Sunday, September 13, 2015



Spiders, bats, rats, cock roaches ... yes these are some of the things that creep most people out.

For the most part, I am not creeped out by much of anything from the underworld of the animal or insect kingdom.

I do remember renting a house once that was infested with field mice. I must admit that they were a brazen bunch, and when one sneered defiantly at me from the garbage container while I was trying to remove the bag and take the garbage out, well, the war was on. In the next two days, I had killed over thirty with regular mouse traps, those spring-loaded splinters of wood that clicked and clacked all day long. I didn't mind this noise of certain death, but I did find removing the offending carcass and reloading the trap with peanut butter a bit tiresome. I must add, here, that it is important not to react too quickly to the clatter of the trap. Some mice take a minute or so to die, and you really don't want to go off finding one still squirming in its death throes.

I am guessing that this little anecdote is probably creeping some of you out. Sorry. Just be glad that I didn't include the story of how my mother cornered a rat with a baseball bat in the garage of my childhood home, and when the little toothy rodent discovered it had no way out, it ran up the bat right at my mother. Now, that was a bit creepy for a five-year-old boy to watch.

Before you ask, I should include that, for much of her younger life, my mother was a semi-pro softball player with a pretty decent swing. That rat never saw the light of day beyond the sweet spot of that bat as my mother swung like she was Babe Ruth, introduced the little rodent to the metal edge of the garage door frame, and literally split it in two.

Ooops ... sorry that might read a little creepy as well. At the time, it was just an old-fashioned country girl doing what "came natural." I had seen her behead chickens, each time with one swing of a hatchet in the same expeditious manner. So, it wasn't especially creepy or traumatic at the time. Life and death are far more distinct, like black and white photographs, when you protect and provide for yourself and your family.

To be honest, I find that vermin creep me out far less than some people do. Some folks are really quite beyond my understanding.

Take, for example, the mother who tries to reason with her bawling three-year-old in the mall. There she is, kneeling down and talking psycho-babble to a kid whose only desire is to be at home and having a nap with a favourite stuffed animal in a familiar bed. Actually, I don't believe kids should be hauled off and forced to endure the shopping experience. Not only does that experience turn youngsters into super-consumers by the time they're eight years old, but it teaches them the art of blackmail.

Abusive men and women, and bullies of any kind, push all the creep buttons in my psyche.

Most politicians creep me out as well, because most politicians are simply lawyers who couldn't make it in the legal field, and so they opt for politics instead.

I also find beggars discomforting. They'll ask you for your "spare change," and most give the impression that unless you cough up something, then they're not opposed to doing you some harm. Pretty creepy.

Some actors creep me out. Will Smith and his entire family, Tom Hanks, Al Pacino, Julia Roberts, Diane Lane, to name a few, drive me into the town square of Creepville and leave me without a ride home. I won't watch a movie or video that includes any one of them.

I'm more tolerant with musicians, unless it's Madonna or any kind of rap-artist. I live in a Madonna-free zone, and I shun pretty much all rap music.

Sometimes my underwear creeps, but I guess that's an altogether different topic, maybe something to write about another day. OK, maybe not.



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