Long before Ron Weasley cast a spell to fight his fears, I was fighting my own! Those that know me well have laughed numerous times about my ...'ridiculous' fear of spiders and had their share of memorable moments watching me.
I used to visit the Senkenberg Museum in Germany a lot as a child. I remember the giant T-Rex skeleton in the entrance hall, imprints of fossils in rock, the snake that ate an entire pig, dinosaurs and weird animals, ...a gigantic spider... at least three feed wide, hanging off the wall!
WOW! Still gives me goose-skin!
Having a almost 17 year old has cured me a little from the worst fears; faced almost daily with his type of jokes like following me with a spider web! I used to leave my plastic dinosaurs in my Mom's bed... and this is my payback, I guess!
The Day I hated my Dad!
One of those days when I was still little, maybe eight or nine or so, I was occupying the bathroom with some ...serious business and reading a book. For some odd reason, having seen some movement at the bottom of my feet, I looked down...
The screams a father heard of his daughter, thinking her in grave peril or great pain, must have been horrible! I heard the footsteps pounding on the floor; coming closer...
Like the Devil going after a poor soul my father appears in the bathroom door; ready to fight all enemies with bare hands...
He scans the area... sees the object of terror at my feet... rather on one of them...
To this day I will never forget how my father is crumbled up in the bathroom door, tears in his eyes... LAUGHING!
The subject.... A creature we call Daddy Longlegs! A tiny body is supported and moved along by gigantic in comparison legs!
My fear eventually turned into anger when I just couldn't get my Dad to stop laughing and save me from this horror!
The Bug Rescue
When I still lived in North Germany (the greatest place on Earth and even has its own language!), I used to have to walk our old Shepherd Rocky several times a day. My Dad had his beautiful wild garden and wasn't fond of the 'gifts'.
A boyfriend I once had walked with me. We went down the main road and eventually, to avoid the less than charming Shepherd across the street on Bernd's farm, down a little side road.
I am a sucker and when I see something on the road, I pick it up and help it to safety!
I see this small creature, only barely visible in the lights of a few distant street lamps, trying its hardest to race across the road...
STOP LAUGHING PETER!
I picked it up...
I did not scream! I am proud about that!
And yes, it made it across the road after being shaken off my hand violently and tossed at least a few yards far into the bushes!
I did not hit him, but I tried to! And Peter being Peter... HE LAUGHED FOR DAYS!
How I almost became a widow!
Ever saw a scary movie?
I had met my Ex in a German Country Club (that's almost like ...Military Intelligence ("Hunt for Red October", one of my favorite scenes!) one night when I was a bit ...lid up. I had planned on sleeping in the car, but he drove me home. Probably one of the few generous acts I can credit him with!
He had this (why I was surprised I don't know) retarded idea of watching a movie involving the same creatures I so dislike. "Arachnophobia"!
Its been a long time and I don't remember much about it. I remember tons of spiders, that big dumb exterminator acting like he is God, a shed full of webs, an expedition into a damn jungle that has way too many critters for my comfort to begin with, and...
Sometimes towards the end of the movie there is this scene where the Emperor sits somewhere, starring at his next victim...
They stare at each other...
The Emperor jumps, from several feet away...
...and lands right on this guy's chest!
In that very same moment something hits me on my chest!
I think I jumped straight up the wall and held on the ceiling like a scared cat!
That bastard of my Ex Husband, laughing hysterically, had imitated the damn spider jumping!
I couldn't find anything to hit him with! So we stayed married for a few more years...
The Broom on the Porch
Back in my early days in the United States, living in (not always friendly to Germans) West Virginia, my Ex and I had moved out of my parents in law's farm house and into a tiny house that used to belong to Hammond Middle School. It had two tiny bedrooms and a garage underneath; located on the side of a hill. It was very tiny, but it kind of was home for a while; Especially when compared to that one bedroom old farmhouse we had temporarily lived in before. This house was barely bigger; one box fan could keep the entire house cool!
I believe I had gone to the store and came home late. The lights from the middle school weren't that bright anymore; its glory long forgotten. I actually met somebody later that used to go there. A Youngun I met in Iraq and I had started talking about West Virginia; the World is small.
