Very few things frighten Doctor Zombie. Consider it my classical, early childhood education in all things horror, but I'm pretty inured to fear in its many forms. The thing is -- most people have fears. Whether it's the more mundane, like a fear of rejection, or modern fears like clowns and nuclear war, or even the more primal, genetic fears that our forebears passed on to us. I'm talking about the kind of fear that found our ancestors sitting in their caves, huddled in the flickering gloom of a weak fire and shivering at the sounds of a hungry predator snuffling and grunting in the dark just outside of the wane light.
As HP Lovecraft once famously wrote, "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
These sort of fears, the ones that we have no control over, the ones that make our lizard brains blanch and run gibbering from the object of terror, are the worst kind. They're the worst in that have no logic around them. They are uncontrollable and unexplainable. Things like the irrational fear of snakes, or heights, or large mammals that have sharp teeth and claws. These are the nightmare-inducing fears that grip many of us.
The other more mundane fears are actually pretty boring, and I'm fortunate in that I don't really have any of those. I also lack many of the more primitive fears. Heights are cool (I still want to climb mountains and try one of those kick-ass squirrel flying suits). Snakes are also really cool. I like them. There's really very little that scares the amoral sociopath that your dear, Uncle Doctor Zombie is... save one exception.
I hate and fear bugs. With a passion. With an illogical, uncontrollable, panic- inducing mania. I get the heeby-jeebys thinnking about them. There's something about the many legged, emotionless, predatory, single-mindedness of bugs that scare the crap out of me.
And there's levels to this as well. Ladybugs, potato bugs, moths, some of the more common bugs are little problem (unless they land on me and I suddenly feel them crawling - that's guaranteed to cause me to freak out a little). I can even stand them in close proximity and in goodly numbers.
It's the more evil ones, though, that skeeve me out. Bees, wasps, maggots, flies, and... worst of all... spiders, those are the things of nightmares.
Which brings me to why I'm writing this post.
You see, I had an embarrassing moment yesterday and I'm pissed because I, once again, found myself reacting illogically to my fears and - almost - getting myself arrested for public indecency.
You see, I came home from work at around 6:30 and, because the weather has taken a delightfully autumn-like turn, I decided it was cool enough to cut mine and the neighbor's lawn (I cut our elderly neighbor's lawn because she's been ill lately and I don't mind the exercise).
So, we ate dinner at the crypt we call home and, after, Mrs. Zombie and WolfGirl loaded up in the USS Nostromo (AKA, my Jeep), and headed off to Twinsburg to pick up ZombieBoy who had spent the week at my Sister-In-Law's. So, left to my own devices, I put on a pair of gym shorts, a tank top, and my lawn cutting shoes (As opposed to my working in the lab shoes - you can tell the difference by color. One pair's green with grass, the other's red with the blood of my victims) and headed out into the coolth of a Northern Ohio late afternoon.
To this point, all was going well. I began cutting lawns and was reveling in my decision to do something productive instead of some other project that, while cool and of interest to Dr. Zombie, would have undoubtedly gotten me into trouble with Mrs. Z. For instance, current projects include the construction of an adventure trailer for hunting and my upcoming trip to Alaska, the neverending planning of the horror-themed mancave, and surfing the internet for zombie porn.
Anyway, about a half hour into cutting the lawn, I suddenly felt a pinch near the waistband of my shorts. I let go of the mower with one hand and, as I reached back to scratch at the pinch, I felt another stabbing, stinging pain that made me let go of the safety bar of the mower with a curse.
The mower shut off and I twisted to look at the back of my shorts, and that was the point at which my primal fear kicked in.
Apparently, a bee had flown onto me while I was cutting the grass, crawled down into my shorts, and found itself trapped, crushed, and unable to move. It's response?
Sting me in my ass.
Or, more accurately, it stung me in the crack of my ass. Just below where the crack meets my back.
"MOTHERFUCKER!" I screamed, and descended into a panic attack more appropriate in a 7year old girl than in a 40 year old, tattooed, goatee'd, shaved-head bad ass. Through the pain, I flailed my arms as I saw that the bee was still IN MY SHORTS.
I screamed again as pain radiated throughout my fat ass and - in full view of anybody who might have been out in my neighborhood - dropped my shorts and boxers to get the evil, crawling, six-legged, invenomating, yellow and black horror away from me.
Fortunately, none of my neighbors were out, so they weren't forced to experience my dancing around in a half-naked, spastic, horrified jig as I simultaneously tried to make sure the bee was no longer on me and tried to got the stinger out of my ass crack. It was not one of my prouder moments, dear reader.
I'm just glad that there were no children out because I'm pretty sure the judge would never have bought my excuse that a rabid Africanized honey bee attack was the mitigating circumstance behind my showing the neighborhood kids the ugly, misshapen, grotesquerie that is Dr. Zombie's undead junk. He would have undoubtedly branded me a sexual predator and then I'd really be in trouble with Mrs. Zombie because they don't let sexual predators go to parent night at the middle school. I'd never hear the end of it!
So I finally calmed down enough to realize that I was jumping around - naked - in my neighbor's yard. I did a quick sweep and clear of my shorts and slipped them back on. I finished the lawns, but it wasn't easy, believe me.
You see, and this is how my life works, I'm, slightly allergic to bees. So, the whole time I'm cutting the lawns, the venom was burning my ass and my legs, making them cramp. I finally finished, staggered into the house, and took a shower. When I got out, the bee sting was as big as a tennis ball.
When I woke up this morning, it's still hard, swollen and painful. It's the size and firmness of a golf ball. It looks like I'm trying to grow a humunculus out of my ass crack, and it hurts to sit. It looks like Kuato from Total Recall, but now he's growing out of my butt.
So now I'm left with only my stinging ass crack tumor. And the shame. It seems like there's always the shame.
My only consolation is that it wasn't a fucking spider. That would have made me strip ALL my clothes off and run home crying like a little girl.