I have a confession to make.

by sam on 06/6/2005

I have a deep-seated, blinding fear of bug…photographs.

Bugs themselves? no problem (well, except for cockroaches which are just gross on any level). I know how to wield a hard-soled shoe like the best of them. That time that we had a bizarre fly infestation in the country house, leaving me, in my glasses-less almost blind state to step into the shower and to hear them practically crunching under my feet? I had the presence of mind to get redressed before screaming for my dad. That scorpion inside my suitcase in Mexico? Sure, I stood on a rock and yelled for Daryl, the bartender-slash-scorpion expert, but that was the correct response, because otherwise I couldn’t keep an eye on it to make sure that it didn’t scurry into, like, my bed. Heck, growing up my room was in the basement (don’t get me wrong, it was a cool room because I had the entire basement), and spiders were constantly showing up for my cat to kill. or stare at for hours. Never bothered me.

But watch me flip a page in a book and come across a photograph of an insect? and you’re next watching me run from the room trying not to vomit. Even when I was a little kid, and I got my first world book encyclopedia, I’d come across a photograph of an ant or a fly, and I had to turn my head and oh-so-gently flip the page over by the very corner, so that I wasn’t even touching the picture of the bug.

I don’t know where this comes from. I know it’s completely and totally irrational. But that didn’t stop my heart from beating through my chest when the NY Times Magazine ran a photo of giant cockroaches a few months ago (article abstract only, it’s too old, but the intro paragraph gives a nice sense of the article).

I only bring this up now because yesterday, in all of the brouhaha over the whole fruit-fly gender reassignment thing, the Times decided to publish, on the front page of it’s website, a super-magnified picture of a fruit-fly. I had to avert my eyes and shut down my browser. And then I refused to go back and read the Times for the rest of the day.

Part of me thinks this is all some bizarre latent reaction to the fact that the movie Them! scared me half to death the first time I watched it. I’m pretty sure that I couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8 at the time.

And seriously, I’m just reading through my newsreader, and here’s another one!

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