Get That Thing Out Of Here!!

When I was 15, I was obsessed with finding a snake as a pet. All of the other guys had one. I found one and brought it home. My Mom freaked out and told me to get it out of the house. I said “What’s the big deal? He’s just a baby. Look, he even has a rattle”

Growing up in Diamond Bar, California was fun. It was a new development so there were a lot of cool creatures. Tarantulas, garden snakes, rabbits, gopher snakes, toads and rattle snakes. Every now and then an occasional scorpion. We almost all had pet tarantulas. I know!

Its weird that I’m completely freaked out by most spiders, but I’m at ease around a tarantula. They very rarely bite and they are really calm creatures. And most of them have no venom so if one does bite you, maybe you’ll have a little swelling, but that’s about it.

People are afraid of ordinary things too. I’ve known people who are afraid of birds. Any kind of bird. They may have had a bad experience with a bird sometime in their past so it is just a conditioned response. Even humming birds frighten them. Who could be afraid of humming birds?

Others are afraid of thunder and lightening. These are adults who are inside the house at the time. Why are they afraid? Who knows? We had a guest over once who really cringed each time lightening flashed and really lost it when thunder struck. She was shaking badly. We had lots of windows but no blinds, so we couldn’t block out the lightening.

Many people are afraid of the dark. I was cured of that in sixth grade. Our class went to a place called Glenn Ranch. It was in the mountains and was awesome. One night after sunset our counselor gave us the option of walking across a long field with only a small flash light. I did it. It was scary at first but then I realized I would be fine. They were surprised when I came out of the field singing a song. It was only later that I discovered that I wet my pants.

The ranch was awesome. We went on nature hikes where or counselor showed us what poison oak looked like. That really came in handy through the years. I only got in trouble once. Our counselor was telling us that nearly everything in that forest was edible. She challenged us to bring her something and she would eat it. Kids brought her leaves and wild berries. I brought her a dried up cow pie. She was not amused.

People are afraid of a lot of things. As for me, I’m mostly afraid of weddings. Definitely a conditioned response for a guy who has been married four times. The last one is going on 20 years now and things are still great. I’m grateful.

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