Friday, October 18, 2013

The Most Terrifying Moment Of My Life

Like almost every person in this entire world, I have had my fair share of frightening experiences throughout life. Things that have been alarming, such as that one time the fire alarm rang in school (I can't believe I thought I could get away with such a pathetic joke), and that one scary book I just couldn't get over (I had to sleep with the lights on for a year week).

There have only been a few moments in my life when I have almost wet myself in utter terror, and I am about to share one (that's right, only ONE) of those moments with you.

Rather than tell you what exactly happened right in the beginning of this post, I'll just let you discover it for yourself as you read along.

This terrifying moment took place when I was around 9 years old. I had to attend a wedding of lord knows who - I probably can't remember because all that is overshadowed by the vivid recollection of horror I experienced that day - and the venue was outdoors.

Outdoor weddings are a pain in the summertime - everyone's got large and unsightly sweat patches on their fanciest clothes, all the women have their makeup melting off, there are insects buzzing around and the sickening heat of the artificial lights set up everywhere to make it easy for (pseudo)photographers to shoot pictures just puts everyone in a rotten mood.

I know you probably couldn't figure out what this image was the first (and second, third, fourth) time you looked at it, so here's the explanation: it's a bunch of guests under the wedding marquee outdoors, at night.

As you all must know, attending weddings is such a tedious and boring thing to do for practically all 9 year old children. The fact that kids aren't allowed to do anything without their parents and other older relatives snapping at them to "stop running!" "keep quiet!" and "GET YOUR HANDS OFF THE ICE CREAM YOU HAVEN'T HAD YOUR DINNER YET YOU LITTLE SHIT" makes it all the more unappealing.

I was the typical 9 year old at that wedding, bored out of my mind, wanting to get a fancy picture snapped of myself sitting between the bride and groom but not being allowed to, and missing the comfort of my bed and Nickelodeon on TV. I had absolutely nothing to do. The other kids there were strange and weird and ugly so I didn't want to interact with them. The food wasn't served yet, so I couldn't occupy myself with that. All the adults were busy doing boring adult things like pretending to listen to each other and displaying their fake laughter skills.

I decided to find a nice and safe way to entertain myself. I have no idea how my 9-year-old mind worked back then, but I'm pretty sure it was slightly mental, because I made up a ridiculous game of challenging myself to sit on each and every chair in the venue.

Now, there must have been three hundred chairs there. This made the entire situation Fear-Factor-ish. Or Guinness World Record-ish.Would I be able to sit on EVERY chair? How would I sit on the chairs that were already occupied? I had to be stealthy and quick, and wait for everyone to head to the buffet table, or to the bride and groom to congratulate them, so that their seats would be momentarily free in order for me to rest my butt on them for a couple of seconds.

I decided to start right at the end of the venue, and make my way to the front. I imagine I must have looked like a total imbecile changing my seat every second, but my 9-year-old self wasn't conscious of that at all.

What I thought I looked like:

What I actually looked like:

and yes the sky was actually darker in real than in my imagination OKAY

Anyway, I didn't get too far in the game, because something happened.

Something so terrible, so horrendous, so utterly disgusting, that a decade later, I still shudder whenever I think of it.

I was innocently playing my game, still nowhere near the front of the wedding venue, when I felt something land on my shoulder.

It was heavy. It was moving. Without turning my head, I tried to look at it from the corner of my eyes. And that's when I saw the most horrific thing in the entire universe.


It was the largest cockroach I had ever seen in my life. It was a loathsome, hideous, HUGE creature. Black and brown, the size of my palm, waving its foul antennas and legs in the most ghastly way. It was squirming repulsively, like some evil mutant from a sick low budget horror movie. And, a friendly reminder: it was on my goddamn shoulder.

I would have freaked out and ululated my lungs right up by hysterically screaming, but the fear of that... THING... had paralyzed me. I was petrified, sort of like all those poor people who indirectly looked in the eyes of a Basilisk in Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. My mind was going wild with images of how the abnormally huge cockroach would kill me by slashing my jugular vein with its poisonous leg-claws, or maybe somehow swallow my head up. I wanted to cry for help as loud as possible. But all I could express externally was a tiny, terrified whimper.

I could feel myself getting dizzy and about to faint. Mr. Frickin Huge Cockroach was still relaxing on my shoulder like it was the bloody beach. Not a care in the world for the amount of trauma it was giving to the poor, defenseless girl it had chosen to land on. I thought the horror would never end. But all of a sudden, something unimaginably terrible happened.

That cockroach, emitting a loud buzz (that will forever haunt me in my dreams), jerked around, and WINGS SPROUTED FROM ITS BACK.


Ladies and gentlemen, that was not just once of the largest cockroaches I had ever encountered in my life, but it was also A FRICKIN MUTATED FLYING COCKROACH.

I can't be too sure, but I think I wet myself in terror. That's probably the first and last time I wet myself unintentionally after outgrowing my diaper stage. You can imagine how I was feeling. Or wait, scratch that - NOBODY can empathize with the level of fright I experienced in that moment. I'm calling it a 'moment' because I'm pretty sure all this took place in less than ten seconds, even though it felt like a lifetime to me.

So. Yes. The bloody cockroach had WINGS. It unfurled them and took off right in front of my face. And that's when I got a good look at the fella.

That was not a cockroach, folks. It was something nightmares are made of. I will never forget the (possible) split-second eye contact we made before it spazzed out into the night. That thing was the spawn of the devil. IT WAS THE ANTICHRIST.

original illustration credit

The sense of relief didn't wash over me like I had expected it to. It sort of trickled in, slowly relaxing my tightened muscles and allowing me to breathe little by little, till I felt fairly normal again (but still slightly queasy).

It then occurred to me to get the hell away from the back of the wedding venue, and go straight to the front where the rest of my family was seated. All thoughts about the (lame) game I was playing were wiped from my mind. I'll admit this... I was happy to get out of that situation with my life shoulder intact.

And that, girls and boys, was the most terrifying moment of my life.

Don't you dare laugh at me.


Has there ever been a moment in your life that was a culmination of sheer terror, fear, horror and mortification? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS AND WE'LL SHARE OUR MISERY!

Till next time, see you later, alligator.