November 5, 2009

An open letter to spiders....

Dear Spiders,

     It must be confessed... I don't like you at all. Although over the years I have made friends with certain individual spiders such as Christina (my virtual tarantula, who scored huge points with me for not being actually a real spider) and Hugo (the "spidermouse" I captured last summer with the intention of shaking the jar violently, but later released into the wild), in general I still pretty much hate your entire "arachnida" class.

     The reasons for which I do not like you mostly start with your legs. First off, there are eight of them. That surely can't be natural. It is even less natural that you can coordinate your eight legs and walk without tangling them up and falling over. But what is really disturbing is the peculiar, wavelike motion you use to accomplish this feat... it is not entirely dissimilar to the billowing, rippling cloak of a levitating dark mage about to unleash a mighty and evil spell in one of the fantasy type RPGs so much enjoyed by Wong. The longer the legs, the more I hate you... among my most hated members of your "class" are what my grandma used to call "lady spiders" (members of the pholcidae family) who have legs many, many times longer than their own bodies and tiny, creepy little pinheads. I have always found the pholcidae to be very creepy.

     Then there's your eyes... you have anywhere between two and eight of those as well, depending on family and species. Not only do you have creepy, beady black eyes (generally speaking, though I have also seen green), but you also can't even all agree upon a suitable number of creepy, beady black eyes to have - or even a suitable arrangement for said not-agreed-upon number of creepy, beady black eyes upon your creepy little pinheads. I do not like the concept of four pairs of creepy, beady little black eyes watching me while I shower, thank you very much.

     Speaking of my shower, that brings me to another reason I hate you... your disturbing tendency to show up at times/places when I am naked. What are you all, a bunch of voyeurs? I mean, I understand your reluctance to mate, guys - being devoured and killed afterward would probably take some of the romance out of it for me too - but sheesh! I'm not even your species/genus/family/order/class/phylum! That's quite a stretch, I'd say.

    I also find disturbing your keen grasp of irony. This was demonstrated to me just this evening, in fact. This is a completely true story. As I was getting in the shower tonight, I was musing to myself how glad I am that I now live in an apartment where everything in the bathroom is bright and white, rather than at the old place where everything was brown and spiders could very easily hide in my shower where I would not notice them. Especially when I have my contacts out, because I have to be pretty much on top of the spider to see it with my contacts out (unless it is a spidermouse). Just as I was musing this to myself (and not wearing my contacts) as I got in the shower and stepped into the water, I notced what I presumed to be sock fuzz floating in the shallow water near my foot. And then the sock fuzz turned around and ran at me, and I jumped out of the shower. Sure enough, it was one of your smaller brethren demonstrating to me his keen sense of irony. I demonstrated to him my keen sense of stay-the-heck-out-of-my-shower-you-beady-eyed-peeping-tom by pouring scalding hot water on him and then washing him down the drain. Serves him right, I say.

     Speaking of spidermice, I have a few words on that topic. Anything with an exoskeleton is bound to be pretty creepy. Anything with an exoskeleton running across my linoleum is worse. And anything with an exoskeleton running across my linoleum that is big enough to make noise when it does it should definitely not be running across my linoleum! Such size-enhanced exoskeletal creatures should also consider staying out of my shower, lest I should pour scalding hot water on their creepy little pinheads.

     Last but not least, I am not at all fond of the art of camouflage as practiced by your kind. And I'm not just talking about brown spiders in brown showers here... I'm talking about the ones of you that actively change color to hide in places I might want to put my hands. Several times over the course of my childhood and adult life I have picked a beautiful flower, lifted it to my nose to inhale the fragrance, and realized that a rather large yellow/orange/purple crab spider is sitting smack dab in the middle of the flower. That's an evil trick, y'all. Snorting crab spiders is not nearly as fun as snorting Pixy Stix (that isn't fun either, though purple snot is interesting). And I shall always remember the time when, as a youth, I was attempting to climb a tree and very nearly put my hand on top of a wolf spider who was at that moment busily engaged in looking like tree bark. The impudent little jerk actually reared up on his rearmost four legs (even typing that is wrong) and hissed at me. I did not actually fall out of the tree, I am happy to report, but I did withdraw rather quickly. If I were still in the tree-climbing business I would find him and pour scalnding hot water on his creepy little pinhead. Oh, and then there was your friend in the shower today disguising himself as sock fuzz. You see how well that worked out for him...

     However, o thou arachnids, it seems that God has put both of us here on the same planet (though I often wonder why Noah didn't just have the elephants get all stomp-happy back when there were only two of you). Therefore, I propose a peace treaty. This is how it works: You stay away from me, my shower, and my house, and in return I shall refrain from throwing books/rocks on you, hitting you with flyswatters, and otherwise pouring scalding hot water on your creepy little pinheads. Sound like a deal?



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