Tuesday, June 26, 2007

John Mellencamp 'Freedom's Road'

Sometimes when you’re listening to the radio and a DJ starts talking about an entertainment news story or perhaps some “weird” news, we get it from a “Prep Service”. We also get little drops from television shows and little tidbits of audio from interviews with rock stars. Every day we check these things before going on the air. It keeps everyone happy and updated. And sometimes, it can be a little evasive and all about a star’s private life. I tend to steer clear of the Paris Hilton’s of the world. I just don’t find her shenanigans all that interesting.

This morning, I read something very interesting about Nicole Kidman. Not only is she hotter than an iron on washday, she has a fear of butterflies.

Why do I find this interesting?

Because at one time… The Self-Proclaimed Bad Boy of Rock 92 was also deathly afraid of butterflies.

Once at my mother’s high school reunion… Sometime in the early 70’s… My father got out of the car and moved the front seat so I could get out. I got up and started to jump out of the Torino 500 when something fluttering by caught my eye. Yes… It was a deadly butterfly.

It was flying wildly with no apparent direction and in my mind, that joker was out to hurt me. They were dangerous and unpredictable. I needed to get as far away as I could from that yellow-powdered winged demon from Hell.

I was trapped between the butterfly, my father, and the open car door. And being the irrational young boy that I was… I had no other recourse but to protect myself. I did so by screaming loudly like a little girl while I danced around, clinging to my father’s legs for protection against the winged and lethal insect.

I remember my folks begging for me to “hush up”… They also pushed the fact that people were watching what was going on. I was totally embarrassing them to where they wanted to crawl under the Torino to get away from me.

My father tried his best to peel me off his trousers and calm me down, but I wasn’t having any of that until that viper of the air was far away from me.

I dodged… I danced… I screamed until that thing fluttered away to a safe distance from me and then all was well. Except for the strange looks my parents and I got from my mother’s former classmates.

Here’s the explanation…

When I was a young one, I had a bout with Rock Mountain Spotted Fever. The fever reached temperatures so high, that I became disorientated and started seeing things.

The one and only memory that I have about that time involved a rather horrific vision… The delirium tremens or as it is commonly known… The DT’s.

I remember lying in my bed and seeing the curtains on my two bedroom windows covered with butterflies. The fabric had been replaced with thousands upon thousands of butterflies. They were moving around like bees in a hive and flapping their wings very slowly. To a very sick little boy… It was terrifying.

My parents understood why I had that fear of butterflies. It took only a short period of time to get over that fear and believe me… There were lots of butterflies feeling my wrath once that fear subsided.

As for my sisters… It was always a good source of embarrassment for them to stick it to their pain-in-the-ass older brother.


  1. Anonymous2:29 AM

    That story started off as the funniest thing I had read all day, then you had to go and kill by laughter by showing that there was, in fact, a rational explanation for your crazy butterfly fear. Then I felt bad for laughing. Oh well...

  2. Don't feel bad for laughing... It's funny! I see that.

    Growing up with my sisters using that as ammo against me... Especially when I couldn't explain my reasons... That was embarrassing.

  3. Anonymous9:19 AM

    I'm still not sure you completely justified your fear of butterflies.

  4. Anonymous10:18 AM


    Amen, and lets say this line again because it was so true..... "As for my sisters… It was always a good source of embarrassment for them to stick it to their pain-in-the-ass older brother".


  5. Joan,

    As a mother you tell me this???

    No wire hangers in your house, huh?

  6. Anonymous5:15 PM

    Wow. That story went from awsomely funny to awesomely frightening just like 'that'. Delirium is but a strange bedfellow.