Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fears in Life

I am watching the series, "Planet Earth".

Before he left, the WeatherGuy and I made plans to watch his DVD copy, but, we tended to get distracted and never got around to the viewing. When I saw it was back on Discovery, I made the note to myself to catch it on Tuesday nights.

I heard a strange sound as I was in my little kitchen making supper, and walked back here in time to see... locusts. Crawling, eating, flying... horrible, miserable, nasty grasshoppers in giant form. They say the swarm can be 40 miles wide.

I assure you, this would be where I'd go mad. I'd die in the Gobi before I ever ate a locust, no matter how I starved. More than anything else, I fear drowning and grasshoppers. The first is thanks to Kathy when we were kids and she shoved me in the pool as my mom chatted and smoked and didn't know I was on the bottom when they saw me until they were pumping water out of me.

The grasshopper fear I lay at the feet of Danny Boudreau.

Oh, I loved Danny Boudreau!! His younger sister was my best friend... so dear to me, I'd bend and play Barbie with her on occasion. She was the perfection of Southern beauty--golden hair, china blue eyes, small, petite, sweet and kind. I was her opposite--dark, white skin, hazel eyes and gangly. We were attached at the hip, even learning to sit on the same toilet and wee at the same time.

Don't ask.

Danny was dark and handsome and even at 7 knew his attraction to girls... it remains today. I was tongue tied around him, and let him win at baseball, even if he hit right to me, I'd drop the ball or miss it...anything to get him to smile at me as he ran around the bases and my team screamed at me.

This great crush would have gone on forever, I think, if Danny didn't have a mean streak. For him, this meant finding what you were afraid of, and chasing you with said item. Debbie H hated frogs, so, he'd pick up a good size frog and chase her all over. Fran hated snakes... you get the picture.

I wasn't fond of grasshoppers. Oh, I tolerated their existence, but, I'd prefer not to be around them... they spit. It took the one time of me wrinkling my nose at said creature, and my fate was sealed.

I still remember the day... hot, sunny, and I wore a blue and white seersucker sunsuit (say that five times fast) with an elastic waist and little white ties at the shoulders. The waist is important in this story.

There we were, in the shade of the Chinese elm in my back yard, playing with the plastic cowboys and horses we got every summer. It was still early enough in the season we had a full set, no missing legs on the cowboys nor feeling we had to substitute an Indian pony for a cowboy steed. A few were chewed on; between Lynn's habit of putting things in her mouth and the dog, teeth marks were evident, but, not enough to stop the play.

I was focused on my cowboy, having him ride his black horse to save the homestead when I felt someone behind me grab the top of my sunsuit. They pulled the material back, then dropped....

....the grasshopper.

It crawled and grabbed on my skin to try and get away. I started screaming over Danny's laughter, and then.... he squished it.

I can still feel the bits and oozey parts on my back, trapped by the waist, my ears filled with a voice I didn't know screaming and screaming.


Three years later, I accepted a ring he made for me out of a dog choke chain, but, I never really forgave him. To this day, I can't be within a mile of a 'hopper or I panic. I've been known to drive off the road when one flew into my car window. The Brother once told a friend, "You don't want to drop that on my Sis, she'll beat you senseless." He's always been very bright.

So, I've turned off the sound and won't look up for another few moments. As it is, I'll have nightmares tonight about them flying about and crawling and eating everything in sight.

Thanks, Danny. Thanks a lot.


austere said...

And I'm not even scared of them.

Solomon said...

I love the Planet Earth series. But whatever you do, don't watch Swarm. It has a big section on locusts.

golfwidow said...

I love Planet Earth, but I hate bugs. I sympathize.

Susan's Snippets said...

QB -

Let's face it...boys are jerks!

At 11 years old, I was hanging out with Gregory, the older next door neighbor, we were standing on a piece of wood and a big spider walked in front of us...I will never forget what happened next...I said "Don't step on it!" and then he did.

Some 39 years later I still hear that popping sound as the spider was squished under Gregory's giant sized shoe.

nothing i could do

Cormac Brown said...

Grasshoppers, ladybugs and butterflies were the only insects that I wasn't afraid of as a child, but I didn't hear about the plague of locusts until I was nearly fifteen, so that might have something to do with it.

Anonymous said...

It's really sad that young boys become bullies, and what seems like a harmless prank to them, turns out to have life-long repercussions in others, who are the butt of the prank. Sorry it happened to you, my friend...