Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The HUG

Ben shook his head as he headed back to work. He didn't understand what was going on with all these bugs, and was tired of mysterious cryptic messages. He stared blankly out the windshield as he drove home, numbly pushing on the brake and gas petal. And then the very thing he feared happened.

"Excuse me," a hissing voice near his shoulder breathed, "Do you have any leaves? Dead ones, preferably."

Ben turned to see the ugliest creature he'd ever seen perched on his shoulder. The bug looked precisely like the mound left when you get dog poo on your shoe and scrape it off in the grass. It looked up at him with skewed brown slitted eyes.

"What are you?" Ben choked out, keeping his eyes on the road. "And for God's sake, get off of me! GROSS!" The HUG floated to the dashboard and blinked his slitted eyes up at him.

"I am the HUG," the bug said in a matter-of-a-fact tone. "The Huge Ugly Garumph. Of course, you discovered the ugly part already."

"Sorry," Ben said, still in shock. "It's just your looks are....quite striking."

"I know," the HUG said. "My name is Harry, by the way. Harry the Huge Ugly Garumph."

"What's a garumph?" Ben said.

"And entirely different sub class of extraordinarily ugly bugs called VUB," HUG said.

"VUB?"

"Very ugly bugs," the HUG said.

"Don't you get tired of being told you're ugly?" Ben asked. "Doesn't it hurt your feelings?"

"My looks are what they are," the HUG said, shrugging. "You can't change what is. Only how you view it."

"My wife has a stuffed animal named Hairy," Ben said.

"No relation," the bug said quickly. Ben studied the horrifying creature carefully. As dreadful as the creature looked, he was really quite kind and comforting. It was like a warm cup of soup on a cold winter's day or warm sunshine on one's face. Ben was starting to like the bug. When Ben said as much, the creature smiled.

"So you knew already," the HUG said.

"Knew what?" Ben said in frustration. "I'm so sick of you bugs! I'm tired of being visited at work, in the car, while I'm eating. I'm surprised one of you hasn't tried to climb up my butt while I was on the toilet or something."

"Even we have more dignity than that," the HUG said, "And we live on poo."

"Unnecessary," Ben muttered. "Anyway, what am I supposed to learn?"

"You already have," the HUG said. "My job is done."

"But you just got here," Ben said in confusion. "Don't leave yet. I don't understand."

"As you are meant to," the HUG said, smiling slightly. "There are many things in life that you will not understand. This is just one of them." With that, he disappeared into the depths of the car.

Ben stared in front of him, shaking his head. "I'm so sick of these bugs," he muttered. "All their weird quotes and philosophy. Whatever happened to bugs that just want to suck your blood, bite you or live in your house?"


"I'll suck your blood!" a buzzing mosquito squealed happily. Ben squashed him when the bug landed on his arm, and the bug cried, "EEEEEEEEEEEE!" as he was wiped into a napkin.

"I didn't mean talking blood sucking bugs," Ben rolled his eyes. As he pulled onto his street, he began to relax. The three bugs had came and gone. He would be bug free for awhile now.

Ben pulled into his driveway, and froze when a familiar green blob hit his windshield.

"HELLO!!" the familiar grating voice called. "I'm BACK!"