Posted by: tlnemethy | June 26, 2013

Raining Caterpillars

Instead of raining men, the skies of Bemidji tend to rain caterpillars. As much as I hate their eight-legged counterparts, I tend to recognize the presence of a spider much more readily than I do a caterpillar. They sneak and they slither, inching their grossly bulbous bodies down tree trunks, across doorknobs, and into your hooded sweatshirts. At least with spiders I can have a legitimate reason to freak out when I find one just chilling on me. Caterpillars at camp are like the furry pets that everyone misses from back home, so pretty much every camper is walker around with a gleeful smile on their face because they have thirty caterpillars inching along their outstretched arms.0613131620

Seriously though, with every child related incident at camp, DON’T EVER LET THEM KNOW YOU’RE AFRAID OF SOMETHING. Even disliking something is grounds for a summer of unrelenting torment. I’ve let my disapproval of caterpillars be well known as I’m constantly having to flick them off my leg or my shoulder. I get a sick pleasure out of hearing them hit the ground or from launching them off my window screens at night. There have been constant debates in my mind over whether I should start a caterpillar launching activity or if the kids would naturally rebel against the idea of that. I feel bad about it, but I don’t like peeling them off my clothes, so flicking is the shortest point of contact I can muster.

Let’s be real though. If you stop shifting your feet around for a period of .03 seconds you WILL have a caterpillar on you somewhere. If you walk under a low hanging tree they WILL take that opportunity to leap from above like a creepy precipitous assault. If you brush up against someone, they WILL transfer a caterpillar to you. We are just a caterpillar mode of transportation, like the T-train or the L, or those sketchy subway cars that reek of pee and desperation.

For such a menace though, the GIRLS LOVE THEM. They name them and pet them, kiss their gross little whiskery heads, and tell them stories. They swarm Arts & Crafts to create the perfect caterpillar habitat, with rocks painted as flat screen TVs or cotton ball beds glued to a cardboard box. Seriously, children are TWISTED. They collect them into large hordes of caterpillars and try to outdo one another by containing the most on one downed tree limb and watching them interact and squirm over each other to get wherever they think they need to go. What. Did. I. Get. Myself. Into.

My hatred for these disturbing creatures is burning to an inferno. Today, a kid I don’t know told me I had a caterpillar on my back. So, trying to be cool, I calmly asked the posse of children to remove it. Normally I would have flailed until I saw a tiny carcass go flying across the sky. The girl then has the audacity to tell me it must have crawled up my bare leg. No. That is not how it went down. I would have felt the creepy motions of the caterpillar on my skin. Playing along, I tried to tell her it must have fallen from the sky. She then smiled that horribly mischievous little kids smile and told me she’d placed it on me herself.

They like me. They really like me. I have officially become a counselor to the stars.


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