I use the term “afraid” not in the “would rather avoid” sense, but in the “run screaming with hands flapping and the distinct possibility of involuntary wee” sense. I don’t think anybody truly likes the two things I’m afraid of, but most people probably wouldn’t go to the same lengths I do to avoid them.
Now, there are rational fears and irrational fears.
Rational fears are usually aversions to things that can potentially and realistically harm you, like spiders, snakes, sharks, and other things starting with S. Steve Irwin, for example.
Irrational fears are things like… well, vomiting and grasshoppers.
I haven’t thrown up since 1989.
I steadfastly and unreservedly refuse to. Even my twin sister went through two pregnancies without so much as a wet-burp, and my mother has only upchucked once in my entire life. The females in my family find the concept of reverse-digestion not only abhorrent, we avoid it at all costs.
I would rather feel sick for three days than throw up.
Even when I’ve eaten something dodgy, I can think my way out of a vom. It’s a simple case of mind over splatter.
If I see someone hoiking up a beige rainbow, I feel substantially traumatised, and will see an instant replay any time I close my eyes for the next three days.
Yes, I’ve had food poisoning. Yes, I’ve dabbled extensively and at times excessively in the alcoholic arts. I. Just. Don’t. Vomit.
I’d like to put this one down to the preponderance of grasshoppers around my childhood home, being as it was surrounded by leafy hidey-holes conducive to the development of six or more legs.
But if that were the case, then I’d also be terrified of Huntsman spiders, cockroaches and gangs of toddlers. And I’m not.
I think instead, I’ll have to peg this fear onto the Hills Hoist of JUMPING GREEN DEMONS OF SURPRISE CRUNCHY HORROR.
Did you know that grasshoppers like to hide in the fingers of washing-up gloves?
Or in the buttock-nook of jeans you’ve just taken off the line?
Or just outside your driver’s-side window, waiting for you to wind it down so they can JUMP ON YOUR FACE?! Okay, that happened to my sister, but the blood-curdling horror travels.
If there’s a grasshopper in my room, I sleep on the couch.
There was a grasshopper in the front hallway of my house for a week, so I came and went by the back door. My housemates had to collect my mail.
For as long as I can remember, grasshoppers have epitomised mortifying evil all the way from my brain, straight through my pancreas, directly to my bowel.
Until one of my Kiwi mates made me aware of the Weta.
The Weta is New Zealand’s answer to the grasshopper. Presumably the question was “Have you got anything straight from the armpit of hell available for nightmares and screaming?”.
Seriously. Check it out.
SWEET KILT-WEARING MINIONS OF SATAN, GET IT AWAY.
If that thing vomits, my life is over.