I’ve mentioned that my brother only recently realized we’d been little white trash kids which is funny because he’s pretty much a genius but one who is a little slow on the uptake sometimes.
When we were tiny, our mom introduced us to Maxwell bugs; they were ubiquitous in the summer and fall and insects are always a good diversion for small children so, really, why wouldn’t she have shown us these little marvels? Happily, they’re friendly, like roly-polies, and you can carry them around in your pockets as pets. Lucky bugs.
At some point during my high school career, I found out that Maxwell bugs are really called box elder bugs. I asked my mom why she told us they were called Maxwell bugs and she said it was because she and her brother used to catch them, as kids do, and put them in coffee cans. Maxwell House coffee cans, to be precise. They became Maxwell bugs because that’s how the minds of children work.
I assumed Chris, Noelle, and Bedot all learned the same lesson at some point. Apparently, Chris didn’t learn this as quickly as the rest of us, a fact I discovered when we discussed some of the different crawlies in the area — we have wind scorpions! I have never seen one in person but Chris says they usually come out late at night and run around garage floors so it makes sense I don’t know them since I don’t have a garage and I’m not outside late at night. Anyway, he smugly mentioned, “Did you know that Maxwell bugs are really called box elder bugs?”
I said, “Yes,” and he was crestfallen.
“You did? When did you find out?”
“High school. When did you find out?”
Using my Kind Voice, I asked, “Oh? Really? Um…how?
Turns out, he learned when he was telling his own kids about them and nothing came up when he did a Google Image search for “Maxwell bug.” (no longer true thanks to this post, by the way) He couldn’t let it go and started looking for pictures of local insects. Finally, on a pest control site, he found what he was looking for: A Maxwell bug. Only, it was called a box elder bug. He was very excited by his discovery and told his kids that the mystery had been solved. You can imagine how deeply they cared (not at all) so I think that’s why I was the next in line to hear this amazing news – I (usually) do care about his findings. Now I wish I’d have feigned ignorance so he could have had a glowing moment of bug-naming pride.