I knew a kid that loved to collect and (sadly) torture bugs, read up and write about dinosaurs, and watch He-Man.
That kid was yours truly.
I loved bugs! I used to look under rocks and pick up the most colorful and unique-looking bugs. My favorite was what I called the “clicker” bug (aka “jumping bean”). My mom would give me empty jars (usually would be bagoong jars) and off I’d go in search of its residents. I can’t recall how many bugs I’d have at a time, but I remember opening the seal on a jar one time and it smelled horrendous.
One of my favorite pastimes was snatching up little house spiders, the kind that hung out at the baseboards of the wall. I learned my catching technique from my older sister. We had these plastic blocks that opened (kinda looked like square-shaped Pac-man when partially opened). Then you’d just scoop up the spiders, that is, if you didn’t accidentally smoosh them first.
Then the new catch would go into some container, such as the Rubik’s Twist‘s container. And of course our new pet would need company. Our house fortunately had plenty, mostly in the form of ants. It was somewhat cool to watch the spider catch the ant and wrap it up in its web.
I once had a fascination with ladybugs. Since my parents had a garden in the back yard, there were plenty of them around. I caught red ones and orange ones, spotted ones and plain ones. Then I put them into a Cap’n Crunch chest. I don’t know how many of them I had, but let me put it this way — I had placed the chest in my closet, and my sister had found it when she was cleaning up my room (yeah, she had to clean my room because it was always a pig sty). She opened it up and was horrified. I think there were enough to fill up a chest. So, we’re not talking 1 or 2.
One of the worst things I can remember doing with bugs is crushing or pulling apart rolly pollies. I’m a total 180 today. I pretty much feel like crying if I go walking and hear a “crunch” beneath my shoe. I also remember pulling off the wings of a moth I saw. Ugh. I hate that I can still remember how it felt.
When I was in second grade, I became fascinated with dinosaurs. I even wrote a report on the diplosaurus after seeing a picture in the newspaper of the exhibit at a local museum. I didn’t like playing with them, though. We had a plastic T-Rex-like toy, but that scared the bejeezus out of me. My favorite was the triceratops. And, no, I was NOT a fan of ABC’s Dinosaurs. If anything, that show probably made my fascination with dinosaurs go the way of the dinosaurs. “Not the mama!” Ugh, where’s my gun?
Lesson learned: I may have looked like one and dressed like one, but I’m 100% not a boy!