Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Trip to Hell

I'm finally ready to talk about it.

As you all know from yesterday's post and Friday's pictures, I went kayaking last weekend. It was fun, even though Daniel apparently wanted to get a friend divorce from me because I wasn't "doing anything to help!" in the two-person kayak.

We obviously have very different interpretations of the word "help." I, for example, consider the amount of singing I did at the top of my lungs to be of great help to everyone.

Anyway, you guys. Are you sitting down? Do you have a heart condition? Did you take your pills? I need you to be in an ok state before you read this next part. I don't want anyone to die of fear.

Are you ready? Ok. I'm just going to get it out there. It's like ripping off the band aide really fast.

HOLY HELL I SAW A SNAKE WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!


GUYS! It was the MOST AWFUL, HORRIBLE, TERRIBLE, experience of my ENTIRE young life!!! And I once had to watch the entirety of Ben-Hur with my grandpa in college on a tv with bad reception while rubbing lotion onto my 100 year old great grandma's feet as my grandpa said every line out loud 2 seconds before the actor did! AND it was being played on PBS on one of those fundraiser specials where it breaks every 20 minutes to 20 minutes of showing the people answering the phones to take donations. So it took TWICE as long as usual to get through the whole movie.

There we were, paddling along (and by "we" I mean "Daniel"), minding our own business. We were kayaking really close to one island. Most of the islands in Palau consist of rock walls all the way around the perimeter. They actually look a lot like mushrooms and if you go right up to the wall, the island and mangroves sort of extend over the top of you and create a nice shelter.

A NICE SHELTER FOR SNAKES!

We preferred to kayak close to the islands like this because it felt very jungley and it provided some nice shade. At one point, we sort of just stopped and hung out in one particularly pleasant area.

And that's when it happened.

Suddenly, Daniel turned to the right and said the most alarming six words I have ever heard come out of a human mouth:

I didn't know snakes could climb.

In slow motion, I turned my head slightly to the right, and there it was, hanging from the rock wall, 2 feet away from my face. A black and white striped sea snake. A snake that is so poisonous that it's bite will kill a person in 3 seconds. Don't believe me? Look at this horrible link, which lists the top ten most deadly snakes in the world and lists this particular snake as the most deadly and says that it's so bad that it basically can't even compare to the others.

That thing. THAT was hanging in front of my face. RIGHT in front of my FREAKING FACE!!!

When I saw it, I swear I heard that sound effect from horror movies where the person sees the monster. You know which one I'm talking about. It's the one that goes DUNNNNNNN!!!!!! and then that camera effect happened where the scary object gets closer but the background zooms out.

And I suddenly turned my entire life's purpose into getting out of that situation. I paddled so hard and fast that Daniel got whiplash from the unexpected jolt. Every second of my life flashed before my eyes and I knew I wasn't the one who poured a carton of milk into Molly Jacob's backpack in Kindergarten!

The entire way out from the island I let out one long 2 minute scream. Somehow I was able to scream even though there was no air left in my lungs from when the sight of the snake knocked the wind out of me.

My friends who were with us stared on like I was a crazed maniac. And they were right.

When we got a safe distance away I started rambling frantically about all the things in life I was sorry for and that's when Daniel said the stupidest thing that has ever been said by another person.

"Ok, now that you're calming down, let's go back to it and get a picture!"

He then started paddling.

And then I, with all the strength left in me, started paddling in reverse, yelling Mormon obscenities at anyone who would listen.

Then I threw my paddle and started to climb out of the kayak.

That's when Daniel finally stopped and asked me if I was serious.

No Daniel. I like staring Hell right in the eyes and letting it suck out my soul.

The rest of the kayak ride was carried out in silence. I'm now considering having the part of my brain that contains memories amputated.

Do you guys have any totally rational fears that other people act like are irrational ones?

~It Just Gets Stranger

61 comments:

  1. Scary! Ah but there was only a 25% chance of death, right? Did you use your telephoto lens for a picture from a very safe distance?

