Monday, July 23, 2012

Giant Centepedes and Other Monsters

When we were in Hawaii, we decided to go for a hike (my previous Hawaii post is HERE.)

After a confusing bus ride, a short walk up a twisty road with no shoulder that had directions that made us walk WITH traffic (and thus made my mind say in no uncertain terms that I WAS DOING IT WRONG), we finally made it to the trailhead, and this sign:

In case you can't read this, it says, "PIG CONTROL IN PROGRESS"... some other stuff  blah blah blah and then "Full Moon Hunts Will Be Scheduled".  Well, that... sounds... interesting.

Sounds good.  Wait, what day is it?  It is awfully had to keep track of this stuff when hanging out in paradise for a week.

I had checked out the hike on the internet, and learned the following things:

1) Bring bug spray, the mosquitos will eat you ALIVE!

2) There is a such thing as 8 inch centepedes, and they exist in Hawaii.

3) There are no large predators in Hawaii, and no poisonous snakes.

4) Where we stayed in Waikiki averages about 20 inches of rain a year.  Where we were hiking, a few miles away, averages about 280 inches of rain per year.  We WILL get rained on.

5) There is a fantastic view at the top.

What could possibly go wrong?


Maybe I should make a list.

Or better, allow me to give you a small snippet from my brain...

Do you like steam of consciousness?


Well, here's the turnoff... away from the tourists and kids, shit it's hot.  Is that mud?  I hope the trail gets better, this shit's slicker'n snot.  Why does it smell like pooh?  Great.  It's probably pig pooh from the pig hunts.  Damn it's hot.  And humid.  Why did I wear a shirt again?  I should totally be hiking in my bikini top.

Wow, look at that, there's no one behind us.  I wonder if this is a real trail, or if someone's just leading us astray.  Shit, I wonder if "pig hunt" is a euphemism for hunting humans.  I don't think Hawaiians were traditionally cannibals.  No, I'm pretty sure I would have read something about that on the internet.  

Don't touch anything.  There are probably big bugs here.  Oh yeah, eight inch centipedes.  Great.  Big. Giant.  Fuckers.  Why did we watch that Animal Planet show last night in the condo?  The one with the Grasshopper Mouse that howls like a werewolf and hunts giant poisonous dessert centipedes. The centipedes here probably aren't poisonous.  It would have said on the internet, right? The internet is never wrong.

Those grasshopper mice were pretty freaking cool.  I wonder if they are like, descendants of were-mice or some shit.

Holy crap, FULL MOON HUNT.  They're totally hunting were-pigs, aren't they?  THAT'S what they're doing.  I wonder if it's close to the full moon.  Great, I almost twisted my ankle, is that how they get you?  Leave all these roots lying all over the trail so you can't outrun them?  Pigs would totally eat people.  I saw Hannibal.  I saw Snatch.  Fuck, I'm gonna die.  I should totally stop watching so many scary movies.

And who the fuck decided that were-animals were sexy?  I mean, come on, people.  What's next?  Sexy Ents?
(I'm looking at you, Laurell K. Hamilton and Charlaine Harris!)

Boyfriend is totally right.  It IS quiet out here.  I can't hear anyone.  The bamboo sure makes weird noises.  Like Ents or some shit, talking to each other, rattling and shit.  Or maybe that's the were-pigs signaling that they have some victims walking into their trap.

Fuck, I'm hot.  Oh, wow, this is beautiful.  I've never been in a bamboo forest before.  Why is this so hard?  The elevation is what, 500 feet?  I should be flying up this trail.

Eight INCH centipedes.  INCH.  INCH INCH INCH INCH.  Stupid brain.
It's a tree.  They said eight INCH centipedes, not eight foot.  What the hell is wrong with me?  

I thought this trail was only a mile and a half.  It feels much longer than that.  It's because the were-pigs moved the trail, they're totally going to kill us and eat us.

Why won't it fucking rain already?  Don't touch that, there could be a centipede.  It's a trap!  Wow, my shoes are MUDDY.

Wait... really?  We're there?  Just in time for the rain.  Fuck, yeah, we made it.  This is absofuckinglutely beautiful!

So yeah, all in all, a good hike.  I even learned some things:

1) Anyone who complains about the mosquitoes in Hawaii has not been to Colorado.  That or we were EXTREMELY LUCKY, because mosquitoes LOOOOOOVE gnoshing on some Leauxra (I think it's because I have Kool-Aid for blood), and I never got bit in Hawaii.

2) DO NOT CONFUSE the word "inch" and "foot" in your head, or you will spend  the entire hike worried about eight foot centepedes.