I got out of the car, greeted our two Husky Mixes Cora and Sendy, and walked up to the door. The light switch was right by door lock...
An hour or two later my Ex came home, walked up to the house, climbed that step up to the porch, heard crunching under his feet. He unlocked the door, turned the light on, ...and found the remains of a broom spread across the porch!!!
I had attempted to stick the key in the door when a car passed by and its light was shining at the front of the house. I turned around, saw the car, and quickly aimed for the lock to use that great timing to find the look...
The creature I saw, touching my fingers, was a two inch member of the Royal family... One of the Emperor's descendants STRAIGHT OUT OF THE MOVIE ARACHNOPHOBIA!
I don't remember if I screemed, but I was off the porch in nano-seconds!
How to get into the house?!
I circled the house. The few bottom windows to the garage were locked, but the window to our bedroom wasn't. I climbed up the back of the house, part of it being on the side of the hill and above ground/way off the ground. I climbed into the window and walked with now hurt German pride and a good amount of anger still mixed with fear into the kitchen.
That ...thing... was not gonna beat me!
I don't know how many times I hit the damn ...thing... or the wall, but I reduced a $3.50 Family Dollar Store blue broom to nothing but half-inch long splinters!
Once again I caused a member of my circle of friends/family to laugh hysterically about something I did! Jeeeeeeezzzzzzzzz! Do I get paid as a Comedian!?
I had seen this picture a hundred times; courtesy of all my well-meaning ...'friends' to prepare me for my first trip to the desert! ...Thanks, Guys!!!
My first encounter with Kuwaiti wildlife was a ...lizard? HOW ABOUT A PRE-HISTORIC MINIATURE DINOSAUR!?
I don't know what he was. They are any way from one foot to four or more feet, have round heads and horn-looking things on the back of their round, flat head. And they are not friendly!
This one was well-known between the Japanese, Spanish, Australian, British and American Soldiers. I'm sure the Kuwaitis knew it too, but they took it in stride. It was just another critter like the wild pack of dogs living on the airfield.
It would lay on the middle of the runway and planes would do stunts to avoid it! Especially the Japanese, who's master flying skills made a C-130 cargo plane look and fly like a damn airshow fighter jet, would go through all kinds of creative maneuvers; using this fosil as reason to further test their skills.
While we humans would catch a 'delay' when a plane took off 14 min or more late, this thing was able to stop traffic and get away with it. I always wondered if the reports would read 'lizzard' for the reason why a plane was late!? It was funny to watch the 'Old Man' walking across the taxi way and a C-130 slowly following it; hoping it would move and they could continue. Two years later a friend deployed there told me he was still there!
His 'buddy' almost didn't live that long!
My sleeping space was eventually, having 20 damn bitches (OH MY GOD! IT SHOULD BE FORBIDDEN TO DEPLOY GIRLY GIRLS!) in one small tent, about four feet wide and barely more than the length of the bed. Measured exactly to give every girl the same space, because one of them had complaint about the unfairness of having to deploy with bad food, no beauty shops and no good American movies in general and uneven living space in specific. OH MY GOD! IT SHOULD BE FORBIDDEN TO DEPLOY GIRLY GIRLS!
The stories I could tell you about town-girl meeting desert.... Ridiculous!
I am laying on my bed, taking a well-needed nap in between almost non-stop shifts. We would get one day off a week... if we were lucky enough. The curse of having a fun flightline job! We are special, we Port Dawgs!
I heard a noise I couldn't identify and looked around. Eventually I looked underneath the bed and ...saw a dragon! ...It growled! It hissed! It looked like it was going to spit fire! It was a dragon! ...A small one only about two feet long!
I tried to get off the bed to chase it off, but it came after me... a bit on the defensive side! I eventually climbed across beds and chairs to the other side of the tend; ignoring all those pretty flowery and pink blankets and knocking down make-up (IN THE DESERT!?).
A few days later I was getting up, still careful about creatures in my 'home'. I opened the small locker and met face to face yet another creature you have to get used to in the desert...
