September 10, 2008

Bugs, Yet Again

Okay, I was sorta joking the other day about being freaked out by flying bugs. But only sorta. Because there really ARE some bugs that send me into fear-soaked spasms. I mentioned the last time about the giant cockroaches we have. Absolutely squeal-inducing.

But nothing beats cicadas for maximum fear.

Most of this comes from my childhood. When I was little, during the day I stayed with a babysitter who seemed ancient to me at the time, but who was probably not all that old, seeing as how she had a couple of high school-aged kids, Sharon and Don.

Don was the problem. He was the sort of vacant-eyed, lank-jawed sociopath you find in various Flannery OíConnor stories. His main joy in life seems connected primarily to tormenting small children, namely me.

One such time occurred when he found either a live or a molted skin of a cicada on a pine tree in their back yard. He plucked it off and proceeded to chase me around as I screamed in terror as he hooted and cackled and threatened to put this bug on me and watch it eat me. And obviously, to a small child, a giant bug like a cicada is entirely capable of eating you completely gone.

His mother finally made him stop. Of course, as with all bad things that have ever happened to me, I had to have another run-in with these awful insects. Sometime back in those dim fearsome days of childhood, my babysitter had loaded me up and we went to town for something. Being that this was back in the mid-1960s, no one really thought much of the fact that when she got to her destination, she left me in the car. I was sitting in the back, and it was getting really hot, and was thinking about getting in the front seat so I could get a little air, when I was suddenly transfixed by the appearance on the little center console ofóyep, a giant cicada, with its big bulgy eyes and razor sharp fangs and crushing vise-like clawed forelimbs, all ready to devour me in one gulp. I shoved myself into the far corner of the backseat and froze, staring at the awful creature for what seemed like 5 or 10 hours until my keeper returned. She opened the door and flicked it out, and I just knew when she did that it was going to fly at me and suck my eyeballs out of my skull.

It didnít, though.

Anyway, I eventually grew up, and over the course of time learned about cicadas, and was even in D.C. many years ago when they had a big swarm emerge, and for the most part wasnít all that freaked out by it. Because I am a grown-up and all.

So anyway, last night after supper I had to go get Rebecca from work, and stopped down at the foot of the hill to get gas in the van. I stood there and began filling up, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a cicada on the pavement, the size of a Presidente cigar butt. Of course, being an adult and all, I was not the least bit scared, and saw it only as an object of curiosity. And it also looked dead, and dead bugs canít fly into your nose and eat your tonsils. And I thought if it was deceased, maybe I could take it to Catherine, because the other day we found a small dry-fly husk on the fence, and I showed it to her and explained all about the life cycle of such critters and how they make that loud buzzing sound in the trees and she was fascinated and not the least bit afraid of such things. Which is good.

I finished up emptying my bank account into the gas tank and hung up the hose and took a closer look at the dead bug. Just to make sure, I leaned over a bit and nudged it with my shoe and BZZZZZZTTTT!!! EEEEEEEKKK!! That danged thing was still kickiní!

The sudden loud raspy joy-buzzer sound gave me a jolt (although since Iím an adult, I tried to cover and just made a little skip to the right) and brought back quite a sudden flood of childhood memories. None pleasant. Although I guess I should be glad it didnít bring a sudden flood of pee down my leg.

Anyway, I think the world would be just fine without cicadas.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at September 10, 2008 03:06 PM

Cicadas are the absolutely most primitive looking bug. They are downright prehistoric, but I can deal with them.

Ticks, on the other hand, have got to go.

Posted by: Sarah G. at September 12, 2008 10:16 AM

Careful--you'll make him mad!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at September 12, 2008 10:29 AM

Cockroaches are the ones I can't stand. Just about all other creepy crawlies just bring out the bug squisher in me. I'm embarrassed to admit that when a large cockroach approaches, I often squeal like a girl (and then squish it).

Posted by: Jordana at September 12, 2008 01:08 PM

Hey! Me too!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at September 12, 2008 04:57 PM

I trace my liking of Geckos to Southern Louisiana BUGS! There's something very nice about laying in bed and hearing the crunch of mighty hunter Gecko on the prowl.

Posted by: Chef Tony at September 12, 2008 06:12 PM

Eww. And I mean that sincerely.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at September 13, 2008 11:38 AM

Been stepping out, Eh Mr. Possum? To wit: The Possum Story

Posted by: Chef Tony at September 13, 2008 02:37 PM

That was probably just one of my many no-count cousins.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at September 13, 2008 03:26 PM