3) There are no large dangerous animals in Hawaii, except probaby were-pigs, and that they hunt on Wednesdays, Sundays, and during the full moon.

4) There are places in the world where the rain is warm, and it isn't terrible to walk in it.

5) There really is a fantastic view from the top.

See?  Paradise.  Told you.


JnetRuns said...

OMG that centipede drawing! I had totally forgotten about centipedes (blanked them out from my memory bank, they are the most hideous bugs ever). I got bitten by one on my face (my face!)when living in HI. Luckily it was only a baby, about 2 inches, but it still hurt a lot. Those things have the nastiest bite, glad you didn't encounter any.

Were you hiking up in the Tanatalus area? And I love your were-pig!

Izzy Mason said...

Dude that's crazy that they're all, "Hey we're hunting here on Wednesdays and Sundays with ravenous, attack dogs and guns, looking for moving objects, but please feel free to share the trail with us." eek.

YAAAY for giant centipede illustrations! It's beautiful. :)

momnextdoor said...

I'm glad I don't have any plans to visit Hawaii for a while! Maybe by then I'll forget about were-pigs and 8 foot centipedes. (If they are 8 inches they may as well be 8 feet, I mean ICK, SHUDDER, AAHHHHH!!!!!!)

KKlein said...

Yerg! Bugs are yicky. We had a 3 inch centipede in the house recently and that was big enough!

Leauxra said...

JnetRuns: We took a side path off of the Manoa Falls trail, called the Ahihualama Trail in the Mauka trail system... basically, really close and easy to get to by bus. :) And I am very, very grateful that I saw no centipedes.

Izzy Mason: I know, right? "Don't mind the big guys with guns and dogs! It's totally cool!" And the thing they didn't warn us about was the feral jungle chickens in the trees. For real, these were a thing. How did they even get up in the trees?

momnextdoor: Just stay by the beaches... lots of luaus out there, so no right-thinking were-pig is going to make it down there.

KKlein: Hah! What's funny is that as much as I think about bugs, I never saw any... INCLUDING SOME GIANT SPIDERS THAT CHRIS SAW AND I DIDN'T AND HE DECIDED NOT TO TELL ME ABOUT.

Angie said...

I've been itching to go to Hawaii since I finished watching Lost. That looks beautiful! Thank you for introducing us to werepigs and weremice.

I'll admit.. if I were a pig that was going to be hunting humans I'd do it at midnight.

Leauxra said...

Angie: You should totally go. It's a magical place. And, while expensive, was not as bad as I imagined it would be after some careful research. Also, I want to move there.

And I see what you did there, you IMMEDIATELY sided with the villians instead of the hero. This is why we're friends.

Pearl said...

This is the kind of thing that reminds me why I read other people's blogs.

Because I'm not the only nut out there.

:-) Said with love, of course.

Now let us never speak of giant, were-pedes again.


Leauxra said...

Pearl: Blogging has taught me one very important thing: I am not the only clumsy, crazy, anxious-about-the-wrong-things, "adult" woman with an imagination.

It is actually rather comforting.

"Were-pedes." I will never sleep again.

PudMonkey said...

You DO know Hawaii is where Captain Cook got eaten, right? And over on the big island there are some temple ruins where the largest number of humans was ever sacrificed at once. We went there. Its kinda creepy, but we saw whales, so it kinda evened out the creepiness.

karensomethingorother said...

that is an entirely different view of Hawaii that you've now given me, to replace the zen, centipede-free image I used to have! 8 INCHES FOR CRAP'S SAKE

StephanieC said...

Love your art.

And thanks for ruining Hawaii for me. 8 FUCKING INCHES OF TERROR.

And no, we're not talking about my husband here.

Also? "Oh, yeah, hey, by the way, hope you tourists see this washed out old sign so that your pig-like dog doesn't get legally shot by our hunters. Oh, and in the dark, too. Hope you can read this sign in the dark..."

Leauxra said...

PudMonkey: Oh. Oh yeah. I forgot about Captain Cook... So.. no were-pigs? Just human hunters? You think?

karensomethingorother: I live to serve. Wouldn't it be worse if you went to Hawaii and were SURPRISED by an 8 inch centipede?

StephanieC: You made me lol with your "not talking about my husband here" thing.

That sign WAS easy to miss. If Boyfriend hadn't pointed it out, I don't even know if I would have seen it... Further proof that they were HUNTING HUMANS.

Crack You Whip said...

The pic of the centipede is amazing! I would love to move there. I plan on going one day, but will be aware of the pig hunting and giant centipedes.

