July 28 2010

Why I Dread Dragonflies (*now with book scans!)

I’m not crazy about bugs in general but some I can tolerate alot better than others. Like I have a respect for centipedes and spiders. I don’t kill either. If I ever see a spider in my apartment I won’t mush it. I usually just let it go on its merry way– unless it gets all ballsy and creeps close to me. Then I’ll trap it in a jar and toss it out the window. (the spider… not the whole jar). Centipedes are kind of cool looking to me and mushing them is too gross to think about. So they live too…

Roaches freak me out totally. They got both looks and speed. Thankfully I rarely see one in here but if I ever do I’ll spray it with so much spray until they’re so friggin dead that I’ll practically be dead from the fumes myself. Lightheaded at least. (Btw I think it’s funny that Raid bothers to “scent” their bug spray. I think my roach spray is ‘Country Floral’ –not sure what ‘country’ those flowers are from– but I’m thinking it’s somewhere near Chernobyl.)

I kind of like that I’ve overcome my fear of bees. Sometimes while sitting at an outdoor cafe or whatever there might be bees swarming around. Me and bees cut a deal a while ago. I don’t bother you. You don’t sting me. Deal? I don’t even mind if a bee lands on me (unless it’s on my neck or something) and so far no bee has betrayed the mutual trust by stinging me for no reason.

But today I saw a dragonfly (sort of weird to see in the city). It was huge with the extra quad-wings and demon tail or whatever the hell they’re made of– and my heart sank. I froze. Immediately chills. Dragonflies are like death bugs to me. And I know why still…

When I was a kid I had this Peanuts book. And I remember really digging it:

250px-charlie_browns_super_book_of_questions_and_answers

But for whatever reason somewhere in the book there was a rumor that dragonflies can sew your lips shut. Like Linus believed it because Lucy told him so or something. And as a kid I remember reading that and being totally horrified by the idea of getting my lips sewn shut by a dragonfly! And although in the book it was saying that it wasn’t true– somewhere deep inside I believed it might be true. And that they were just saying it wasn’t true so I wouldn’t worry or whatever. That book apparently scarred me forever. (BTW what kind of image is that to put in a friendly children’s book!?!)

Anyway, although now I am adult and 99% convinced that dragonflies do not have the ability sew my lips shut– the dread is always there when I see them. It probably doesn’t help that dragonflies actually look like they’re capable of doing it— if provoked in just the right way. Or if they quietly visit you while you’re asleep…

ok bye!
tOdd

————————————————————————
(thanks to matt for sending in scans from the book! wasn’t exactly as I remembered but makes more sense now bc I definitely trusted Snoopy more than Lucy…)

Todd,

I laughed quite a bit when I saw your post about dragonflies, and the Charlie Brown book you referenced. I had that whole series of books too! I still have the first one, and decided to scan that page (and another random one) for you.

When the book was new and I was a young lad, I thought it would be cool to answer the questions myself, so I wrote my answers next to the questions in the book. I thought I was a comic genius back then…you can really tell that I’m like a young Robin Williams (the most popular comic at the time) with my quips and zingers! ZIP!!! POW!!!!! Take that, Charlie Brown questioner! Don’t get stung by my poisonous barbs!!!

…yeah, keep trying, kid….

I also would draw on Snoopy’s face a lot to give him emotions, as you’ll see.

Hope you enjoy, and feel free to post to your site if you want to update your dragonfly story!

Thanks for years of enjoyment!

Matt W

————————————————
From:
To: [email protected]
Subject: Dragon Fly
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2010 21:48:08 -0500
>
This is the “pre-sew” pose they take before they pounce…
This was following me on my last visit home.

-Stephanie from Denver

36

traction park says:

I had that book too when I was a kid. And I ALWAYS think of the sewing your lips closed part when I see a dragonfly. However, I like dragonflies and it doesn’t bother me. I just always think of it. I’ve gone so far as to start to tell my kids about that alleged history but then I do stop myself by thinking, “what is the point in that?” Honesty, I can’t remember a single other thing from that book except that part. But it was a cool book.

WTF?!?!? says:

Ewwww…. bugs. Why do we need them again? Would it be sooooo bad if they went extinct?

WTF?!?!? says:

After posting this, I was at an outdoor concert last night, and wouldn’t you know it, we kept getting strafed by these huge dragonflies. They kept zooming around at head level- needless to say I kept my mouth shut.

the REAL weeze says:

I AM THE FIRST TO SAY FIRRSSTT BITCCHEESSS!!! HATE IT HATERSSSSSS!!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Mike Anthony says:

I had that book too! I read it back to front many many times! It was an awesome wahy to use cartoons to discuss some pretty educational stuff.

Do you still have your copy? I’d love to have mine; but it’s more likely I’ll find one someday at a yard sale or something.

hey; do they even have yeard sales in the central core of a huge city like New York?

Bye Toddity.

WTF?!?!? says:

No yard sales in Manhattan- although they have organized flea-market things sometimes- but out in the burbs they do. Basically anywhere you actually have a “yard”, which rules out your basic condo on West 85th Street or whatever. Think “Seinfeld”.

anonymous says:

I’ve always liked dragonflies myself.

Anonymous says:

… tastes like chicken!

jo says:

BWA HA HA HAHA! ‘sew your lips shut’

heh

Dragonflies are friggin creepy though. Spidery Helicopters. You should fear them.

