The origin of a fear

Yesterday, I got out of the shower,wrapped a super-sized beach towel around myself and went to answer the back door (it’s not as bad as it sounds, Jon and the kids had just gotten home.)  When she walked in, Pookey looked down at me and said:

“There’s a brown recluse on your towel!”

At which point I screamed, threw the towel across the room, snatched up a nearby dish towel (which covered roughly 1/100th of my body) and went running from the room.

THAT is kind of stuff you have to put up with when you live in the country, folks!

The kids are still trying to recover.

This reminded me of something I wrote two weeks ago, but never got around to posting.  So here it is….

Yesterday I wrote about fencing the goats and might, just maybe, quite possibly have made it seem like I’m just a teeny, tiny, little bit afraid of spiders.  From whence does this fear come, you might wonder?  (Or you might not, but I’ll tell you anyway.)

Enter the most terrifyingly sinister, disgusting, frightening, menacing, hair raising, horrible, unpleasant creature on the face of this whole wide planet:

020 crickets

The cave cricket.

Aka the camel cricket.

Aka the creature of real life wake-up-sweating nightmares and little-girl screams in the dark.  I kid you not, I have goosebumps right now, just looking at those pictures, and my legs are starting to itch.

(Just for kicks, do a google image search on “cave cricket” real quick.  I almost couldn’t bring myself to post those pictures on the blog.  See the sacrifices I make for the two? three? people who read this?!)

To fully understand this fear, imagine, for a moment, a little girl.  A little girl whose parents subscribe to some Darwinian/Freudian idea that people must “face their fears,” the most disturbing of which is the cave cricket.  Snake?  Can I hold it?!  Strange, vicious neighborhood dog?  Here puppy, puppy!  But cave crickets?  Actual real-life, scream-inducing nightmares.

See, here’s the thing about cave crickets for those of you who live in Utopian cricket-free parts of the world and can’t comprehend the horrificness of the orthoptera rhaphidophoridae:  Not only do these creatures live in the deep, dark realms of basements and spare bedrooms and look like the biggest, fattest, creepiest spiders you’ve ever seen in your life…. these giant creepiest of all the creepy spider-looking insects also jump.  I don’t mean they hop, like normal crickets and grasshoppers that you might have in your neck of suburbia, no no, these are mutant crickets, with unearthly superpowers and they jump.  They leap, hurdle, do the rhaphidophoridaic equivalent of the Olympic pole vault.  And worse, they’ve developed a super-horrible way to use their herculean vaulting abilities to defeat and altogether demoralize their predators.  Instead of jumping away from the big scary human who is bent on their death and destruction, they jump toward the not-so-scary human who is cowering from fear in the corner.  See?  It totally works!

So back to your imagination… there’s this little girl whose parents believe this Darwinian drivel (really, did Darwin have anything good to say?  I think not.) and she has the job of locking the basement door each night.  So every night, the little girl puts on four layers of clothing and socks pulled to her knees and takes the first step down the staircase of doom, where millions – millions I tell you! – of cave crickets lie in wait to rip her to shreds with theirto tear her apart using theirto mutilate and disfigure her body by method ofto jump on her. The only – only – chance she has of surviving this den of horrors is to take each. individual. step. as slooooowwwwwllllllyyyyy as possible, so as not to rouse the six legged (eight legged?  I don’t know, I don’t want to look at those pictures again) monsters.  And that means she often has to place her four-layered-sock-encased foot mere inches – inches – from these giant, vaulting demon spawn.

This went on night after night.

It was child abuse, really.

But now I’m an adult and have managed to produce eight live-in cricket-and-all-things-arachnid destroyers (see how that works?  I’m planning to have at least ten more… we’ll raise an army!!!)  Because they have never been made to face their fears.  And therefore, they don’t have any.

So if I seem a teensy weensy bit afraid of spiders, you now understand why.  It’s all Darwin’s fault.



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2 Responses to The origin of a fear

  1. adoptedheiress says:

    I truly hate cave crickets too. They are almost as terrifying as you described.

  2. Pingback: Random Things About Me | Rina Marie