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  2. Dude, your fear of sea snakes is the same as my fear of spiders and scorpions. NOT HAVING ANY OF THAT WHATSOEVER! When my husband and I moved out to the country I spaced on the fact that I would be subject to many more sightings than I could have ever imagined. One night, I was so paralyzed by my fear that I stood in the middle of my bedroom staring at the giant demon spawn sitting on my wall. I cried and cried and cried because no one was around to rescue me. Wanna know what my initial thought was to kill it? Using a shotgun. Yep, that's the extreme I'm willing to go to kill a SPIDER. The ONLY thing that deterred me was the clean up and since we're renting, I didn't want to spend my whole life patching up little holes. But believe you me, if burning down the house was a viable option, I would have done that too. So don't worry, I've got an irrational fear just like you.

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  3. That list was awful. So so awful. Especially while being up in the middle of the night feeding my infant. I had a terrible snake experience while hiking in farmington canyon with my husband. Our plan was to hike into camp with our gear so I had a decent sized pack on. Well. I was ahead of my husband and I heard a strange noise. I looked down and about three feet from me was a GIANT rattlesnake with his tail rattling like crazy. I paused in fear and I think it was my husband that yelled "run". And boy did I. At one point he yelled " keep running" which is the worst thing you can hear while running from a snake because you know the deamond creature is skillfully slithering 90 miles an hour after you. My husband somehow made it past the snake and yelled "stop running" but the problem was I couldn't. He finally caught up to me and got me calmed down somewhat when what to our wondering eyes should appear but another awful snake slithering across the trail. Again I booked it up the mountain with my giant pack while uncontrollably sobbing. Needless to say my husband gave up on me and at a snails pace escorted me back down the mountain my legs trembling and. Weak. The snake was STILL there on our return and my noble and brave husband got a giant long stick and managed to hoist and lightly fling it down the mountain side where it slithered to its tunnel that leads to hell I'm sure. Thanks for reminding me!

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  4. In my normal ambivalence, I agree with you that that must have been HORRIFYING! But I also kind of wish Daniel had taken a picture of it so we would all know what the snake-demon looked like.

    My fear that others think is irrational is that I get all panicky when I have to make a phone call. I make them, all the time, but the inner dialogue of preparation is extensive and no one really appreciates how scary it is. Social anxiety at its most ridiculous.

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    1. PHONE CALLS ARE THE WORST! I know exactly how you feel.

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    2. I'm the same way. I've been putting off making 2 appointments for awhile simply because I don't want to use the phone. I never answer my phone either. NEVER.

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  5. No, but I have a somewhat related, awesomely irrational fear - does that count?

    http://www.packed-suitcase.com/2012/11/irrational-fears-made-slightly-more.html

    I've always been a little afraid that a snake would crawl through the plumbing and bite me while I'm using the toilet. And I wish I could say animals didn't magically appear in my toilet, but then I'd be a liar. And nobody likes a liar.

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    1. Oh my! This isn't going to help you with your fear - I work in the by-law section of a large city in B.C. (Canada) that shall not be named... and someone called us a few months ago because he lost his pet python (when questioned, he admitted he took him out of his cage to "give him a bath in the toilet" - not the brightest pet owner, though he was smart enough to hang up when he realized he's not allowed to have a pet python). Over a month later, a panicked man called the City and said he went into his bathroom in the middle of the night... and found a python coiled around his toilet. His response was "Please tell me I can kill it? Can I just kill it please?"

      I can't even make this stuff up.

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  6. So...did you get a picture? *wink*

    No. I would have done the same thing - only make it more like a 5 minute scream and 30 minutes of hyperventilating.

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  7. I hate Lizards, all Lizards even small geckos and garden Lizards. They are creepy and have beady eyes. I know it is irrational but somewhere in my brain i think they can unhinge their jaw and swallow me.

    I once found a Lizard in the house as i was getting ready for bed it was 11pm and I woke up my 8 year old son, on a school night to catch the Lizard and throw it outside. I am glad he did I didn't want to get eaten in my sleep.

