So there I was, sitting with Kim in a lovely park in downtown Duncan, watching a 100 mile hot dog eating contest.
(I feel a need to digress for a moment to explain that we didn't set out to watch a 100 mile hot dog eating contest - we were in the neighbourhood having lunch and were drawn in by the fun everyone seemed to be having.)
(I should also pause for a moment to explain that a 100 mile hot dog eating contest is one in which the hot dogs and buns are grown and made within a 100 mile radius. Yes, people do grow wheat on Vancouver Island, and make hot dog buns out of it.)
(I should also clarify that no claim was made as to the condiments on said hot dogs.)
Back to the story. There I was, on a lovely sunny afternoon, watching four grown men gamely chowing down on tasty hot dogs but apparently very dry buns, when all of a sudden something hit me in the chest.
(I need to explain that if I had had my camera with me at the time, I would certainly have taken a picture. But since I didn't, and because I don't want to violate anyone's copyright by using their photo in my blog, I have decided to provide you with a handy link to an excellent picture of what hit me in the chest. For the sake of dramatic impact, it is very important that you click on this link.)
(In case you didn't read the fine print accompanying that photo, I would like to inform you that the object that landed on my chest was about an inch-and-a-half long. That's the body. The antennae were at least another couple of inches. Are you understanding the title of this post yet?)
So there I was, no longer watching the contest but instead paralyzed in my chair, goggling at the enormous insect sitting on my chest. The paralysis ended with a convulsive, repulsed flinging of said insect onto the ground, whereupon it crawled back towards us and began to climb up the leg of Kim's chair.
Kim leapt to her feet, and between her dancing on the spot in a mixture of phobia and ex-Science-teacher fascination, and my incoherent sputtering and pointing, we began to attract more attention than the 100 mile hot dog eaters. First two little kids crossed right in front of the stage to come and see what was going on. Then the people behind us stood up and craned their necks to get a better look. Then the parents of the kids came over with their cameras to take photos. Then one of the kids managed to convince the bug to crawl up its arm so he could parade through the audience showing everyone.
I suspect it was a welcome diversion for both the 100 mile hot dog eaters (chewing and chewing and chewing those really dry buns) and their audience (trying gamely to keep up the level of enthusiasm despite the slow pace of eating).
Who says life in a small town can't be exciting?