Many years ago (summer 1993) Anita and I packed the kids and traveled to Florida for a well-deserved rest from the hustle and bustle, stress and strain of daily life. We enjoyed the sun and surf as well as some local tourist attractions.
The nature show at one of the theme parks was a big attraction. We joined the throng, found a seat, and learned exciting information about reptiles, alligators, and bugs of all sorts.
At one point in the show, the announcer informed us that some female spiders will search for the perfect male spider, mate, and then devour their chosen one. This information received laughter from many in the audience but produced a real roar from my wife. I don’t know why, but this struck her as extremely funny.
The host of the nature show didn’t want to let this live one get away.
He asked my lovely wife if she thought that was funny. She made the mistake of answering him. Now she was a part of the show.
Dragging my wife up on stage, the nice young man offered her a safari jacket. She was a real sport about the entire thing until he put this “man-eating” spider on the front section of the vest. As if that weren’t enough, she soon learned that one of the pockets contained a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach the size of a puppy. Fortunately, he removed this roach. Unfortunately, he laid this beast on the other side of the vest.
Now it was everyone else’s turn to laugh. Everyone except my wife and me.
It hadn’t been too many years before that we had shared an apartment with a good number of roaches and these were the bane of my wife’s existence. I’ve never seen a woman react so strongly to bugs. And now this young man had just done the dumbest thing imaginable by placing the grand-daddy of all bugs on my wife’s lapel.
As you can see from the picture, she was a good sport. After much pleading and a near melt-down, the young fellow lifted off the offensive roach and suspect spider, took the jacket and led the crowd in a big round of applause.
Though the event did not ruin our experience, it certainly put a new meaning on the term “audience participation”.