A couple days ago, I was riding my road bike down Suncrest, flying at 45-50mph.
Tight tuck. Arms and legs tensed and pulled in close. Eyes in narrow slits. Tears streaming sideways. Teeth bared.
And that is when a bug smacked into my teeth. Full force. I’m pretty sure it exploded on impact.
And so I did exactly what I’ve done a million times before, and which I’m sure you have done just as many times when a bug flies into your mouth while you’re cycling: I began hacking and spitting, desperate to get the insect — or, more accurately, insect parts — out of my mouth. Stat.
And then…well, then…something horrible, yet fascinating happened. Something unexpected. Something I have yet to come to terms with. A realization I still am trying to find ways to deny:
That bug did not taste half-bad.
Yes, you read that right.
That insect that slammed into my teeth, exploding into a million little raw atom-sized bug parts, left a pleasant, nutty aftertaste.
You cannot know how much this distresses me.
I mean: I like the taste of bugs? Raw bugs?! That’s not possible, is it?
Except, evidently it is.
So I’m confronted with a host of questions, each equally disturbing.
- What kind of bug was it? Or do I really want to know? Because if I find out, would I dare try another one?
- Do I like the taste of all bugs? Or do I just like the one kind? It seems likely that if one kind of bug is delicious, others are too. I can’t believe I just typed that sentence.
- Have I missing out on something really wonderful my whole life by not being an eater of bugs?
- Should I, from this point forward, ride with my mouth open, and crunch thoughtfully and appreciatively on whatever snack happens to find its way into my mouth?
Of course, there’s considerable upside to this, potentially. I mean, with as many bugs as I smack into in an average ride, I could easily stop bringing energy food with me on rides. Think of all the money I’d save. And I’m sure my friends wouldn’t be grossed out at all.
I am horrified, even as I am intrigued.
Please excuse me while I go brush my teeth and floss. For the thousandth time this week.