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  8. My husband hates spiders. He said he was tortured as a kid with Daddy Longleg spiders (which are harmless), but he says he can smell them.
    Personally, I have a fear of needles (which is hard since my husband has to give me a shot once a month). I went to get my flu shot this year and the pharmacist said, "Cough while I do the shot." I said, "Hold up, WHAT? Why would I cough? That would jiggle the needle! And cause tremendous/unnecessary pain! That's the dumbest thing I've heard. I will NOT be coughing. What's the point of coughing?!" (of course, all of that was said through tears and screams) She was horrified at my behavior and then explained that once I was done coughing the shot would be over. I still refused to cough, but she stabbed me with the needle anyway.

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  9. Ok, now I have to share my snake story, as I can TOTES relate here.

    My ward decided to go on one of those Pioneer Treks when I was 17. Camping, but with more hard labor of walking with hand carts. Fun! We had just crossed the Snake River (aptly named for the water snake I saw right before they forced me in the water), and we were walking along the path toward Martin's Cove. One of the leaders was standing on the side of the path to warn everyone that he had heard the rattles of a rattlesnake. I happened to look to the side just in time to see one slither by less than 4 feet away from where I was standing. I took off running faster than I had ever run, or ran since. I even ran into a handcart handle, but that didn't slow me down. Neither did the softball-sized bruise forming on my hip. I endured much teasing after this, especially by the leader who could mimic a rattlesnake rattle fairly accurately, which he did every chance he could for the rest of the trip. Like I said, FUN!

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  10. Why why why would you post a link to a LIST OF DEADLY SNAKES!!!!!
    I don't want to see pictures of snakes, or names of snakes, or descriptions of how many people ONE BITE CAN KILL!!!
    Why why why why why would you find that?!?!?! And then put a link to it that subjects all of us to the horror?!?!
    Why.

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    1. I know, I stupidly clicked on the link! And now I'm petrified to move off my couch (and I live in upstate NY, no where near any of those snakes).

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  11. Geez Daniel was the one asking for the friend divorce? I think the situation should have been reversed. Anyone who wants to go back to take pictures of hideous evil spawn of satan things like spiders, snakes, and teen pop stars...those people don't deserve friends.

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  12. Forget about the snake. I want the list of Mormon obscenities. You didn't say fetch did you?

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  13. And you wonder why Daniel wants a friend divorce...

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  14. I have an irrational fear of stinging insects. Especially hornets and wasps. Ugh just typing those words makes me break out in a cold sweat. It's a good thing I live in an area where we have winter almost 6 months of the year. But because of this fear, I can't eat outside from August on. Unless there is a bug net around the table.

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  15. I HAVE THE SAME FEAR OF SNAKES! one time i was tubing down a lazy creek in the middle of summer and my friend was up ahead and said 'hey, look there's a snake in that tree!' WHAT! no!!!! so i paddled my tube as hard and fast as i could against the currant trying to avoid seeing/tubing under the snake and kind of ruined everyone's tubing experience with my screaming and insistence that we go back home because there were too many snakes around.

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  16. I'm so glad to learn I'm not the only one who overreacts to freaky little creatures. Most especially snakes and spider and scorpions (oh, my!). Oh, also rodents. (As far as I'm concerned, they're all ROUS's.)

    Want to know what will make you feel better? Watching Trololo without autotune. I ran across it on the interwebs today, and it was hilarious. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNm6l4FwABE

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  17. Snakes are Satan. I fear them so badly that I always check the toilet before I sit down in irrational fear that one will have crawled up the plumbing into my second floor Utah apartment. I also have a hard time walking across grass barefoot or getting into a car without checking around/under it first. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who despises those awful creatures.

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  18. I'm afraid of Birds and Fish. Deathly. Everyone thinks it's hysterical. It's not. They don't think so either after they've tried to scare me with said fish or bird.

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    1. I'm terrified of birds and my best friend is deathly afraid of fish! We see a spider and say "awwww", see a snake and say "cool", but birds and fish result in total meltdowns!

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  19. I'm extremely terrified of seaweed. Whenever I'm out swimming with friends, if we come across a patch of seaweed I panic and swim as fast as I can while flopping in the opposite direction. And they all think I'm overreacting, but whenever I see it, I think of all of the things that can be hiding in there, and imagine my legs getting tangled in it. It just, ugh. It freaks me out.

