I tried to write about something other than COVID-19 and just couldn’t get anything going. While looking back at older columns, I ran across this one from 17 years ago. It gave me a laugh – hope it does for you as well.

As the saga continues of trying to lose weight, I decided to try the “exercise thing” by walking. My niece and I headed for the great outdoors as our “gym.” What a great way to bond with nature.

The trails filled with wildlife and secluded by trees seemed so pleasant and relaxing during the daylight hours. We stayed out a little too long, and as dusk brought relief from the heat, it also provided a setting much like being in a horror movie.

It started with a huge horsefly buzzing my niece’s head. As it flew past for the second time, it actually got stuck in her hair. She went into a flailing frenzy, and it took off flying.

The fly decided there was something in her hair he liked or, just for revenge, he came back with force, buzzing around her head, determined to land. The more she flailed and wailed the more the fly attacked. I have seen horseflies pester animals, but I’ve never seen anything like this before. This went on for more than 15 minutes with no reprieve from the fly. Finally, as he hovered, before another round of buzzing, she slapped it to the ground and the battle ended with one stomp of her foot.

I should have helped her escape from the fly but unfortunately I was having my own dilemma. During those 15 minutes of watching her being attacked, I was laughing uncontrollably. The kind of laughing that hurts your face and stomach. And then it happened. Only over 40-year-old women know what happens when you laugh uncontrollably, sneeze more than once or jump on a trampoline. My niece looked at me and immediately started trying to figure out how we were going to walk out of the park without anyone seeing my “accident.” It didn’t matter as by this time it was dark and the trails were empty. We turned around and headed back to the car knowing we had at least two miles to go. As she swatted at every flying insect coming within two feet, I was wondering if I had finally gone over the edge and was going to have start wearing Depends.

It was hot, there wasn’t any wind and everything seemed to come alive on either side of the trail. I hadn’t remembered hearing those noises when it was daylight. As we were deep in thought trying to get to the car, several rows of corn suddenly dipped and swayed. We stopped and watched as the corn continued to move in waves. My first thought was “Children of the Corn.” The fly didn’t seem like that big of a deal anymore.

At that point I really didn’t care about my pee-soaked shorts, the fly or the corn. I was just thinking if we made it out I would celebrate with some ice cream and that’s when I first heard it. Something was flying through the trees making a sound like that dinosaur bird on “Jurassic Park.” By this time my niece started running and I had no choice but to do the same. Either the bird finally gave up and stopped following us or I couldn’t hear it anymore because between sucking air and the heart beat in my ears I was almost comatose. By the time we got to the car, sweating, stinking and shaking, I vowed to be done with exercising.

While we ate ice cream, with me sitting on a towel and my niece fretting with her hair, we made an appointment to join a gym.

Sandy Turner lives in Independence, Missouri. Email her at sandydownhome@hotmail.com