What's more terrifying/bizarre than snakes on a plane? What about...SCORPIONS ON A PLANE?
This isn't a screenplay proposal, folks, this is a true story. An autobiographical story, in fact. Come with me now as we venture to terrifying heights.
Ok actually, "heights" isn't really appropriate here because this all happened before the plane took off. You know what? I am terrible at introductions. Let's just dive into the story.
To fully appreciate the extent of this disturbing experience, you have to understand that it was the second of two arthropod attacks within 24-hours. You see, it was time once again to visit the bro out in Seattle. It was his birthday and my dad's birthday so celebrations were in order. I was sitting on the floor in my room packing the final items when something large and brown scurried in my peripheral vision.
I glanced over my shoulder, and to my utter horror, a massive, revolting, winged coackroch came stomping brashly from beneath my bed.
I couldn't even move. I was paralyzed with fear. The idea that I had been sharing the floor with this beast and that he could of, at any time, walked ON me or in my SUITCASE made me sick. After my brain finally comprehended the urgency and potential threat of the situation, I leaped up off the floor and into the doorway. The damned intruder literally ran me out of my own room.
Panic begins. I loathe and fear the roach more than any other species on the planet. Even though they pose no real threat, besides completely grossing me out, I find them terrifying. I would much rather be faced with a venomous snake curled in my bed or a bear with teeth barred than this creepy crawly FLYING critter.
See, snakes are cool looking and, I think, kind of pretty. So what if it bites me? I call 911, get a shot, and a cool story to boot. I mean, and that's only if it's venomous. No big deal. Bears are furry and therefore cute and non-threatening. Plus, as a mammal, they are easier to personify, and I can easily imagine reasoning with the bear during an attack. "Don't hurt me, bear," I would say. "I just want to hug you." He would stop mid-growl, cock his head like a curious pup, and I would give him a little cuddle. Surely he would then decide against mauling me, and we would skip off into the woods, hand in paw.
Yes, this is totally irrational, but so is my fear of roaches. Really, it's at phobia-like proportions, and a "phobia," by definition, is an irrational fear.
Of course in my brain it all makes sense. This is why big flying roaches are the WORST:
1. It has no coolness or cuteness about it AT ALL
2. It is freakin HUGE and tank-like, nearly indestructible
3. I cannot squish it or stomp it like other bugs. Maybe you can, but the crunch sound is way too much for me to handle. I would probably vomit immediately afterwards.
4. It has wings and could therefore fly on my face.
I am being totally open and honest with you right now. My greatest fear in life is that a roach might fly on my face.
So you can imagine when faced with this potential threat, I generally freak the f- out. It was nearly midnight, my roommate was locked in her room and not answering my pleas for help (even though I COULD HEAR HER TYPING ON HER COMPUTER! Bitch.).
I wanted to run downstairs to get a can of Raid, but I'm afraid that if I turn my back on the bastard he'll scurry off and hide somewhere. Then I wouldn't be able to sleep in my room knowing he is hiding in the corner and waiting for me to turn off the lights so he can land on my face. Either way, there was no sleep for me, so I had to take my chances. As a cautionary measure I dragged all of my luggage into the hall and closed the door. I ran for the Raid and an empty Tupperware container (in case I had to use a trap and capture method), and ran back.
What followed was a humiliating, lengthy battle during which I proved myself to be an embarrassment to all of mankind. Here I am, far larger and more intelligent that this roach, and yet I am reduced to a screaming, crying, petrified little girl. I called Shane for moral support:
-"Michelle, just kill it!"
-"It'll get mad and fly on my face!"
-"Just step on it!"
-"I caaaan't! I just have to sleep in the car."
- "You have work tomorrow. Don't be stupid. It's just a roach."
HA! Just a roach? Just my worst nightmare!! Waaaah! After whimpering for a while and furrowing my brow, I resigned to the fact that I can't avoid my room forever. So finally, with arm outstretched as far as humanly possible, I released a futile burst of spray. Oh, great. Apparently instead of insecticide I bought Roach Crack. Now what was a casually ambling pest turned into a high-speed racing, flying, fluttering predator. "Ahhhh!" I screamed and ran into the hall again, panting.
This went on for about two hours: Me getting closer, about to spray, him darting off or threatening to fly, and me screaming and running away. At one point I heard him get stuck in a roll of wrapping paper, and the vibration of is vile little wings fluttering on the paper was audible. BARF. Finally, he ventured into my closet and stalled in the corner. I had my chance! Like some sort of pathetic S.W.A.T. team maneuver, I pointed the spray inside the corner of my closet and hid behind the closet door. "Diiiiiiiie! Diiiie! Diiiiie!" I growled through clenched teeth while emptying the remaining contents of the can into the closet; hoping it was a direct hit. Silence.
I carefully peeked into the dark closet to survey the damange. I couldn't see any movement, but I also didn't see the upside down corpse I was hoping for. I stood and listened for rustling and there was none. Is he dead? Hiding? Aahhh! I don't know! So, I closed my closet, barricaded the cracks and put down plastic shopping bags around the door (you know, so that I would hear him moving around if he emerged) ..and I attempt to go to bed...with the lights on.
Needless to say, I slept a total of 5 minutes that night. I struggled through work the next day, and by the time I boarded my afternoon flight I was in bad shape.
"At least I can sleep on the plane," I thought...Oh, if I only knew what was still to come.
to be continued...