Road Trip, Part Deux...
Yesterday, I related some highlights of my road trip down to Virginia to attend a wedding, with my daughter in tow. Today, I'd like to relate a lowlight of that same trip, courtesy of a grasshopper who just couldn't get out of the way. I shall call him "Puck", as in 'hockey puck'. As in something that gets hit hard and caroms crazily all over the place when struck at the right angle.
It happened shortly after the air conditioner crapped out on my car. The windows were down, and I was praying for some open road to pick up speed, get some air (hot as it was) in motion in the car. I was leaning forward in the seat, anticipating that the cars in front of us were going to move, opening up some space. which they did, to my relief.
The car in front of us had opened up about two car lengths of road, and I accelerated to take advantage of it. I was watching the car carefully when I noticed this bright tan-colored blur strike the leading edge of the car's roof, bouncing high in the air. I determined that it was an insect of some sort, and I watched it dive gracefully in a smooth parabola, heading downward...
It was then that we made the acquaintance of Puck.
Right into my windshield, with an audible thwack, did the grasshopper greet us. It left a greenish smudge on the glass, and at first I thought the speed and wind would carry it up the windshield and over the car. It carried it up the windshield, alright.
Then the poor bastard got lodged in the arm of the driver's side wiper blade. Just our luck, trajectory and physics smashes Puck, then wedges his ass in tight in a notch in the metal. And he wouldn't come out!
I drove as fast as prudent, hoping the wind would blow him out. No dice. I then turned on the wipers, hoping the centrifugal force would toss him out. No such luck. In fact, I think that wedged it in tighter. I tried squirting the wiper fluid, and that didn't work.
Not wanting to pull over for a bug, I kept on driving. The Wee Lass chimed in from the back, with helpful comments like "Ewwwww..." and "Daddy, that grasshopper is freaking me out!". I tried to put it out of my mind, but it was too much in my field of vision.
So I drove the next three plus hours with a dead grasshopper's butt pointing right at me, frizzled wings vibrating in the laminar air flow over the windshield like some sort of bizarre totem designed to ward evil spirits away from unwary travelers. Puck seemed to be saying to me "I'm coming for you in your dreams..."
I felt I should appease the grasshopper spirit when we arrived at our destination, so my plan was to gently extract the carcass and place it in a nearby flowerbed. No such luck. The wind and the heat had baked poor Puck, and when I when to pull it from the wiper blade, the dry carcass exploded like a puffball mushroom in a cloud of dust and exoskeleton fragments.
Alas, poor Puck, we didn't know ye well, but please know we tried. Please don't haunt my dreams.