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  20. I can't stop laughing at the picture in my head of Daniel getting whiplash because you started to type so fast! hahahahahaha

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    1. ·row so fast... gah,stupid autocorrect

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  21. Balloons. I am absolutely terrified of balloons.

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  22. Spiders,.. the sight, or even running into a cobweb gets the gag reflexes going. I was driving down the road with my sister in-law when she reached over and said don't move. Really you tell someone not to move and you are reaching to the side of their head, my instinct of flight kicked in the moment I saw it,.. I ran across two lanes, up and over a curb, forgetting or not caring to even put the car in park, I was out the door with shirt over my head screaming, gagging and running into traffic, I really could of cared less it was the spider or me, all the while the passerby's wondering if it was a promo for Hooters. That dang spider had it planed, wait for the crazy girl to drive by Hooters and then drop on her like a paratrooper. I don't know what happened to the spider nor do I care. One upset hubby and a different car later, because they lay eggs not just a carton but EGGS!!! lots of them.I was able to get back on the road.

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    1. I was driving down the highway when all my five children started screaming in the back of the van. I had to pull over quickly. I hadn't even brought the van to a full stop when they opened the door and all piled out tripping and falling over one another. One of the boys ran down the side of the road! They were a bit incoherent but finally I heard that there was a spider that I had to find and kill. Our van was packed with so much stuff as we were on a three week camping trip so it took me awhile to find the spider. Then I had to show the children the guts of the spider so they knew it was really dead and I wasn't just pretending to kill it

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  23. I have a huge, completely rational fear of clowns, a few months ago I got stuck on a crowded train at night with a clown and it was the worst 20 minutes of my life

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  24. The ocean in general terrifies me. I hate seafood, seaweed, sea creatures (Shamoo is okay but I prefer my 5ft stuffed animal one that I won in a drawing contest at the Bon Marche when I was 5, true story), sand also sucks, salt water burns my eyes like a motha, and don't even get me started on tsunamis.

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  25. Hahahahaha I just about died laughing!!! That is totally something I would do!!!!!

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  26. People think I am irrationally afraid of my power to affect things with my fear. It's complicated, but here's an example: When I realize I am afraid of my kid choking on her food, I then become afraid that my fear will actually cause her to choke on her food. Unfortunately, this leads me to cultivate fear of good things: "Oh no, what if I get that raise at work and we can't handle more money?" I am convinced that my anxiety is actually a superpower, and that with great power comes great responsibility.

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  27. I'm afraid of moths and grasshoppers. I flip right out when moths fly around my head, and I run away like a little girl when grasshoppers jump around my ankles. Also? Sloths. They're creepy as hell.

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  28. After reading the list of snakes, my advice to you is to never visit Australia. Ever.

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  29. Last night I was sound asleep when I was suddenly woken up by the sound of my children (teenagers) being scared of something...then I heard one say "Maybe Cleo will get it" Cleocatra is one of our cats so immediately I thought "MOUSE". A cold sweat broke out over my body and I lay very very still wondering if instead of going out the door to my bedroom I couldn't just climb out the window and live somewhere else. The children are not afraid of mice, they catch them IN THEIR HANDS and bring them outside. One time our other cat Napoleon went outside and brought a mouse INTO THE HOUSE as a gift and I stood on the chair and tried not to cry while the children caught it and brought it back outside far down the road. Anyhow, then while I was lying there being terrified, the children called to me to come and help them so I knew it wasn't a mouse. I assumed it was a spider because even though we only get harmless Daddy Long Legs spiders (we live in Canada, safely away from venomous snakes) my children are afraid of spiders. So I got up to kill it. But it wasn't a spider, it was a hideous centipede about 5 cms long. Still they handed me a winter boot and I squished it easily. Cause it wasn't a mouse. When I do things like kill spiders and centipedes, my children think I am fabulous :)

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    1. Ok, my fear is centipedes, except where I live, they aren't 5 cms long, try 20-25 cms long... I had one in my house, actually disappear under my bed, that was truly a nightmare. They truly are the spawn of satan, I would take a snake any day!!

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    2. Please tell me where you live so that I never go there. I often go places and camp and I really really do not want to camp anywhere near centipedes that long. Even though I did kill that 5cm one, I would probably cry if I saw one as big as you describe.