They call it camel spider! My 'friends' (damn you guys to hell for laughing) said its either because they can get that big, look like a camel or eat them! I DON'T CARE WHY IT IS NAMED THAT WAY! GET IT OUT OF MY LOCKER!
I did not think a person can jump that fast and that far backwards! I think I literally catapulted myself off the bed and to safety; almost tearing down parts of the tend!
I'm not sure if you know about this, Hoot. I am sure you would still pick on me for it if you did! How many times did you get on me for my proverbial lack of patience; after I tried to have a damn reservist load master for dinner over a too small milk stool, a heavy ammo pallet and his back-home rule-following lack of adaptability! THEN GET THE HELL BACK HOME! WE MAKE THINGS WORK IN THE DESERT!
This one is for John, who couldn't stop laughing about it for months! I doubt I will ever be able to tell that story again like I did in that email to him, when he was still deployed. I always liked writing and it gave him lots of laughter to ease the issues he was facing; the reason I allowed myself to even mention it to him... knowing he would get a kick out of it!
It was a hot and dusty day in NC and I was doing something actually quite foreign to me... I was washing my car! But, as Nature has it, washing your car is like doing the rain-dance...
It started to rain!
Soaked and barely managing not to scare my neighbors with my now drenched T-Shirt and such, I was in a hurry to take a warm shower and wash the dirt and soapy water off...
This old, double-wide thing on a solid foundation called mistakingly house had a small shower in the master bedroom (what a joke that title was). Within seconds I am in the shower and covered in soap (no worries, no details! I am nowhere near Demi Moore and know it!).
I am doing the "National Lampoon" compatible (or maybe it was "Home Alone") singing in the shower; about five tones South of any melodic attempt. My car was clean, I had a TV show coming up soon, the water was warm (compared to Iraq) and there were much better things than overcooked beans and cold meat in the Fritch. Life was good!
I still believe it actually fell on me first, tumbled to the floor and ...run for its life!
I was running too... Almost through the class door and up the walls... trying to escape! I don't know if it is possible, but I still swear that poor thing was screaming as loud as I was!
My Oldest comes running, armed with whatever he could grab and ready to face Evil...
I should have called it "The Day I hated my Son"!
Needless to say... He was laughing for at least 15 minutes, bend over like an old Man with stomach ache and tears in his eyes. He was in pain from laughing and didn't kill that spider until I threatened him with death and worse!
John later told me that he read the original version of this story a hundred times and always ended up in tears from laughing! I told him what I would do if he didn't stop laughing soon!
As huge as Texas!
Having escape artist dogs, I was always on the guard when I would hear them bark! So one dark evening/early night, I heard the worrisome bark of my brats!
It sounded urgent or way too excited (some of them don't like cats!) and I am going 90 mph around the ...hrmph... 'house' to investigate...
I thought only in Texas they can make them that big!
I am rolling on the ground in typical drop and role fashion, screaming, wiping my body and my arms like I am on fire, unable to see in the dark!
None of my 'friendly' neighbors cared to investigate (it wasn't a great neighborhood and once we had a shooting less than hundred feet from my house!) and my kids must have been playing their x-box. Nobody came to rescue and I was getting desperate!
I think I must have rolled around for an hour trying to wipe 'it' off!
In the dark and not being able to see anything, I had run into a once six foot wide and three foot high spider web with one of them Texas size two-inch Fruit Spiders in it!
I had felt it land on/hit my chest and try to struggle to safety!
STOP LAUGHING, JOHN!
The Ability to Laugh about One-Self
By now my Oldest has had to rescue his Mom many times. It lead to many jokes and even more laughter. I am fortunate enough to see the humor in it and am able to laugh about myself... eventually. grin
Just the other day I avoided a spider web the way into the shed and forgot about it the way out. You taught me well, Jay! I only minorly hysterically wiped it off and walked away (fast).
I respect those of my friends/family that laughed with me. But, having the knowledge of how it feels to be truly afraid of something, I do dislike those that will make fun of people that have a fear or phobia. There is a difference of laughing with somebody to support and to make the situation bearable; and to make fun of somebody.
I am proud! I am a perfectionist that hates doing mistakes! I am a proud German! Don't laugh about me! Make me laugh to overcome!
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