Remember the First Alien movie with Sigourney Weaver? I loved that movie. Sigourney played the character of Ripley. I was in college when that movie came out in the late 1970’s. I had been a Science fiction nut my whole life, but that movie changed all the rules. Before Alien came out, female characters had always been ankle-twisting screamers; Ripley brought feminism to the sci -fi genre. If only the crew of the Nostromo would have listened to her, the threat of the Alien (in the form of a zillion sequels) would not be haunting us today. I remember that Ripley had identified the danger and bravely fought it till she reached exhaustion. The end of the movie finds everyone dead but her. She escapes to a pod, jettisons out into space, and blows up the ship, thus keeping earth safe from the threat of the Alien; she thinks. As Ripley prepares to put herself to sleep for the years it will take to get back to earth, she see’s a twitch under the control console. Crap! It got in the escape pod! This was my favorite part of the movie. At a moment when anyone else would have jumped up and screamed, running around the pod doing some ankle twisting, Ripley calmly starts humming Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as she slowly, carefully puts on her space suit. The alien starts getting out from under the console, but Ripley holds it all together. Even when the creature is upon her she waits till the last moment, when it is in the right position and shoots it out into space. I have always kept that scene in mind while under duress. I want to be as brave and composed as Ripley.
Yesterday I camped in the Georgia Mountains. I had electricity so in the afternoon I thought I would get a little turning/carving accomplished. I set up and started working. I was in total concentration when all of a sudden I felt something wiggling on my neck; I reached around and felt a large caterpillar on my skin. I bravely swiped it off. Soon I felt it again. I grabbed it and through it off my shoulder. It was at that moment that I looked down and saw within my view about 12 big green spiny caterpillars crawling up the front of my body. I would like to say that, like Ripley, I stood my ground and calmly addressed the problem, but the fact is –I screamed just like a little girl and started shaking and squirming, coming just shy of twisting my ankle. There were some big Rvs near by and later I imagined what I must have looked like if anyone happened to be sitting near a window.