October 2, 2011 | 11:18 am

Perhaps I should’ve seen the foreshadowing — one of the earlier scenes of last night’s improv show involved two entomologists.

And so it was that I was completely unprepared for what went down about halfway through the show. I was at the piano, soundtracking a scene as I tend to do when we are light on musician staff. Let me get this out of the way — I can’t really play piano, so I do this for pure amusement.

The scene on stage was from a movie whose title the audience had supplied — Pliable Shark Face. Things were getting pretty bizarre up there between Gary and Dan, so the stage was aptly set.

Suddenly, from out from behind the piano came a … thing. I saw it crawl on the floor along the edge of the stage.

What the hell was it? It was huge and alien. My mind first thought that it was some ultra jacked-up termite, or maybe a scorpion.

I could not even pull it together to freeze the scene or make an announcement. I just started saying, over and over and louder and louder “oh, a bug, a big bug, what is that bug, um bug bug”.

One of our regular fan and supporters (who happened to be in a neck brace) came running up and started kind of beating it lightly with a seat cushion, herding it pretty much stage center. This is when some screaming and running started. I was frozen to the spot.

The mighty actors kept improvising, and even worked the insect, and eventual demise of, into the scene. Very impressive.

Wikipedia kindly lists some of the things potato bugs can’t do, including “cry like children.” So we have that.

I’m sorry now that we didn’t have the presence of mind just to shoo the thing out the door, and to let it live its little life, causing revulsion and terror everywhere it goes. But honestly I can’t imagine doing otherwise, we just went into DEFCON 1 at the mere sight of it. That’s a pretty powerful little bug. Or spawn of satan, your choice of descriptor.

Update! Gary actually bundled the creature into a napkin and released it alive outside, all still within the improv scene. Thank you, Gary! Sorry, everyone else!

2 Responses to “bugout”

  1. Violet says:

    That’s a potato bug?! My imagination was way off. I admire the courage of the fearless crew. “Fearless” being a variable term, in this case.

  2. Lorelei says:

    I definitely think that “Unlikely Friends” book needs a page documenting the friendship between the cat and the potato bug! ;-)