the lost man chronicles
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A Ruby Surprise

There it was—my insect in amber. Except that my fly was stuck inside a ruby.

Desperately trying to exorcise this lingering congestion, I was pouring myself another shot of Tussin, the local drug store’s generic response to Robitussin, when I noticed a pair of tiny wings toward the bottom of the barrel.

I held up my little plastic cup to the light and there, surrounded by warm crimson liquid, was a perfectly preserved bug suspended in animation.

I was much more fascinated than repressed, so it took me a moment to decide what to do next.

I almost wanted to wait a million years, so that I might end up with a wonderfully clear-red fossilized gem.

Alas, I knew I had to take my medicine, so I mulled over the options: one, overreact, pour the bug back into the bottle, stomp back to the store and demand justice, or at least a full refund; two, preserve the little guy in a small sandwich bag and ask for an exchange; three, pour it out in the sink, pour myself another drink; or four, pick the bugger out and get on with life.

I chose the latter option of course, well knowing that most of our processed food stuffs possess much worse—traces of protein left by finely ground insects or worse—vermin droppings. Its practically impossible to keep them out otherwise—the costs of creating hermetically sealed plants are prohibitive and would far outweigh any prospective revenue.

Anyway, initially I thought I’d use my finger, but then I imagined it would get “all sticky” and I might smash the little sucker into smaller pieces.

So, ingeniously I took a plastic toothpick flosser and gently swooped her up and out. She sadly drooped over the pointy tip as if she was completely sloshed, dead drunk off of Guaifenesin and Dextromethorphan, and did not look half as pretty as she did poised in mid-flight.

“Oh, well,” I thought and then I proceeded to rinse her down the drain, floss with the pick, down the Tussin, and finally, brush my teeth.

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