Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A (Lady) Bug's Life

  Standing in line at Qdoba for lunch, the four of us (my coworkers and I) noticed a ladybug crawling along the cracks in the tile, moving with the line. Apparently, it was a "fake" ladybug, something I didn't even know existed. Apparently, it was a ladybug imposter that looks just like a ladybug only darker. They eat the fruit or the vegetable, while true ladybugs eat the other bugs (aphids) that eat the fruit or vegetable. It occurred to me how evolutionarily advantageous this was. (I actually articulated this, and didn't stumble over the word "evolutionarily".) We watched for a painstaking, horrifying 5 minutes as the ladybug imposter inched closer and closer to the front of the line.
    There was a man at the counter who was shifting his weight and moving his feet around. We avoided the little bugger, but as the bug got closer to the counter (and past his place in line, I might add), it became alarmingly clear that he was probably going to get stepped on, and what's more, it would be the weight-shifting yakker ahead of us who would unknowingly do the deed. And sure enough, ladybug imposter gets closer, closer, and then, weight-shifter shifts again and... SMUSH.
    We had a brief psychological/philosophical discussion about the bug still being alive after getting stepped on, the size of its brain, and whether it was able to feel pain. My inclination was no. The bug may not have died on impact, but what little brains it has surely can't register pain anymore, I thought. Its head is probably the most vulnerable part, and would have probably been crushed more than its back when stepped on. Any life left in it would be reflexes, not neurological commands. I didn't want to get into it, and as we were at the place in line where we could order finally, I didn't have to.
    But, how did the little ladybug imposter get inside the Qdoba? Did he walk, as we saw him doing? Did he fly through the door as it opened? Or did he land on some unsuspecting burrito lover who carried him in? How did he reach his eventual demise? We'll never know, but that's why there are people like me. To imagine a plot in which a ladybug imposter finds himself on the floor at Qdoba.
Ladybug imposter? Bah, humbug.

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