A True Story
Only slightly dramatized
I was at our homecoming game the night it happened. Standing idly near the football field, I looked up at one of the field lights and noticed how insects of all different shapes and sizes congregated around it, a thin cloud of mindless vermin endlessly fascinated by the glowing lights. It was a passing thought, nothing more.
The call to attention came, and we all snapped into position. Then came the whistle call and we began marching onto the field. My marching band uniform was heavy, but did little to keep out the cold. I could feel the warmth leaving my fingers, and I wondered how difficult it would be to play our alma mater on a half-frozen clarinet. I wanted to jump around to keep warm, but we were marching and had to look completely uniform. It wouldn't be any better on the field, when we would be at rigid attention.
When we were in position, we waited for the appropriate cue and began to play. I stood perfectly still as I played, and my fingers were slow to respond. I didn't care much, though. Homecoming was rarely very entertaining for us band geeks, at least as far as the music went.
Finally, the time came. We were done playing, and all the homecoming queen candidates had lined up. Now we would play the waiting game. As the homecoming ceremonies commenced, my mind began to wander to the cold and to the fact that I wasn't supposed to move. The minutes dragged on...
I was snapped out of my bored reverie by something strange. It took me a moment to realize what it was.
I found myself more than a little irritated at the band members who filled the ranks behind me. The ones who had broken the golden rule of marching band. The golden rule was a simple fact of marching band life: when you're at attention, stay still and shut up.
But the whispering persisted and after a brief moment escalated into a nervous, hushed giggling. I wanted to signal them to be quiet. The golden rule was the golden rule, after all. But I simply maintained my straight posture and stared straight ahead. No need for me to break the golden rule myself.
A loud whisper, obviously meant to get my attention. I could hardly contain my shock at the intrusion. But it didn't stop there.
"Pssst! Bobby! There's a bug on your leg!"
What a silly thing to be making such a fuss over. I more firmly set my resolve. I would not look.
But the giggling simply would not stop! And I realized that there was more than nervousness in that laughter. Mixed in was confusion and mild fear.
I wanted to look, but I resisted as long as I could. The golden rule, you realize. But when I heard the first, "Oh my God! What is it?" there was just no stopping it.
As quickly and unobtrusively as I could manage, I looked down.
What I saw horrified me. Years before I had seen a massive beetle, floating dead in a swimming pool, belly to the sky. I thought it was huge at the time. But that was nothing compared to this. There, clinging to my inner thigh was the largest, most fearsome moth I had ever seen. Its wingspan was enormous, the size of my hand, fingers spread wide. It could have played octaves on the piano with its wings. I was certain, after my brief glance, that I had seen huge black eyes, empty voids piercing my very soul. I had seen a preternatural intelligence behind those eyes, something that no mere insect should possess. But I was being foolish. This was no mere insect. It was a god among insects. I'm sure the other insects flying mindlessly toward the field lights knew this bug by name, and were utterly afraid to speak that name aloud, lest they grant this god more power. This bug stole into other bugs' homes in the middle of the night and ate their little insect babies. Mothers had woken in the morning to find their precious larva gone, spirited away into the clutches of some horrid beast, whose power was beyond measure. And now this god among vermin, this freakishly huge moth was clinging to my inner thigh!
But I was still in control. I would simply ignore it. I was being foolish. I had obviously exaggerated the size of thing in my mind. I had, after all, only stolen a quick glance down at the thing. But what if it had been that large? More importantly, what if that malice filled stare had been real? What then? I decided I would glance again, this time for longer. I supposed that the golden rule could be broken if no one actually noticed. As unnoticeably as possible, I looked again.
It was bigger this time, and behind those eyes burned a hatred that chilled my very bones. That bug could not stay.
I tried my best to maintain the appearance of the golden rule. I truly did. But I must have looked like a real ass shaking my leg back and forth. But I did my best, and I was afraid to move too much, lest I be seen breaking the sacred covenant of marching band. And the monster... it did not relent. Its grip was strong. Stronger than I could break at this moment. So I was truly relieved when the whistle blow came, signaling us to begin marching off the field. Surely it would release me when I began moving.
I was once again being foolish.
In disbelief I looked down again. With horror, I realized that it was now making its way up my leg, moving toward my most precious possessions.
At that moment, something inside of me snapped. Though I may have been facing a god with unimaginable power, nothing is more precious to man than his testicles. A superhuman wrath gripped me. No way was this thing, this moth, was going to take my balls like he had taken so many maggots crying from their mothers breasts. In that moment of blind fury I struck at him. Not even the golden rule mattered now. I brought the whole of my wrath down upon his exposed exoskeleton. Take that!
Perhaps he was shocked at my insolence. Maybe I truly did injure him. Whatever he felt, he knew that I would not go down so easily, and he left. He took flight and headed for the field lights, no doubt to satisfy his rage by torturing and maiming those defenseless peasants that endlessly sought the light they could never have. At least they have seen you in a moment of weakness, I thought. They had seen a mortal man strike the God of Vermin as he moved toward his prize. I have diminished your power in their eyes and perhaps they will one day revolt against you. Perhaps they will steal away your power and finally reach the lights which they so fervently seek out night after night. I marched on.