Oh dat boi. What he could have put me through.
There was certainly a bit of irony involved when my attention was drawn to the popularity of a meme featuring a unicycle-riding frog, dubbed 'dat boi'. As a person playing with social media on the job, when something goes viral I can't ignore it. Especially when the image had come from a resource connected to our company.
And that the task of looking at this guy fell to me was the irony. I am, you see, batrachophobic. Meaning that I am intensely terrified of amphibians. A toad in the garden will have me breaking out in a cold sweat, as my heart pounds and I lose my words. Bring a disgusting frog into the picture and you can add nausea, shaking and hyperventilating to the list of symptoms.
The presence of a phobia is often associated with traumatic events and I connect mine with an incident that happened during my teens. I won't go into details, but suffice it to say it was the 60s and the stupidity of adolescence played a big part.
Whatever the reason, the reality is that for as long as I can remember I have tread warily through life, afraid to pull a weed in the flowerbed, to walk along a riverbank, or even to turn a page in National Geographic. Yes, even a picture can put me over the edge. Needless to say, given the plethora of amphibians in the warm seasons, this one has, while not exactly destroying the quality of my life, made things interesting.
I raised four active, healthy children, with the same curiosity and wonder as all others. There were two boys, with mischief and energy in spades, who brought me 'things' from time to time. As they walked cupped hands towards me, my throat closed, my chest constricted around my pounding heart. And there were two girls who wanted to explore the wonder of nature, the flowers in the gardens, the butterflies that flew above, the bugs that crawled beneath. And I, swallowed fear for about two seconds, then passed the position of expedition leader to their father.
Then four years ago this summer, a beautiful bundle of joy arrived in the form of a granddaughter. Fom the time she could see, it was clear she carried within her an extraordinary love of animals. Whether it's a worm or an alligator, she can barely contain her excitement when seeing them. As a result her toy chest contains an assortment to rival any zoo.
It was during a visit when she was still just a tot that something strange happened. Among her collection is a group of realistic plastic frogs that my daughter kept hidden when I was there. On this particular day, however, I was sitting in a chair when our Little Missy, without word or even a glance, walked to me and dropped four of them into my lap before walking away.
My daughter got them cleared away before I went apoplectic, and I puzzled over how strangely the act had been. Making it even odder is that she has done it several time in the years since. The same way.
I wonder at her intuitiveness, if she is trying to help me, or prepare me. Either way, I recognize recently that I need to try and fix this. Long story short. at least from this point on, a simple exercise from a hypnotist has not exactly cured me, but has made the reaction tolerable.
So, it is with pride today that I bring to you a collection of frogs, including dat boi from AnimationFactory.com