So the other night, right before bed, I was standing with my dogs in the backyard, and here's what happened to me:

A bug flew in my ear.

You heard that right.

But I didn't.

I heard nothing but a loud and freaky fluttering.

Do you follow? I don't mean that a bug landed on my ear and flew away, which would hardly be worth whining about. What I mean is that a bug flew into my ear and got stuck inside my head.

Can I just say that I freaked out?

I ran around the yard, yelling and shaking my head so hard that my new glasses flew off and broke.


I slapped my ear with my hand, but the bug just kept fluttering, giving me the creepiest case of swimmer's ear ever. I figured it was a moth because it sounded like it had big wings, and it tickled, not in a good way. I shivered, I shuddered, I was grossed out. I couldn't stand still. Nor could I deal with the fact that there was a moth inside my head.

I can be a drama queen.

I tried to remember from Biology 101 if the moth could fly into my brain, but I was pretty sure that it had to stop at my eardrum, which was already starting to itch, hurt, and maybe even vibrate.

OK, that could have been my imagination.

Because there was a moth inside my head!

I didn't know what to do. I considered sucking it out with the vacuum cleaner, but I don't have the kind with the hose, only the kind you roll on the floor. I thought about pouring water into my ear but then I'd end up with a soggy moth. I tried to pull it out, but it was already too far in, and I was worried I'd push it in even farther, maybe to my cerebellum or eyes.

I didn't do well in Biology 101.

Then it seemed as if the moth were going further inside my noggin. Hitting myself on the temple wasn't doing anything but giving me a headache. I tried to stay calm, but every time the moth pounded its wings, it sounded like a helicopter.

OK, maybe that's an exaggeration.

But still, it was scary, like that trailer for the horror movie where the fly crawls up the girl's nose. I tried to decide whether I'd rather have a fly up my nose or a moth in my ear, but I was too panicky to think. I ran back inside the house and danced around, yelping and trying to knock the moth out.

The dogs watched with varying reactions. The goldens sat calmly, waiting to go upstairs to bed, but Little Tony and Ruby the Corgi started barking and running around, a canine version of me. Also I was dog-sitting Pip, daughter Francesca's spaniel, and though he remained quiet, his bored expression told me he wished he'd stayed at a hotel.

So I drove at breakneck speed to the emergency room, and, thank God, there was almost no one on the road because something about the motion seemed to panic the moth, which went into winged overdrive, and I yelped and squirmed the entire way. I explained everything to the nice reception ladies at the hospital, who told me that this happened all the time and were kind enough to understand my need to keep moving.

It was the people in the waiting room who raised an eyebrow, thinking I was having seizures. And I didn't take offense when one of the nurses asked if I had taken any street drugs.

By the way, for those of you who recall my last trip to the emergency room, after my dog bit the hand that feeds her, I had yet another super-hot male nurse. And yes, I was braless while middle-aged.

Which would be the bad news.

The good news is that while they were taking my blood pressure, the moth flew out of my ear. One nurse gasped, the other one laughed. And I killed the moth.

I felt instantly guilty, but he deserved it.

Then I went home, once again happily empty-headed.

The next day the nice receptionist called to tell me I had left my driver's license and insurance card at the hospital, and she asked me whether I'd write a column about the moth.

Ya think?

Lisa Scottoline is a best-selling author of 15 novels. Her latest, "Look Again," is in stores now. Contact her at