I don't like spiders and snakes
And that ain't what it takes to love me
Like I want to be loved by you
Remember that funny song by Jim Stafford back in the 70s? Yeah, me too. And for me it really meant something because I remembered how, as a kid, I hated spiders and snakes. I recall one time my friend Jeff's Dad took us with him in his Volkswagen Bug to collect rocks for his garden. We drove out into the country, parked the car and wandered into the woods.
It was a gorgeous, sunny day, muted by the shade from the foliage of tall trees. It was a warm day and the cicadas serenaded us with their wild whine. It was quit idyllic, actually, save for Jeff's sister Juanita. I mean after all she was a girl and her presence put a damper on what otherwise might have been a guy's adventure.
Anyway we all wandered off through the woods in different directions looking for just the right size rocks, covered in just the right amount of moss for Jeff's dad's garden.
And then I saw it. The perfect rock. I knew it was the perfect rock because it was bathed in a shaft of sunlight that had managed to pierce the canopy of leaves far above us. This was a special rock...and It was me who had found it.
I was bursting with pride. I didn't call to anyone. I knew I could carry it on my own back to the car. I was looking forward to surprising everyone, especially Juanita, with my magnificent discovery. Okay, I admit it. I kind of had a crush on Juanita.
So with these warm and wonderful thoughts in my head I slowly bent down to pick up the rock in my arms. I stuck my hands under each side of it and began to lift.
What the hell was that? Did something just dart out from under the rock? Wait. It didn't dart. It slithered.
I let out a yelp. Although, sustained as it was from deep in the forest all the way back to the car it was more like a scream. Okay. I admit it. It was a scream. A scream so loud, long and piercing one would think that moss covered rock had come to life.
That snake had scared the living shit out of me. Although, back in the days when I was eight years old we didn't talk like that. In fact, in the heat of that moment, I don't think I could have even put two words together, let alone think of such an expression.
When my friend's dad came running and asked me what was the matter I breathlessly panted: "Picked...up....rock...snake...wahhhhh."
Well they all started to laugh. "Aw, it's just a common garter snake," said my friend's dad. Me being all of eight years of age, I'd never seen any kind of snake before. This was a traumatic experience. I may not have crapped my pants, but I think I might have peed in them,
And as Juanita doubled over in laughter, louder than her father and brother put together, I went through a quick transformation. I quickly realized how silly I had appeared, running at breakneck speed through the forest, arms flapping, screaming at the top of my lungs. And Juanita was now laughing at me like I was an idiot.
My face flushed with embarrassment, I did the only thing any eight year old kid in my position would do.
"Hey, Jaunita, is that a big spider on your shoulder?"
There are no rules to this little exercise. Participants are in for the long haul, a half haul or a day here and there. I tried my best to keep track of who's in on this little exercise but after a couple of days gave up. Our loquacious leader Nicky has taken a very lackadaisical approach to all this. Well, she's heavily influenced by the French guy she lives with, eh, and we all know how laissez-faire (and drunk) the French can be. So what I suggest you do is visit her at We Work For Cheese and check out her linky-dinky thingy to see who's in from day to day. And if you're in, leave your link with her so the rest of us can drop by and leave smart-ass comments on your post.