Hop to It!


The day seemed normal enough for the Curtis family as they made the trek to a Saturday afternoon birthday party. The kids were tucked in the backseat of the truck as they ambled down the country road, and Shannon sat in the passenger’s seat, giving the three girls a rundown of the upcoming phone call. No one had any idea that they were moments away from a vicious attack.

“Now Uncle Rusty may not be home, but we still want to leave him a happy birthday message on his machine.”

“Don’t you think it’s funny that we’re going to a birthday party and Uncle a Rusty is having a birthday in Louisiana?”

“Umm huh,” Shannon replied as she scrolled through her contacts. “Now wait for my cue, girls, before you start singing.” She half turned in her seat. “It’s ringing.”

“What time were we supposed to be at this party?” Nathan wanted to know. “At this rate we won’t get there before . . . Whoa!” He suddenly slammed on the brakes and threw the front seat as far back as it would go. “What in the devil?!”

“What is it?” Shannon demanded as she watched her husband start a swatting frenzy. “Is it a spider?”

“My lord!” Nathan yelled as he attacked his jeans with gusto. Shannon still couldn’t see the assailant, but Nathan flailed as if he’d kicked over a hornets’ nest. The girls joined the screaming enthusiastically, and suddenly an inch long grasshopper appeared, bouncing across Nathan and ricocheting around the dashboard. It was at this moment that Uncle Rusty’s voicemail picked up.

A real killer ...

A real killer …

“Hey there, Rusty! It’s Shannon, Nathan and the girls.”

“I see him, Daddy! He’s on the gear shift!” shrieked Savannah.

“Now he’s on the window!” yelled Sadie.

“Don’t kill him! You’re going to kill him with your palm!” wailed Sydney.

“We were just calling to wish you a happy birthday!” Shannon said, holding the phone in one hand and clamping her ear to her head with the other. “The girls and I want to sing to you just as soon as we get our act together.”

“Get this bug out of here!” Nathan bellowed as he punched buttons for the windows. The grasshopper had now made it to Shannon’s side of the truck, and as soon as he landed on her collarbone, she pinned him with her free hand and prepared to return him to the wild. She would have sung “Born Free,” but they were supposed to be cueing up a different ditty at the moment. Nathan stomped on the gas right as Shannon got the prisoner’s discharge papers in order, and this unfortunate burst of air rushing past the passenger’s window caught the little hopper right as she made the toss and propelled him right through the girls’ back window in a marvelous boomerang effect.

At this point it’s just hard to describe the joy that ensued, but Shannon said she’s pretty sure Uncle Rusty’s birthday well wishes sounded like something out of a Stephen King movie. I’m picturing the one with Kathy Bates and the sledge hammer. I guess you never know when terror may strike.

Happy birthday from The King of Horror!

Happy birthday from The King of Horror!

Β© 2014 – Traci Carver


35 responses »

    • Thanks for the well wishes! I hope to get my act together soon. A new job and new city have been more than a match for me these past few months πŸ™‚ I appreciate you checking on me! Happy 2015!

    • Thanks, Marian. Just crazy busy with my new school and curriculum, but I hope to surface soon. I’m keeping you in my prayers and hope that life is treating you gently.

  1. Hahaha – that was a great story and lead up! That would have been one of the most entertaining birthday messages to listen to I imagine. πŸ™‚
    I remember when I was a little girl living on the farm we had one year that brought on an extreme infestation of grasshoppers. I’m talking when we would walk on the grass, what looked like grass was actually 1000’s of grasshoppers flying everywhere.
    Needless to say it was a complete write off for the crops that year, the grasshoppers ate all of it. And it was a total waste of time to even think of washing your vehicle, grasshopper guts were just part of everyone’s paint job that summer.
    ~ Andrea ❀

    • Wow! I’ve never seen a swarm like that other than love bugs. And those used to get on my nerves just as much as they did my grill πŸ™‚ But at least my livelihood didn’t depend on it. Yikes!

  2. Just have to love our bugs down here! πŸ˜‰ Well, you and I don’t, but most people don’t have our affinity for the blood sucking types. LOL

      • I did get my song and I loved it. I am laughing hysterically right now and trying not to cry from laughing so much. NOW I know what was going on….This is better than ANY movie plot. Thank you for (STILL chuckling) for sharing this story. And YES…I know my family is the bestest nuts EVER and I would not trade them for anything.

        Uncle Rusty

  3. Always extra exciting when the driver gets attacked by a wayward, unwanted visitor. Uncle Rusty got a very memorable call- hope he’s got a good sense of humor πŸ™‚

  4. Glad everyone survived…I’ve had a few similar encounters of the 8-legged variety. Sometimes I’m the one flailing…sometimes I’m the one driving with one shoe encouraging (& teaching) the other passenger to flail…It’s always when you least expect it! That voicemail should be a “keeper”! πŸ™‚

    • I have to be so careful if I see a spider in the car. I could easily wrap myself around a pine tree from the panic attack alone. I once had a mouse in the car, but that didn’t unnerve me the way an 8 legged menace would have.

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