Monday, September 17, 2007

The Buff Beetle

Seven in the morning is early for anyone, especially a beetle. However, the beetle at the women's gym emerged from his home in the crack of the wall promptly at 7:03 a.m. It was dove season, and he had to get buff.

"I can't even scurry on the sidewalk without a bird pecking at me!" he griped to himself as he scuttled across the thick red carpet. "All those dumb country birds hiding in the city until November. It's terrible, I tell you, just terrible! A fellow has to be in shape to survive dove season."

"Everyone always feels bad for the birds during bird season," he sneered as he hurried to the floor exercise space. "Well, what about us bugs? We deserve not to be hunted like vermin too!"

Huffing to himself, he crawled his way to the enormous rubber balls. He looked up at the ball--it looked like a planet.

"EW!" a girl screeched as she scooted away from the bug. "A beetle!"

"Not listen here," the beetle snarled, "I have every right to work out here too!"

The girl wrinkled her nose and went to do crunches on the aerobics floor. The beetle, giving up on the planet of a ball, walked over to another woman who was sweating as she tried to hold a plank.

"Would you help me stretch?" the beetle asked politely, waving all his arms and legs. "I'm not quite sure how to get started. I don't work out much, you see. Just during dove season."

"Disgusting," she blanched as she got up and quickly walked away. Undeterred, the beetle scuttled over to another woman. "Would you help me stretch?" The woman slammed down her magazine towards him. He quickly ran and hid under a box of stretchy ropes as she continued to smack the ground.

"You don't have to be so rude!" the beetle bellowed fearfully as he crawled against the wall, desperately searching for a crack. "If you didn't want to help me stretch, no would have been just fine!" Finally, the woman and her magazine left. The beetle carefully crawled out. He saw a blond girl doing sit-ups on the carpet. Silently, he scuttled over to her head. When she finally turned and saw him, her eyes widened in fear.

"Excuse me," the beetle asked politely, "Can you help me stretch?"

"Help you stretch?" the girl asked, looking dubiously at all his arms and legs. "I'm not sure how to do that."

"Oh," the beetle said, disappointed. Since the girl hadn't screamed, run away or tried to hit him, he decided to push his luck.

"Why are all the girls running away from me?" his beetle pinchers clicked at her a few times. "Am I that scary of a beetle?"

The girl shook her head. "They're not scared of you." She turned to do sit-ups on her side. The beetle scurried around her head so he was in her vision again.

"Grossed out?" The beetle sighed. It wasn't his fault he was black and shiny with a hard shell. He knew he wasn't as cute as butterflies or ladybugs. At least people liked him in Egypt.

"Nope," the girl said, flipping over to the other side. The beetle sighed and scurried around to the other side so he was in her vision again. He was very tired. This was turning out to be a very good work out.

"Then what is it?" he whined.

"They don't want to work out with a boy," the girl said, standing up and grabbing her bag. "After all, it's a women's gym." The beetle stared at her as she walked out, flabbergasted. As more women came towards him, he quickly scurried back into his crack in the wall.

"That's enough working out for one day," he told himself, confident he was fast enough the birds wouldn't get him. Even though he was disappointed the other ladies wouldn't work out with him, he knew he'd still get in a work out. After all--there was a Mexican restaurant two doors down. They had never discriminated before against beetles of any kind.