I Fought the Frog, and the Frog Won

We all have something we fear—public speaking, snakes, heights, dirt, or even the color yellow. For me, it’s frogs. I’m terrified of them, creeped out beyond the capacity for rational thought at the sight of one, and brought to the edge of hysteria when one sneaks up on me. If there’s a word stronger than phobia for it, that’s the term I’d have to use. I’m not being melodramatic about this, I promise. At the sight of a one of these long-jumping amphibious monstrosities, I am magically transformed from a fairly cogent and well-spoken adult to a gibbering patient in a mental asylum drawing on the wall using her own feces.

Well, that might be a bit extreme, but you get the idea.

Knowing this, I bet you’re curious as to why I’m standing under a sign that reads “Frogs: A Chorus of Colors” when it’s more like “A Chorus of Terrors” for me. Well, we were at the Georgia Aquarium for Wayne’s company picnic this weekend (Pretty boss, I know!), and it was a new exhibit that none of us had seen. I didn’t want to be the only idiot who wouldn’t go in, and I also thought that, since they’d be behind glass, I’d be okay looking at them.

Like I have been about so many things in this life, I was wrong.

This is the first one we came across, and I literally stepped back in revulsion and nearly tripped over an old lady in a wheelchair. I didn’t mean to. Something in my head skipped over all the launch protocols and pre-flight checks, and my body went straight up AWOL. It never moved anything besides its gigantic, disgusting eyeballs, but I went from saying things like, “I confess that I find Althusser’s view of Repressive and Ideological State Apparatuses oddly alluring despite my penchant for capitalism” to “Nillawafer wonkyjawed limberwhamma vickthyicky gooberton!”

As you can tell by the human foot Wayne caught on the edge of this one to give it some scale, this African Horned Frog is as big as a dinner plate–slimy, bulbous, and hellish. I believe I actually got slightly nauseous at this point, which was only frog number four or five–and it didn’t quit until we’d left the aquarium. I honestly cannot look at a picture of this thing without recoiling in repugnance.

This is me trembling in abject dismay, just inches away from the creature. It didn’t get any better after this point as I was treated to twenty minutes in my own private version of hell.

These little green ones didn’t horrify me as much of the others did, which I think has everything to do with their diminutiveness. The larger they are, the more likely I am to wet myself it seems. It also didn’t hurt that they didn’t appear to be as slimy as the other ones.

Ironically, these were the only frogs I didn’t instantly back peddle from…and they’re the most venomous ones! Blue, green, yellow, and orange–these things looked like something you’d get from those two-quarter gizmos at the front of a grocery store. You know, the things that come out in a plastic half shell?

Here I am looking at the Lilliputian bringers of death like any average patron. It was a moment of respite in an otherwise tumultuous time. The rest of the trip through went like this.

I saw…

I went…

And let’s just say that this left me hiding behind my husband like a little mewling girl.

This is the view of me he captured with his camera as I stared in mute shock at the cornucopia of vomit-inducing sights. I’d like to tell you that he valiantly protected me the entire way and helped me work through an smidgen of my phobia by using him as a human bulwark. But that would be a lie. He spent as much time wrestling me closer to the glass and teasing me as he did helping.

By the end of it, I had a serious case of the huzz. I don’t think I overcame much of anything. I’m still scared stiff by something that’s a fraction of my size for no good reason. However, everyone had a great time at my expense. The people in our party were on the receiving end of a free show, and even a few of the folks waiting outside got a laugh.

How about you all? Any phobias you can’t explain? I’d love to hear your equivalent to my froggy fear! Also, if you have a way to overcome them, I’d love to hear your tale of victory!

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16 thoughts on “I Fought the Frog, and the Frog Won

  1. I’m not really scared of frogs, but THESE frogs are pretty scary! Great photos! Irrational phobia would have to be of most creepy crawlies, especially centipedes and silverfish. Those guys will make me scream every time.

    1. Bugs don’t–if you’ll pardon the pun–bug me. I petted sting rays, sharks, anemones, starfish, and urchins all afternoon. Some of them were slimy, and all were wet. And NONE of them bothered me. I liked it. I just can’t figure out what’s up with me an those amphibians. I have to give Wayne credit for the photos on this one. I was too freaked out to use a camera. Glad you enjoyed reading, my lovely lady!

  2. I suffer from severe Arachnophobia and a mild case of Acrophobia and a slightly mild case of Aichmophobia. Basically, heights, spiders, and needles. I got over my fear of needles because of having to constantly be stuck for blood tests since age 3 due to my right kidney being removed after it was discovered that it was in reflux. Heights wrere easy. If I could get on a plane and sit in the emergency exit row and window seat than I could easily get over the fact we were god knows how mainly miles above the ground. Spiders were the hardest for me. Small ones don’t bother me. But when you are trying to get out of the shower and a huge spider is hanging right in front of your path and it causes you to freeze up and not move and whimper or when you live alone and at night you see a huge brown spider go near your bedspread and then your cat goes into attack mode and shoots under the bed at 11:59PM and you sit there scared to move, I had to grow some balls, so to speak and take care of it. However i still hate spiders and feel uneasy about needles.

  3. then avoid Rayne, Lousiana and their frog festival, however if it makes you feel better i’ve had frog legs and they tasted sooooo goood. If its edible i’ll cook it and eat it for ya.

    1. I think I’ve also eaten frog legs…when I was a child and my parents told me a dirty, dirty not true about them being chicken. Feel free to eat as many as you want because each one you consume is one fewer for me to step on. 🙂

      1. really? hmm, I went to that restaurant on hood or haretly road that is a fish camp. Thats where i dared myself to consume gator tail, frog legs, and other traditional southern cusine. when it comes to food I always like the traditional southern food. but i’m glad to rid those nasty pesky buggers from your path! LOL.

      2. its no sweeat Mrs. Hughes, I’d do just about anything you asked me to do. Also did you hear bout Ray Bardbury? Sad i always loved to read ferehiet 451. the best writer ever besides hugo

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