The following year, Revolution opened at Magic Mountain in Valencia, Calif. It was the world’s first to have a vertical loop. But up until I took my last ride at an amusement park, there was not a roller coaster known to man I wouldn’t ride, and the faster it went, the better I liked it.
Strangely enough though, I am absolutely terrified of Ferris wheels because I’m afraid of heights and the truth of the matter is, I don’t know what I’d do if I was any taller than I am.
I don’t know why I’m afraid of high places. It could be just a matter of conditioning ingrained in me after falling out of several trees between 5 and 10 years of age. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is not good for young boys with crossed eyes and astigmatisms to try swinging like Tarzan from limb to limb of large cottonwood trees.
Eventually, I turned toward safer pastimes, and though doodling for doodlebugs was much less dangerous than falling out of trees, trying to catch doodlebugs in the dirt floor of the garage was also much less exciting.
I never caught one so I still don’t know to this day if there is any such insect, but something made those small, funnel-shaped depressions in the loose dirt in the garage.
For hours on end, I tried to conjure one of the bugs from its hole by chanting “Doodlebug, doodlebug, come out of your hole. Your house is on fire and the kids are in the stove.”
Now that I think about it, that was probably a pretty dumb chant because doodlebugs don’t have kids. They’re larvae and remain in that stage of development for up to three years before entering a cocoon where they pass through the pupa stage and come out looking something like a dragonfly. As an adult, a doodlebug only lives about 30 days. The life and times of a doodlebug are really not very exciting and it’s not much to write about.
The bugs lived at the bottom of pit traps in the garage floor as they waited patiently for an ant to tumble down the slopes. Once an ant falls into the trap, it is unable to climb back up the unstable slope to safety before the doodlebug strikes.
I would hate to be a doodlebug just sitting at the bottom of the pit, waiting. I’d be thinking about packing up and moving if an ant didn’t come along very often.
Can you imagine the conversation between neighboring doodlebugs?
“Hey Doodle,” one might say.
“Yeah, Bug?” the other might reply.
“What day is this?”
“I had lunch on Sunday,” Doodle says.
“If that ant hadn’t gone to your place, I would have had supper on Saturday night,” Bug might say. “I sure am getting hungry.”
“Me too, Doodle. That one on Sunday was one of those small red ants.”
“When did you move in, Bug?”
“Almost three years ago. I’m about ready to grow some wings and fly out of this place though.”
“Be careful when you do, Bug. I knew a guy that sprouted wings and he only lasted about 25 days. Me, I’m going to stay right here in this hole and wait.”
“You ever heard of a fire ant?”