Friday, October 12, 2007

The Need for Speed

As I was driving home from the gym, I heard a loud thump. I looked up to see a large grasshopper crouched down on my sunroof.

"Wicked awesome!" he yelled, his antennae blowing around his head. "Go faster! Faster faster faster!"

Increasing my speed slightly, I glanced up at him quickly before looking back at the road.

"How are you staying up there?" I asked incredulously. "I can't believe you haven't blown off! We're going 40 miles an hour!"

"No talking, just driving!" he bellowed. "Faster, faster, faster!"

I increased my speed slightly, glancing up every so often. I could see his tiny feet gripping the sunroof, his antennae blowing back behind his head. His smooth green stomach was moving in and out with each breath he took.

"Faster!" he cried. "Faster, faster, faster!"

"I can't go any faster!" I cried. "I'm going the speed limit and there's cops all over the place. I'm not going to get a speeding ticket."

"SPEEED!!!" the cricket howled, his antennae twitching in the breeze. "I need speeed!"

Looking up, I saw the light had turned red and slowed to a stop.

"No no no no no no," the cricket howled. "Don't stop! Don't stop! This is boring!"

"It's a red light," I replied in exasperation. "I can't just barrel through a red light."

The grasshopper groaned and began to nervously chew on the ends of his antennae.

"Drive drive drive drive drive drive drive drive..." he muttered as his back leg twitched.

"So where are you going?" I asked conversationally.

"I wanted to go fast," he scowled at me.

"No, where are you going to?" I repeated.

"Anywhere," the grasshopper muttered as the light turned green. "Green!" he shouted. "Drive! Step on it!" I obligingly stepped on the gas and continued down the road.

"Whhoooooooooo!" the cricket yelled, obviously delighted with the wind blowing his antennae back flat against his head. "This is wicked man! Faster!"

"I can't," I sighed, slowing to 20 miles an hour.

"What the hell are you doing?" the grasshopper howled, pounding the sunroof. "This is slow! I don't like slow. I could have flown this fast."

"It's a school zone," I said, rolling my eyes. "You have to stop during a school zone."

"I don't!" the grasshopper howled. "Go!" After we passed the speed limit sign, I sped back up. the grasshopper was clinging to the sunroof, his cheeks gently flared out from the rushing air. I could see his tiny feet were holding on with all their might. We slowed again as we reached a stoplight.

"Why are we slowing down again!" the grasshopper yelled in irritation. "This is the worst ride ever"-- he suddenly fell silent.

"Why are you quiet?" I asked, looking at him. "What's wrong with you?" He didn't say anything, staring at me fearfully. His eyes were enormous and full of terror. Suddenly, I looked behind him and saw several birds sitting on the electrical wire.

"Scared they'll find you?" I asked, and his eyes widened. He motioned with his antennae for me to be quiet. His stomach even quit ballooning in and out.

"They won't see you," I continued to the terrified grasshopper. "They're looking at the"--

"GO!" the grasshopper bellowed as the light turned green. "Go, go now! Hurray!"

I stepped on the gas drove down the road, the grasshopper cleaning to the sunroof. I looked up to see two brown dots on the sunroof by the grasshopper's legs.

"Did you"-- I began. The grasshopper just twitched his antennae and continued to whoop happily in the wind. As we entered the neighborhood, the grasshopper repeated his mantra.

"Faster, faster, faster!" he chanted repeatedly. "Faster, faster faster!" I slowed for a school zone, and he groaned and collapsed dramatically against the window.

"Not another school zone," his bulging mouth shouted against the plastic. "What's with all the schools? I just want to go fast!"

"I can't go fast," I muttered.

"You know, you're not a very good driver," the grasshopper scolded. "Actually"-- A gust of wind knocked him off the sunroof, and I saw his tiny form and wings struggling behind me.

"Aww, man," he groaned. "This isn't fast at all. Darn it." I giggled, knowing he would just land on a car behind me. They were a lot faster than I was.