Monday, May 28, 2012

It Must Have Been the Heat.

Every year, Beege's school has a Fun Fair. Every year, I think "hmmm... maybe we won't go this year?" It wasn't even held at her school this time (due to construction), so I considered it more seriously than usual. But. We've been going since Beege was two, and the girls love it, so we found ourselves heading to a strange school on Saturday morning, slathered in sun screen.*

It was super hot. I had even put aside my distaste for showing my skin and was wearing (*shudder*) shorts and a tank top, and I was still dripping with sweat.

There was a DJ there, and he had a very odd effect on Beege. If he said "Come on out and dance!", that's what Beege wanted to do. When he announced the auction in the gym, that's where she wanted to go. When he reminded everyone that the "Critters show" would be starting in five minutes, she dragged me over.

Standing around in the sun and heat addled my brains a bit; it must have, because that's the only way I can imagine this happening.

The first thing the Critters guy brought out was a monitor lizard; a little one. I scooted my chair back a bit and dutifully took a picture of Beege holding it, while trying not to be anywhere near it. The next thing was some sort of snake. If you've been here for a while, you know that "snake" is very high on my list of irrational fears.

I scooted my chair back until I hit the wall and then leaned back as far as I could and watched my daughter touch the thing. I think I did very well, considering there was neither screaming nor crying.

She was actually quite sweet.
 Then there was a rat (which Beege had put on her shoulder), a tiny pink frog, the softest bunny in the world, and a tarantula. Which I held. (After it was explained that tarantulas, while large and scary looking, are actually not all that dangerous to humans, which is why they are seen so much in movies and TV shows.)

Keep in mind that we've been sitting in a portable, situated on hot tarmac, with all the doors and windows closed (because the DJ was so loud that we couldn't hear the presenter) and no air conditining.

Because, again, heat stroke is the only explanation.

The last animal he brought out was a ball python. Small for a python, but quite big for the tastes of a person who is afraid of all types of snakes. (And to be quite honest, even a little squiffy around worms, because of their resemblance.) Even Beege didn't reach out to touch it as he brought it around.

I stared at it. I didn't take my eyes off of it the whole time he carried it around the circle making sure everyone got a chance to touch if they wanted to. Then he asked if there were any volunteers to hold it. You can't imagine my shock when I found my hand in the air.

I think the presenter was a little shocked too (despite my bravely holding a giant spider), considering how I'd reacted to the tiny snake. And the fact that I'd also confessed to being afraid of bunnies.

He brought it over, I handed Beege the camera, and he put the snake on me. I'm not sure if this picture is so fuzzy because of Beege, or because I was shaking so hard. Not only did I have the thing on me, but once again, I didn't scream. Or vomit. And I lasted a good ten seconds!

This, however? Abject terror.

When the show was over, we played some more games, we won some prizes, we got some ice cream, we even won** one of the class baskets.*** But I have to say, after having a python around my neck, the rest of the day was a little anticlimactic.

*The girls and I were slathered in sun screen; my husband, who I trusted to look after himself (being a grown up and all), was not. He ended up with one hell of a sunburn.
**Won the privelege of buying the basket by agreeing to pay more than anyone else, rather.
***And while I was pleased not to have the same experience as last year, I was kind of  annoyed by the kid who stood in front of the arts and crafts basket that I'd intended to bid on, clasping her hands and making puppy dog eyes, saying "I really, really want this one..."


  1. You are brave. And I hope you used a lot of that disinfectant gel stuff, because now I'm twitchy.

    1. I didn't even think of disinfectant - but I did go wash my hands. Apparently, tarantulas leave little tiny hairs that can affect children's skin like poison ivy (but not grown ups, apparently. I wonder if there's an age cut off?), and I didn't want the kids itchy. :)

    2. Oh, I hear you, Marianne. I'm a little twitchy myself. I may need some of the gel just from looking at it.

  2. Lmao@that picture. I've seen that smile before... The one with clenched teeth and wide eyes. Proud of you though :) I would not be able to do that with a spider.

    1. Please note the strained neck tendons and ramrod straight back...

  3. Okay, the next time I'm tempted to chicken out of something, I'm going to remember this post and move forward. I hope.

    1. I really don't think that I could have done it if Beege hadn't been there encouraging me. She was so brave herself that she inspired me. (I'm pretty sure that I will never touch a snake ever again unless physically forced, though.)

  4. I have a complete phobia of snakes. Well, just their heads, really. Long story. Anyway, you are my new hero for conquering that and just wearin' that thang!
    Also, consider yourself tagged.