebug removal when washing your car. Unfortunately, it also can fry you up a mess of baked Plecia nearctica. Had I known this, I would have thrown myself down on the grocery store deck and would have prevented that lady from continuing about her business until she promised to only apply Pam for its intended uses.

Or not.

The late John A. Jackman, a professor and entemologist at Texas A & M University, said perhaps the sanest way to deal with the amorous insects was, well, to deal with them:

 “There is no easy solution to lovebug problems. It may be necessary to learn to cope with lovebugs with a variety of methods for a few weeks each year.”

Sane is as sane does, especially when it is your own sanity.


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