I'll leave the dog at home.

Leauxra said...

Crack You Whip: You should go! It really is pretty darn amazing. And I didn't ACTUALLY see a giant centipede. Maybe they really are mythical.

The pig thing though... just stick to the beach. I think they stick to the mountains. Probably.

Everyone seems to love that centipede... maybe I should have a giveaway of some kind...

MakingSpace said...

Your illustrations are FANTASTIC. You should sell them in galleries Hawaii. Note that I live in Hawaii and I am not a hiker (though many Hawaii residents are absolutely devout hikers) - and while centipedes are an unfortunate fact of life, an eight incher would freak me the hell out. Your pig-man is interesting. There's a whole legend around a pig-man, but he has like eight eyes and all sorts of supernatural qualities. Yep, I think you are just about right in your "steam" of consciousness. heh.

MakingSpace said...

Further note: Captain Cook wasn't eaten here, though he did meet an unfortunate-to-him end in a battle that was probably largely a misunderstanding. Quite an oops moment, eh, the one where you get offed? No were-pedes or pig-men were involved.

However, local histories and legends are full of exciting people and creatures, so do feel free to move here and add to the collection.

Leauxra said...

MakingSpace: I can't believe I didn't realize you were in Hawaii BEFORE I went there, that would have been cool to have lunch or something.

I think I need to read more about Hawaiian legends and histories, too. After all, I would hate to run into a local legend and not know what it was!

Boyfriend and I have been talking about where we want to end up, and Hawaii is on the short list, so we will see.

MakingSpace said...

I am on a different island so you can make a reconnoitering trip to the Big Island and we can do lunch! I would totally love that. Note that I have fantasies about moving away after fifteen years there...

Stephanie said...

8-foot centipedes would be AWESOME. In a movie. Not in real life. Happy hiking, my friend!

Anonymous said...

Ha! Full moon hunts of were-pigs! I thought you were in Hawaii and not a Twilight movie. Hope you brought your silver bullets. Or something. I never read/saw Twilight.

Leauxra said...

Stephanie: I see a movie in my future... featuring 8 foot zombie werepedes... This is going to be big.

Misty: I have a confession to make. Hi. I'm Leauxra. And I read the entire Twilight series.

Apparently all you REALLY need is a pedophile vampire boyfriend to deal with everything. Screw silver bullets. :)

Anonymous said...

"I wonder if 'pig hunt' is a euphemism for hunting humans."---Sounds a little Lord of the Flies-ish.

Sandra said...

That is a beautiful sight! And can I just point out that you're very lucky you've never seen the movie "The Human Centepede" because that movie makes the were-pigs seem like pot-bellied pigs.

Leauxra said...

Thoughtsy: There could totally be feral tourist children out there. Now I need to read Lord of the Flies again.

Sandra: Just the name is pretty terrible. Ew.

And yes. It was quite lovely. I kept thinking, "Is this real?"

Anonymous said...

I love your drawings and the fact that you are as crazy paranoid as I am about walking through strange wooded areas.

Whitney Soup said...

i usually have a problem with mosquitoes wherever i go, but i didn't get one bite when i was there! i thought the place was paradise for sure.

and you're right, were-humans are not sexy.

Leauxra said...

nagzilla: I think it's a common ailment, actually. Because woods are scary. :)

Whitney Soup: It was magical, the lack of biting things.

Susan DeBruin said...

Hahaha! I love your scream-of-consciousness narrative :) and yeah, the centipedes are poisonous. Discovered that when I lived on Oahu. Those things give me the creeps.

Whole Sale Toner said...

I support Susan DeBruin... Hahhhh great man...

PudMonkey said...

I came across slugs in my garden yesterday as I was picking spinach. I may have screamed like a little girl. Actually, I'm sure I didn't scream like a little girl because I had a little girl with me and she was much beaver than I was. Give me the 8 foot centipedes any day.

PudMonkey said...

Stupid auto correct. That's supposed to say the little girl was braver than I was.

PudMonkey said...

I came across slugs in my garden yesterday as I was picking spinach. I may have screamed like a little girl. Actually, I'm sure I didn't scream like a little girl because I had a little girl with me and she was much beaver than I was. Give me the 8 foot centipedes any day.

Leauxra said...

Susan DeBruin: Thanks. You have now OFFICIALLY ruined Hawaii. Ha ha ha ha.

PudMonkey: Did I ever tell you about the slugs in New Orleans? That would come up in the crack in the floor by the toilet, and would find their way into the kitchen on a regular basis?


Little girls are hella brave sometimes.