Hey, how cool is it that this is the hardest decision I have to make tonight. 🙂
We have a lot of birds where I live. Most of them make beautiful sounds…all except one. The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.
This is what the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo looks like.
Beautiful, isn’t it? (Image source: Wikipedia)
When I was little I loved all animals and insects. In fact I loved them so much that sometimes I accidentally loved them to death.
Like when I fed my fish – day…
It was months before my parents realised what I was doing and we had gone through countless fish (and backyard funerals).
Then there were the skinks.
I could never understand why they didn’t seem to live very long in their little skink houses. The homes I created for them had absolutely everything a skink could ever want! Grass…dirt…water…
When I was a little older I spent a whole day trying to help cicadas out of their shells – partly because I was impatient and partly because I knew they had such a short life span. I just tried to get them out into the big wide world as quickly as possible.
There were no survivors, but I learned my lesson and never tried to hurry them again.
There was one particular incident, however, that haunts me to this day.
When I was about six I discovered a little nest in a small tree around the side of our house. I was absolutely beside myself as I had never seen a nest that close up before, let alone looked inside one. I was dying to take a peek at what I imagined would be a nest full of cute little baby birds.
The tree wasn’t much taller than me and I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to climb up and have a peek inside. The only problem was, the mother bird was always sitting in it and I didn’t want to scare her, so I left it alone.
One day I came outside to find the mother bird gone.
I couldn’t quite see inside the nest, so I tilted it slightly towards me.
I got to see the three most beautiful little eggs tucked cosily among the twigs and leaves…
for about one whole second before they toppled from the nest and smashed upon the ground.
I was a monster.
I felt so guilty that I didn’t go around that side of the house for many months – I couldn’t bear to return to the scene of my crime. I also had paranoid fears that the mother bird would know what I had done and peck out my eyes with her little beak.
But that was all a long time ago – I was just an innocent, curious child. I shouldn’t carry any guilt for those unfortunate accidents.
But I do.
Remember that scene in The Evil Dead where that regular, everyday douche-bag suddenly turns into a terrifying, supernatural douche-bag? You know, this guy…
Well, every time I watch that scene I do this:
Over the years I have noticed a common trait in horror movie buffs – nothing really scares them. I know there must be others like me – horror movie buffs who crap themselves through each and every scary movie – but I think we are definitely the exception. In fact, most people I know who crap themselves watching horror movies tend to avoid watching them.
My husband, daughter and I are all horror movie buffs, but they belong to the former category and sit through every horror movie looking incredibly relaxed, if not slightly bored. I am the exact opposite to them and have developed a variety of ways to get through horror movies without too much trauma; some of these include:
Not actually watching.
Using husband as protection.
Making the most of visual impairment.
One night a few weeks ago we were all watching a particularly scary horror film. I was doing my usual thing, feeling unbearably anxious and trying to somehow watch without actually seeing anything.
Tired of my endless fidgeting and my constantly asking “What’s happening – is the scary bit over yet?” my daughter handed me one of my son’s toy guns.
I know it was meant to be a joke, but I took the toy gun and aimed it at the television. Immediately something came over me – a feeling of calm, a sense of, dare I say it… power.
From that moment on every time some demoniacal monstrosity erupted on screen I would shoot at it like my life depended it. It became fun and after a short time I found myself looking forward to the scary parts just so I could shoot the television.
Naturally, as the movie got scarier, I had to get a bigger gun.
So, if you’re a major scaredy-cat like me, try arming yourself the next time you’re watching a horror movie…trust me, it works.
Oh, and as for my zombie apocalypse nightmares, I reckon I’ve got them beat.
I know that complaining about a pimple belongs in the first world problem category, but this was no ordinary pimple – as you will soon discover.
It all started one night when I was getting ready for bed; I noticed a small, hard, red lump forming on my chin. I get them every now and then – blind pimples – no biggie, right? Sure, they’re sore and, if you squeeze them, can get a bit unsightly, but if you leave them alone they generally disappear within a few days.
It took every ounce of self-control that I had, but I resisted squeezing it – even though it got slightly bigger each day.
