So I steeled my stomach and prepped the Pepto (OK, only in my mind), as CC and I buzzed over to the Natural History Museum for its 23rd annual Bug Fair.
I know kids love bugs -- and as a 5-year-old, I remember vaguely being obsessed with your average roly-poly -- but this place was a madhouse. We arrived in the late morning, and there was already a line out the door (high-five, museum membership for letting us roll right in!), and it was a tight squeeze once you got inside.
That made me a little nervous, to tell you the truth. Only because I figured it increased my chances of some random insect either voluntarily or otherwise getting a little too personal with yours truly.
And there were bugs, all right. Plenty of them -- many even for sale. Yeah, people were actually parting with cash for these over-sized and sometimes furry (furry!) creatures. In fact, my child got eyeball to eyeball (separated by a plastic tub, thank God) with a Brazilian Red Tarantula. Tarantula! That one was going for $110. Is that a good deal, I wonder, or the equivalent of going to Nordstrom for that tank top when you really could have hit Macy's?
When I told my mom, who lives in Oklahoma, she was outraged. "You can just go down to Texas and pick one of those up without paying a dime," she said. Note to self: Never go back to Texas.
All bug prejudice aside, the event was actually quite fascinating. The various beetle, spider and even snake (who let them in?) owners were completely proud of their little guys, encouraging those with little hands to go ahead and touch. They answered questions, offered tips and advice. And, like I said, many were sold as potential pets. (The horror! The horror!)
We even made it outdoors to take in Annie and the Natural Wonderband singing about being "Totally Bugged Out" and dancing around the north plaza. Unfortunately, we missed the insect chef -- who I'm hoping was busy reconsidering his calling in life. In the event that he wasn't, there's always next year.
Instead of a pet tarantula, however, what we did end up purchasing was a lovely blue and pink pair of wings for my little angel. Because that's what I'd like to think of them as -- instead of appendages to something I'd rather swat than cuddle.