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    3. Yes, I never knew such a think existed until I moved here, I live in Venezuela, so you probably don't have to worry. I have told many friends about having this centipede in my house and how terrifying it was and they have laughed at me, but I honestly don't think they realize how large and horrifying they are.

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    4. I too, have centipedes at the top of my list. Hideous, terrible creatures. The worst is one of my cats thinks its fun to go to the basement and grab one and bring it back upstairs (still alive) so it can play with it. Sad thing is, she can because I am petrified to go near the thing. And I mean petrified. Panic attack petrified. Yuck

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  30. This is indeed the trip from hell. If you discover how to amputate the part of your brain that contains memories, let me know. I had a terrifying snake/water adventure several years ago on a young-single-adult rafting trip. Imagine, taking just a moment to cool off in the river water when people in the raft across the river start jumping up and down and waving frantically. I wave back, then realize there is a snake IN the water swimming right in my direction! I swam so fast I skipped across the water then lost all coordination as I tried to claw myself back into the raft (people had to help me back in) then spent the next hour shivering and crying....I still get the heebie jeebies just remembering it! Snakes are THE WORST! invented by satan to torture us....I am convinced the swimming kind come from a special and most evil corner of hell.

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  31. BATS!!! That is my "irrational" fear. But I tottaly disagree! I mean they're like rats that can fly on your head! Once when I saw one in my house and I called my mom right afterwards and I was so upset on the phone my mom thought I was just in car wreck or something, it's that bad!

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  32. I laughed hysterically at your story and then proceeded to laugh hysterically at several of the stranger's posts as well. I don't think I have any "extremely" irrational fears so I just enjoy those of you who do have them. I have a friend who said she was scared of worms, but I just couldn't believe that was even possible. Gross yes, but scary, surely not. I finally believed her when I had her crying for 15 minutes (the ugly crying too) while she was locked in a bathroom because I had a cute and fuzzy caterpillar to show her.

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  33. Hahahahha oh my goodness, this was so funny! I had a hilarious image in my head of you spastically/frantically rowing away from the snake. Next time you go kayaking, bring a video camera, and maybe you'll win a ton of money on one of those funny video TV shows.

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  34. I don't know why I clicked on the link for the 10 most deadly snakes. I just don't know why I did it. But I did and then I almost vomitted as I scrolled. All I have to say its it's a good thing it wasn't you and (someone like) me in that kayak together when that evil snake appeared. You would have been paddling for dear life while screaming "Mormon obscenities" and I would have been hysterically crying/not breathing/vomiting everywhere. Nasty nasty creatures!

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  35. I have an irrational fear of mice and rats. I lived in Nepal for 3 months last year and I was staying in a relatively nice hotel (by Nepali standards) thankfully when half of my team decided that they were going to go stay in a village (for some character building?) I was sick with the worst diarrhea of my life so I opted to stay back at the hotel where I had a semi-working toilet. So they came back from their village stay to inform me that there were RATS crawling all over their rooms while they slept at night. And that the rats were SO LOUD they couldn't sleep. I said "I would not have slept the entire 4 days, and you can bet there is no way in hell I would have laid down in that room" and they laughed at me like I was making a joke. But I was not joking. Rats are no laughing matter.

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  36. Well hey, you finally got that life flashing before your eyes experience you wanted!

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  37. Parrots. They shouldn't be able to talk. It's an abomination.

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  38. I experience, what can only be described as, a primal fear that is so deeply rooted in my soul just typing this sends shivers down my spine and makes my pupils dilate. NO joke, the sound of the steam room TURNING ON at my gym.
    The first time I experienced it I must have looked like a chicken named buck buck who is about to be eaten by a Coyote (True story). I have tried to train this fear out of me with submersion therapy (meaning I try to make myself go in the steam room and sit through the sound), Alas, it's as though I have no control over my body and some sort of rocket propels me out of the room before I can even TRY to be calm. Totally rational.

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  39. I completely understand a fear of snakes- my aunt tried to throw a dead one at me once- and I consider it proof that snakes are evil creatures because, even with out its head- the creature was still moving! I am terrified by spiders. At the sight of one- I curl up into a ball and cry or run away until I fall to the ground and begin the incredibly long process of freaking out until it, of course, ends with crying. Trips to the psych ward have been taken into consideration.