And no fear of centipedes?? That’s just so wrong on so many levels tOdd. The ‘pedes here boot. Super fast. And unless you have an anvil nearby death will take multiple blows.

Blackbird96c says:

My dad once accidentally inhaled a dragonfly when we were in Florida. An ENORMOUS one. We’d just stepped out of our hotel and he was yawning and the thing just made a bee…er, dragonfly-line straight into his gullet. He started coughing and clutching at his throat — the rest of us hadn’t witnessed the entry, so the problem was a mystery at first — then, all of the sudden, he hacked up this twitching wad of flying skeletal demon…
So, there’s a NEW fear for you. Enjoy πŸ™‚

jo says:

LOL @ Blackbird!

pleh

Anonymous says:

When I was young I never even saw or knew about that book. I did see may dragonflies. Alas I do miss living the rural life. As a rider along with my ride home from the city called it “The land of the trees”. It was then I realized how much thought my rents put into choosing thier home when moving into the area to acomidate my siblings and me.

Medusa says:

Dragonflies are the vehicle for fairies, they use them to get around, so leave them alone. It’s just a tiny dragon/horse with wings.
In China they are considered good luck.

Todd (not tOdd) says:

I’ve grown up on/around lakes and they release “Blue Tail Flies” (As the locals call them) because they eat mesquito eggs. The fish find them tasty too.

One can never know for sure what a abandoned area looks like

Sent via Blackberry

Smitt-ay says:

I had several of the Charlie Brown question and answer books. I still have a couple. They were awesome!

Paullers says:

Another weird thing about dragonflies is that more than half the times I’ve ever seen em, it’s 2 of them flying along doubledecker… apparently having sex while flying.

I don’t think I could be having sex while flying… wow!
Then again, I can’t fly… and it seems I never have sex…

ummmm…. never mind.

retodd says:

Dragon flies eat mosquitoes at all stages of their development, and by the time they are adults, can eat many times their wait in those bloodsuckers.

Dragonflies are you friend, mang.

Goats says:

I f’ing HAVE that book somewhere—at my parent’s house!!!! Wierd!!!!!

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oddtoddwannabe says:

dude I am petrified of dragonflies they freak me out I am afraid that that giant darning needle is going to poke me through the arm into the bone ouch i know it is irrational but when I see one I freeze never knew anyone else who had the same reaction

Nat M. says:

i saw one today in columbus circle, a few hours after i read this post! weird..

MsM says:

When I was a child, my uncle who was an artist made some sort of picture for my room that looked like two dragonflies inked up & pressed to paper. I suppose it was nice, but it kind of creeped me out, because I didn’t know if he had to smoosh the dragonflies to make the picture. Leaves, I’m ok with. Smooshed bugs, not so much. I like the dragon flies and damselflies that fly around here, but although I am not afraid of them, (they don’t bite) I don’t want to get too chummy.

MsM says:

PS: NY DOES have used book stores, right?

Lovebird Lisa says:

Oh wow — I didn’t have that particular Charlie Brown book, but we had the Dictionary series when I was a kid. It’s weird because I was just thinking about those books yesterday. I used to love playing “school”, and used them for that purpose.

My mother in law, who is really evil, told my husband when he was little that dragonflies sewed your eyes shut. So, he’s not a huge fan of them, either. But I love them! They are definitely good luck, or something. πŸ™‚

water snake (dragon) says:

These lip-sewing insects are our friends. Straight out of Wikipedia: “Dragonflies are valuable predators that eat mosquitoes, and other small insects like flies, bees, ants, and butterflies. They are usually found around lakes, ponds, streams and wetlands because their larvae, known as “nymphs”, are aquatic.”

Ash-lay says:

WTF? Dragonflies eat BUTTERFLIES? I mean, fine, go ahead with the mosquito chomping, bees even! Flies! Great! But pretty butterflies! That makes me cry inside.

Also, thanks Todd. Now I have a new fear. Awesome.

God says:

I was a little drunk when I made the insects, sorry bout that.

potato says:

When I was a kid I was terrified of dragonflies. They look 100 times more deadly than flies and mosquitoes so therefore they must be (I thought). Fortunately they’re not. They have no interest in biting or stinging people. But they will fly right up next to you to check you out cause they’re curious. Kind of weird and scary, but about as deadly as a ‘hey’ bird landing on your windowsill.

Medusa says:

Paullers, snicker poor boy. Mile high try it some time.
I think it’s just like our world lazy man taking a ride on a womans back. We do all the work they get all the fun.
Just imagine it if you can some knucklehead male dragon fly riding on a lady dragonfly’s back saying wheeeee, sounds like robot chicken has 1 more skit to add to it’s show.

Nature Boy (woo!) says:

Seeing insects/animals where they aren’t normally seen means that their environment and migration patterns are all f-ed up. Very sad so many knuckleheads have turned this into such a political hot button issue that sane conversation about it just can’t happen.

Rock on, dragonfly. Hope you made it whereever you were headed..

Mr Bill says:

Dragonflies are good guys. Eat mosquitos etc. If I could breed bugs in my yard I would have armies of dragonflies and preying mantis’s.

school grants says:

Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

Ralph Thompson says:

great post thanks

sunderlandgrl says:

thanks!

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