I’m Just Saying: Bugs? I don’t need no stinkin’ bugs

Published 8:00 am Friday, March 30, 2018

As I teased in my column earlier this month, I was breathtakingly interviewed by The New Yorker Magazine.

Why, Aunty Pam, you ask, was it about your book? Your career in entertainment?

Come closer and I’ll tell you.

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Stink bugs.

That’s right, Pam Stone: actress, comedian, light roofing repair and stink bug whisperer.

The Pulitzer Prize winning staff writer, Kathryn Schulz, had read one of my columns from 2015, in which I gave a horrifying, yet funny, she said, account about leaving a door cracked open by mistake one brisk autumn day and, well, you know what happened next: hundreds of stink bugs had infiltrated our bedroom, hoping to spend the last couple of weeks of their lifecycle in the warmth of the house. Nestling in the folds of drapes, getting between pages in books and most disgustingly, setting up shop in a hoodie I had absentmindedly pulled on before — too late — I ran shrieking across the front lawn, vainly trying to remember if it was “stop, drop and roll,” or “roll, stop and drop.”

Whichever. I still twitch involuntarily.

To be interviewed by The New Yorker is heady stuff indeed. For it to be about stink bugs…not so much.

But the big political story within the same issue about new revelations concerning The Steele Dossier propelled the author, Jane Mayer, to be interviewed on nightly news programs, and it seemed every one of The New Yorker’s 1 million subscribers were reading it all at once.

Because when I read the stink bug piece (aptly titled “When Twenty Six Thousand Stink Bugs Invade Your Home”) on their website, I was incredulous to see that it was trending second in popularity. That’s right: The Steele Dossier, Stink bugs, and, in a distant third, all the Oscar showbiz buzz.

“You should write a horror film screenplay about it,” said my agent.

“Well, they’re not that scary,” I replied. “They’re really quite benign. They just come in to die. We’re sort of a hospice for them, keeping them warm and peaceful until they transition into their new life.”

“I still think you should do it,” she pressed.

“But all they do is smell,” I protested, “and the fact that they don’t do it while holding the bedclothes over my head is rather refreshing.”

It was all a bit of a lark, really. I figured the novelty of making The New Yorker would subside in a few days. Having obtained a copy of the magazine I did, however, read it with an appreciative shiver. It would make a funny memory to share one day…

And then came an email from a television producer in New Zealand.

She, Bridget, had read the article and having seen stink bugs newly arrived in her own country, asked if I’d do a Skype interview for a nightly news/entertainment show called “The Project.”

Like I would say no.

And so, my smelly adventure continues: Pam Stone, international stink bug whisperer.

Pam Stone, of Landrum, is a comedian, author and horse dressage trainer.