After a few days I realised it had started to diminish in size. In another day or two it would be gone and, for the first time in a long time, I had resisted the temptation to squeeze!
I had won…
…or so I thought. When I woke up the next morning my pimple had redoubled its strength and come back to kick my arse.
It was about mid-week when I decided I just couldn’t take anymore – my pimple was still growing and I was tired of the horrified gasps of co-workers and the constant mocking from my children. I drove home from work like a woman possessed; I had only one thing on my mind…it was time to squeeze.
My family could sense the shift in my mood. They knew something was up as I walked through the house with purpose.
My daughter followed me into the bathroom. She had been waiting for this moment for a long time.
I will spare you the image of what happened next.
As always my regret was immediate.
My chin was so destroyed there was little I could do to hide it. I tried using makeup, but it never quite blended with my skin tone and only seemed to accentuate the pimple.
With no way of hiding it, I tried different ways of distracting attention away from it.
I tried garish clothing…
a push-up bra with generous padding…
…but nothing could distract from the abomination that was my chin. I had to find a way to make this sucker disappear. Google led me to some kind of zit forum where people were writing about the wonders of tea tree oil. I figured I had nothing to lose at this point, so I begged my husband to pick some up on his way home from work. I waited impatiently for it to arrive and when it did I took it with grabby hands and slathered the oil all over my bleeding open wound – yes, I had squeezed it again. Then, I waited…
…and miracle of miracles – it dried up my pimple in less than an hour!
I couldn’t believe it! It was some kind of magical cure! So I dabbed my giant ulcer all night long, bathing it generously in the tea tree oil. To say I went overboard would be a gross understatement.
I awoke the next morning to discover that not only had my dried-out pimple turned into an ugly black scab, but I had also managed to burn the crap out of the skin surrounding it by using too much tea tree oil (which I have now learned was supposed to be diluted and applied sparingly with a cotton bud).
But don’t worry, I knew exactly what to do.
First world problems really are a luxury, click here to donate to the East African Appeal.
As a youngster I was an enormous nature lover – I spent most of my days looking under fallen leaves for beetles and breeding tadpoles every rainy season – so it’s no surprise that Harry Butler was one of my childhood idols. I believed he was magical because every rock or branch he turned over revealed an animal of some kind. I wanted to be just like Harry and never missed his show, In the Wild with Harry Butler.
One day my dad and I were in our backyard when he called me over and pointed to a small creature attached to a tree. It was hideous. It looked like a cross between a tarantula and a naked mole rat.
To my surprise, my dad pulled it from the tree and held it out to me, as though I was supposed put my hand out to hold it. I looked at him like he was about to set me on fire and let him know, in no uncertain terms, that I would not be touching it anytime soon.
My dad tried to convince me that it was harmless, that it wasn’t even alive and was, in fact, just a shell. But it was the creepiest thing I had ever seen and I refused to go near it. I didn’t believe it was just a shell; I thought it was alive and perfectly capable of biting off one of my fingers.
After many minutes of trying to convince me of its harmlessness my dad gave me a choice: I could either hold the cicada shell or I wouldn’t get to watch Harry Butler that night. I was devastated – it was like Sophie’s Choice!
I thought about how repulsive the cicada shell was and how much I loved Harry Butler. I cried and pleaded with him, but he was resolute. I came to the conclusion that my dad was the meanest dad alive.
My love for Harry was so strong that eventually I closed my eyes, held out my hand and waited for my dad to drop the repulsive creature in it. Suddenly, I felt the lightest touch on my palm, it was like a feather. I opened my eyes and took a closer look – it really was just a shell! I was instantly fascinated. From that moment on I was the cicada queen (and I got to watch Harry that night).
Not only was I no longer scared of cicada shells, I would seek out the live nymphs, put them on my shirt and let them hatch on me. I would then wear the empty shells on my clothes like badges. Cicadas were the most fascinating creatures I’d ever encountered.
One day I found an unusually large amount of cicada shells on a tree in our front yard and instantly had an idea.
Dad, thanks for making me hold the cicada shell. Mum, you can blame dad for that one!