August 29, 2012

Spiders etc.


IT’S GIGANTIC FRELLING SPIDER SEASON AGAIN.  ARRRRRRRGH.  IT’S NOT EVEN SEPTEMBER YET!  ARRRRRRRRGH!  But I’ve just dumped my second-in-two-days asteroid-sized spider outdoors muttering to myself I know you’re a house spider I don’t care it’s either outdoors or SQUISH.*  It’s not even cold yet you have plenty of time to find some OTHER household to infiltrate before winter.  Although I don’t think something that size can infiltrate.  Like trying to introduce rhinoceroses by osmosis.  No.  Not going to work.  I saw this vast creature out of the corner of my eye as I was bent over SHADOWS.  It threw a strange, spiky SHADOW. . . . AAAAAAAAUGH.

           Those made-for-purpose spider catchers are always TOO SMALL.  Are they trying to make you think that the only spiders you will ever need to catch are SMALL?   Is this some kind of reverse psychology?   Oh, it’s a spider, well I’ll just get my proprietary spider catcher and scoop the sucker up, it’s just an OPTICAL ILLUSION that the spider is BIGGER THAN MY HEAD . . . AAAAAAAAAAUGH. 

            When I see a spider that is clearly bigger than my head I do not assume that I am suffering some strange optical delusion, I assume that it is BIGGER THAN MY HEAD and behave accordingly.  Behaving in an appropriate manner involves a spare door and a medium-sized yurt, and you clap the yurt over the spider and then slide the door carefully so you don’t hurt the spider UNDER the yurt, thus trapping it between the two, and then you stagger desperately toward the door to outdoors, being OBSESSIVELY MINDFUL of the need to keep the yurt pressed in a vise-grip to the (as it were, unhinged) door . . . now entire theses have been written on the best way to get a yurt seamlessly crushed to a door through a door, and I wish to point out that it is a great deal easier if you have had the forethought to lay in a stable door for these occasions, so that you can use one half of it instead of the full rectangular array of a standard door . . . anyway.  You contrive to get outside with your prize and are ignoring the burning in your hellhound-honed shoulder muscles and the faint quiver in your wrists, totter a step or two down the courtyard . . . to release the thing in front of the neighbour you don’t like.  Psst! you hiss at it as it perches confused in the gravel.  That way! 

* * *

* And the truth is that some of my selfless generosity to spider kind is that I don’t want to squish anything that large.

^ In my defense I don’t kill little spiders either.  I don’t like killing things.  I am a wuss, but I’m also kind of consciously and actively a wuss.  I’m a meat eater but I try not to kill things+ unless I have a reason.++   Even if they have too many legs.+++

            There’s been a conversation going on on the forum about Jared Diamond’s GUNS, GERMS AND STEEL.   This book by a very weird piece of serendipity was literally next in the audible queue for listening to on Pooka while hurtling after I finished THINKING FAST AND SLOW, my doubts about that book’s reliability being what started the conversation about GUNS.  And . . . I’m not all that far into GUNS yet.  But what I am taking to be the assumption that the way human civilisation—make that ‘civilisation’—works is that you figure out a way to produce enough food surplus to start adding specialists like warriors and kings to your society and then you go look for some other less ‘advanced’ or organised or just smaller society, and kill them basically because you can . . . SO DEPRESSING I’m not sure whether I’m going to get much farther.  Human being?  No, I don’t want to be one.  I’d like to come back as a carrot or a liver fluke or something like that please.  Part of what makes it so depressing is that Diamond doesn’t seem to feel the need to say anything about it—maybe he does later?  Maybe I was fending off the matched set of Rottweilers++++ while he addressed this point?  Is this just human nature and the inevitable loop—or vicious circle—of history?  Whimper.  Diamond also mentions (blandly) that horses are the single most important military advantage of any army through the ages till World War I, which is still (barely) less than a century ago and I’m like . . . horses?  Yes, all right, I’ve read this or something like this before, but it doesn’t make me hate it any less.  Horses are prey animals and basically too biddable for their own good, which is why we’ve been able to make such inexcusable use of them.  To use a prey animal that eats grass for a living and has been bred and trained to want to please you to kill people is just totally horribly WRONG.

            Sorry.  I must not be in a very good mood.  I think the situation with the hellhounds is getting to me, and playing with adorable puppies who are going to have to grow up and go out into this Morons with Dogs world isn’t helping. 

+ Things do of course include broccoli and carrots and soy beans, but even vegans have to eat something. 

++ ‘Existence’ is sufficient reason for death if you’re a house fly or a mosquito however.   

+++  Hee hee hee.  You haven’t read SHADOWS yet.#  Too many legs.  Spiky shadows.  Hee hee hee hee. 

# Nearly.  NEARLY.  Yes, I know, I’ve been saying this for weeks.  Still.  Nearly. 

++++ SPEAKING OF FENDING OFF ROTTWEILERS.  Today @radmilibrarian tweeted THIS ENTIRELY FABULOUS LINK, Space Etiquette for Dogs:  arrgle arrgle arrgle arrgle.  As I tweeted back to her, you, which is to say I, get to feeling so embattled that the very fact of this poster, which means that someone out there GETS IT, is a relief in itself—someone other than me and my friends and various people on the forum who have posted about their similar experiences of Morons# with Dogs.  Not that this is the least bit of help the next time you meet a moron with a dog—and it does not address the aggressive off lead dog problem, but it’s still good for morale, and mine is pretty much bumping along the bottom about my dog plight at present. 

            I think I may have only realised yesterday, talking to southdowner after the Visitation of Puppies, but I have pretty well officially gone into Bunker Mode with the hellhounds after they unexpectedly added a third dog to their Most Loathed list:  this is, of course, also a dog that has offered them major discourtesy in the past . . . but I don’t like the declaration of war business, and three dogs that my sweet lovely hellhounds will go ferocious for is three too ******* many, and that doesn’t cover that if I don’t have them on short lead at the outbreak of hostilities they’ll pull me over.  Eighty-plus pounds of hellhound in full burst could uproot a small continent.   THAT’S.  JUST.  GREAT.  So . . . at present we’re hurtling almost totally in town on pavement, where it’s least likely we’re going to meet aggressive dogs, either on or off lead—although, because Morons with Dogs are amazingly moronic sometimes, it’s still not a sure thing.  This is not my idea of true hurtling—true hurtling involves fields and trees and stumbling through tussocks and getting lashed in the face by brambles and so on—but unfortunately I think it’s our best option at the moment, till the hellhound reactivity level drops somewhat.  A lot.  Which is also to say that I hope it will.  We’ve had bad seasons for aggressive dogs previously, but this is the first time that Chaos has joined Darkness in saying NO MORE MR NICE GUY.  I used to hate it that Chaos would just stand there and squeak a little when some bloody asshat of a dog would roar up and bite him, but this is worse.

            At least I can listen to books on Pooka as we stomp grimly around town.  But I think maybe I need more cheerful books.## 

# More reasons to come back as a carrot or a liver fluke.  Just sayin’.  

## Okay, you need a laugh too?  @cambridgeminor tweeted this today:  Bic for Her pens.  Because of course us girls need special writing implements.  Do not read while ingesting anything you don’t want to spit all over your keyboard.



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