So another thing that terrified me when I was a kid was this:
This nightmare was brought to me courtesy of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The Ceti eel, which I'm sure is a perfectly lovely little creature when it's not busy crawling into people's ears and wrapping itself around their cerebral cortex and then slowly killing them, also looks fetching when emerging from an ear:
It didn't help that the 1980s were the decade of the earwig, at least when it came to the basement of my family home. They skittered around just out of sight. They skittered around in plain sight. They would find cosy places (usually in or around things I liked and had a tendency to want to play with) and curl up there and then wriggle around energetically when they were discovered.

When I was in grade two or thereabouts, I got some lovely small glass bottles from Science City and proceeded to pretend to be a hardboiled detective and take dramatic swigs from them (while writing down secrets notes and smoking a pencil—oldtimey movies on PBS warp children way more than video games and communism) and inevitably the whole thing ended in disaster when I polished off a shot of earwig.

So in public school, I was haunted by the idea that earwigs wanted to get inside my head.

My mother, a resourceful, creative, and patient parent, proved herself to be a veritable genius when responding to my earwig/science-fiction eel-in-brain phobia. She made up a story about a young boy who was very lonely. One day, she said, this boy met a young earwig who was also very lonely. The young earwig then crawled inside the little boy's head. From that point on, they went everywhere together and the two of them became the best of friends.

Bizarrely enough, because of my mother's storytelling intervention, I went from fearing that a devious crawly thing would slither inside my ear to feeling like no human relationship would ever be as intimate or as fulfilling as one between a boy and his brain bug.

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8/1/2012 08:40:45 am

There is an old episode of Rod Serling's Night Gallery called "The Earwig", which I think might cure you of your late-blooming affection for the little guys.

Your clean-talking sister-in-law
8/1/2012 11:21:24 am

I will watch that only if I can then IMMEDIATELY watch a show created by my mother which features the creature from Rod Serling's Night Gallery becoming my best friend.

8/1/2012 09:43:00 am

I totally also had this fear

10/3/2012 01:35:32 am

First time poster here at your blog --- please keep it up! I'm enjoying the reads.


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