Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

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.


  1. Reading that made a chill run up my spine - ever seen Stephen King's movie "the Mist"? (The short story was great but they really scared me with the movie) There were some pretty big dragonfly-like bugs in it that bit people injecting something like acid...just gives me the willies. I may avoid your town for a while; I already have a hard enough time trying to sleep.

    I do have an irrational fear of spiders (well, not so irrational - I got bitten by a brown recluse which was not a pleasant experience). I run around with bug spray taking them out because I just can't stand them any where near me. If there is no Raid available, I scream for my husband to kill it - after all, as Delta Burke said, it's the man's job to kill the bugs. For me to walk into a spider web is like dousing me with gasoline - I run around flailing and clawing at my face. Not a pretty sight. I simply cannot stand them.

    I can't claim any monkey wedding pictures but I do have this yard ornament that my sister gave me for my birthday. It's an eagle (yeah an Auburn eagle) made from a shovel, rake and iron rods, painted orange and blue with silver washers for eyes. Yeah it's ugly and it scares people but it kinda grew on me. She was so proud of it (purchased from a little old man at Scottsboro's trade-day) that I had to put it in my front flower bed. Needless to say, most people stop and stare at it, wondering aloud about who would put such a thing in their yard. I simply smile and tell them a crazy Auburn fan...who else?

  2. Oh, I would love to see those dragonflies--not afraid of them. But anything that stings? Oh yeah--I am so allergic to insect bites I've been known to run from ants.

    No monkey wedding pictures here--or dogs playing poker. Love my art replications by Monet in my office. They make me feel happy.

  3. I LOVE your monkey pictures, Panster! ;)

    When I was a teen, my friend's parents had been to the Phillipines and brought back two gold plated flies. Don't ask me why. Anyway, they were both as big as a cat. I would dream of said flies landing on my hand and eating it. Horrible nightmares....

    You see, I grew up on watching B Horror movies and knew the drill. Giant spiders, grasshoppers, ants, you name it, I've seen it. There was one with these giant worms who killed you in ways you feared most. Eek!

    As an artist, I'm actually intriqued by your giant butterflies and dragonflies. I think dragonflies are one of the most beautiful insects alive. I always count myself lucky to see them because we don't have a lot up here.

    I try to remove spiders from the house and put them back outside but even I have my limits. Try to remember that there is a hiarchy of life. If we kill all the insects, something cataclysmic will happen. So this is my call to let dragonflies fly free over your town. They are graceful, at least. ;)

  4. Sorry, still scared of spiders (I have a two inch hole in my leg from one - brown recluse). Just can't get close enough to classify them - if it has eight legs, it won't for long (irrational fear makes you do things). And dragonflies, while beautiful, are vicious - they eat other bugs.

  5. Cheryl, The only thing worse than a spider is a giant spider. Have you ever stepped on one that was carrying an egg sac? Shudder.

    Christine and Kathy, There is a map that shows where all the dragonflies are. If you want to see them, I can stand it long enough to go with you. And we can do lunch.

  6. I'm guessing these giant dragonflies will not be gracing your lawn. LOL Sounds kinda pretty though. ; )
    Nothing abstract around my house to promote fear...just a very large and bright painting of what I fondly call 'My Drunk Parrot'. Well, actually the parrot's not drunk..but the guy that painted it was. It was a gift to Hubby several years ago from a slightly tipsy gentlemen he met while working. Hubby wanted to throw it away but I just couldn't part with the stupid thing, so now it hangs proudly on my office wall. Oh well. :-D

  7. Sherry, No, do dragonflies on my lawn, but I live two blocks from the Carnegie Visual Arts Center where there is one AND a leftover butterfly. Dear, God. What if they mate?

  8. "his" rear... the man's rear belonged to him not her. LOL!

  9. Brown Recluse (Fiddleback) is horrible! I know of a girl who had a 2" chunk taken out of her leg because one bit her under the covers. I know a man who had to get a chunk taken out of her rear when he sat on one in an Army jeep out in the field. We even had them scurrying up the walls in our Army quarters in Oklahoma, right behind my daughter's bed. Yikes! Talk about being scared when you see them crawling out of the closet. Needless to say, we had the place fumigated by the Army corp.

    I would love to do lunch and see the dragonflies! Name the time and place, Panster! ;)

  10. Wow, I am really sort of afraid to close my eyes now.

    Drunk Parrots, giant dragonflies and muntant butterflies mating all at the Monkey Wedding.

    Now that sounds like an interesting story!

  11. The monkey wedding picture needs to be posted online here. I can't appreciate the post without the monkey wedding picture, like a reference point to the irrationality of the paranoia.