Monday, April 26, 2010

Creepy crawly.

I told you last week about the field trip that I went on with my niece's class to the butterfly exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. It was lots of fun to walk around the exhibit and let the butterflies fly all around us. They were sweet and graceful, flitting around us like something out of a fairy tale. It was a great day that ended with lots of picture-perfect moments like this:

But started with lots of terrifying moments like this:

You see, before they let you into the butterfly exhibit, they route you through a bug exhibit - a terrifying collection of bugs I never knew existed. Bugs I never knew were out there to fear. I've spent all my life thinking that the scariest bug I would ever encounter were the tree roaches we have in Houston. But my eyes were opened to a horrifying reality . . . we are not alone.

One of the first things that we saw were the hissing cockroaches. I've heard of these before but had never seen them in person:

I stood in front of the plexi-glass display, hoping to hear them hissing but praying that I wouldn't at the same time. I knew I'd never get the sound out of my head but I couldn't stop trying to listen hard for it. I was frozen with fear and curiosity, unable to move along or look away. Thankfully, Savannah pulled me away because she was ready to move on to the next display . . .

Oh dear God. Oh dear God. Please let me go back to the hissing cockroaches. Breathe. Breathe.

These things were bigger than an apple slice, people. AN APPLE SLICE. ROACHES. That's unnatural.
But at least they tried to make these things less terrifying by having them ROOT AROUND IN A FREAKING SKULL.

This is when I started feeling like my entire body was crawling with bugs. I walked over to the next displays, scratching my head and my arms and convinced that one of those roaches had escaped and was crawling up my back. But my attention was quickly diverted:
You know, if I see a normal-sized beetle like the one in the upper left hand corner of this picture, I am disgusted. I might say "ewwwww" and move away from it but that's all. If I saw one of these big beetles, I would cuss. I'd straight up swear and run out of the room, probably overturning a bookcase along the way so that it couldn't follow me. Beetles aren't supposed to be that big . . . right?

HO . . . LY . . . SH . . . - No. Absolutely not. This is not supposed to exist in nature, people. Not without the assistance of a talented special effects artist. I mean, this thing needs a stinking helipad to land. And it must sound and smell like a diesel truck as it flies. How can it not?? Honestly, if this thing flew into my house, I'd just move. I'd run out, abandon my roommates and my dog, and I'd never return. It's terrifying. And HAS to be the most disgusting thing in this exhibit . . . right?

Seriously? This is a real thing? I cannot imagine having a medical condition bad enough that I'd allow them to treat me with MAGGOTS. No thank you. If you tell me that maggots are the only thing that can save my life, I'm getting my estate in order. Disgusting.

Everywhere I turned, there was something else to haunt my dreams. I tried to be brave - I really did. I tried to say educational and mature things to my niece like "Look at how those roaches are eating dog food. I've never seen a roach so big that it could eat dog food, have you?" or "See how this one is labeled as a hairy scorpion but there's nothing in the case? Isn't that interesting? I'm sure that means that they're just cleaning it. I bet they can't escape plexi-glass . . . are y'all ready to leave yet?" But as I made my way through the museum's own version of a Little House of Horrors, I had to keep my eye on the prize: butterflies. Soon we'd be walking among the trees, surrounded by the sweet, innocent little creatures. And there's NOTHING scary about butterflies . . .



Emma said...

Another great one....loved it! I get that same feeling that something is crawling on me!!!

Savannah's picture has got to be one of my faves....just captures so much!

Anonymous said...

You know I always thought spiders were a scary thing...then one day I thought "What if spiders were the size of cats and barked at you"? Now that would promote fear!

Sheri Culberson said...

" If you tell me that maggots are the only thing that can save my life, I'm getting my estate in order. " That quote is for life. Thank you.