Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Irrational Fear or Have You Seen the Size of that Dragonfly?
My neighborhood is infested with giant dragonflies—three feet across and just as tall.
Before you think this is the beginning of a horror story or, worse, that I'm lying, let me hasten to add that they are painted metal sculptures created by commissioned local artists. This event, called "Dance of the Dragonflies", is meant to showcase the artists and financially benefit the visual arts center. These little boogers are going to grace the downtown and historical residential districts for the next year. I know this because, last year, we were infested with butterflies of like size. Some of these giant insects were painted by friends of mine who would probably take exception to my use of the word infested. They would probably like better something like Public Art Display or Gallery Alfresco.
But those giant bugs are just so creepy.
This event is not unique to the art world or my town. In my travels, I've run across pigs in Cincinnati, horses in Louisville, and fish in New Orleans. Really, I'm all for it. I like art. I can't make it happen, but I like it. You'll find no pictures of card playing dogs at my house. I do have a monkey wedding, but I just can't apologize for it. My problem is with the size of these abominations. The pigs and the horses were actual size and I once saw a catfish at the Chattanooga Aquarium every bit as big as those Big Easy fish, so it can happen.
But you just can't have a dragonfly or a butterfly that big. (The thought of the caterpillar from which a butterfly that size would come, is enough to make me want to go into a fetal position and roll myself into a closet.) I understand that if they were actual size, no one could see them and they wouldn't promote anything, but that doesn't stop them from giving me the willies. What if they come alive at night and get after me? It would be like Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, only worse because it would be me they'd be after and not Tippi Hedren!
This, my friends, is known as irrational fear. I say you can't have irrational fear of storms; people die because of storms. Same with sharks, bridges, and air travel. Even a clown can go bad and go on a killing spree.
But there are no Godzilla sized insects so my fear of them is, indeed, irrational.
Do you have irrational fears? No? What about pictures of monkey weddings? Talk to me.