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  40. OK. So, I have two totally irrational fears. One is spiders, but I can't tell the story from last week about sticking my key into my deadbolt and noting that I was less than 2 inches from a ginormous WOLF SPIDER hiding in the crack. Mostly because my roommate was just as freaked out. After letting me in the back door we donned gear and went to war - her with a broom and me with a can of giant-wood-roach-raid (the most powerful kind). And she stabbed while I sprayed (and screamed and woke the neighborhood) and it finally died. But, that's not a good example because she doesn't ridicule that fear.

    I have an unreasonable fear of germs. And she mocks me for this relentlessly. The other day she used a dish towel to wipe up water spilled ON THE FLOOR and then she PUT IT BACK! She put it back. The towel. That went on the floor. I cringed.

    Anyway. She got pinkeye. One of the MOST germy/contagious diseases known to man. She walked in the door yesterday morning and announced her diagnosis. I just sat there, in shock.

    Over the next hour I disected in my head every movement she'd made over the prior 24 hours. She did the dishes - they'd all need to be done because the germy ones touched the ones still clean in the cupboard. She'd washed her laundry - the laundry room needed disinfecting. She'd sat in the recliner and on the sofa - these would need to be stripped, washed, and sprayed with disinfectant. She'd touched countless door knobs, light fixtures, sinks, the water pitcher, the fridge, cupboard, EVERYTHING IN THE PANTRY!!!

    I realized the only solution was to burn the house down. And you know what? My friends said I was overreacting and being OCD. Seriously? This is the one time in my life the germs are actually KNOWN to be there. Normally I am fighting POTENTIAL germs. Why in the world is it suddenly a problem NOW?!?

    Anyway. This is somehow considered unreasonable. Weird. Also, I can't burn my house down now. Too many people know. I am going to have to find some other way to kill the germs...

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  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  42. Why Why Why Why Why did I click on that link? I am gonna have nightmares. I am an idiot. And I will NEVER be going to Australia.

    And aside from my rational fears (snakes, spiders, mice, birds-those things are rational) I have a totally irrational fear of a car crashing through my front room. Seriously.

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  43. RACCOONS!

    Giant ones. The creepy ones as big as medium size children.

    This is how my fear came to fruition. My sisters and I were in a tent camping in the Grand Canyon when I awoke to the sound of our tent being unzipped. I reached over to wake my sister and watched in awe as the crafty giant bugger had my tent fully opened. I was terrified and relieved all at the same time. Relieved that it wasn't the crazy native who waved his feather and I'm pretty sure cursed us that day. Terrified that Raccoons could get that huge and be completely coordinated to unzip a tent that even I had trouble unzipping.

    Oh and also scout troops that watch you bathe in said canyon. Creepy.

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  44. I'm terrified of spiders. And almost all of my friends are also terrified of spiders. So if we go to hang out together and a spider appears, the gathering immediately turns into a petrified huddle and a "so... will YOU kill it?" fest. And, I swear, THEY ARE BECOMING IMMUNE TO TOXINS! At least three times at one of my friends' houses, she grabbed a spray bottle full of chemicals and whatnot. She sprayed at it for a straight minute or two each time. IT LIVED! (shudder) Also, that whole "maybe if you learn about it, you'll learn how good for the world they actually are!" thing is just... no. As evidenced BY that list of deadly snakes.

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  45. What's a Mormon obscenity?

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  46. Butterflies are the worst! They are insects in disguise with beautiful wings! Ugh! I swerved once to avoid one flying at my car. My husband would not stop yelling at me about it....but seriously, it was flying directly at my windshield and I'm positive it would have come after me once we got out of the car!

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    1. oh. my. gosh. i'm so glad im not the only one who doesnt like butterflies. i mean, im not scared of them. they arent scary.

      i just think they are super freaking gross. like a massive flying booger. i dodge them when they fly towards me and sometimes say 'ew!' which confuses the people around me.

      other than that...i dont really have any fears of animals. sorry guys. i'm a zoology major. even the hideous things are adorable to me.

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