Tag Archives: Spiders

A Bite When it’s Tight or a Bite When There’s Height . . No Matter However, A Bite is a Bite

Everyone’s afraid of something. There is at least one thing and probably more in each one of our lives that give us the heebie-jeebies. Arachnophobia (fear of spiders) and Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes) are probably the most frequently used examples of fear regarding creepy crawlies. It’s easy to imagine being afraid of these monsters, often appearing as the harbinger of doom in old sci-fi movies. Even now, they star as the main event because of the severe damage or even death brought about by the creature’s toxins, not to mention, the enormous amount of fodder to fuel sci-fi and fantasy novels. Just the appearance of the mottled serpent or the fur-like surface covering the hand-sized, eight-legged menace can unnerve the heart of the most stoic individuals.

Case in point: As a young man on the water in a john boat fishing, myself and two friends tied up to a small tree. This tree was probably twenty feet from the bank of a hundred foot wide river. (What I have failed to mention is one of the men was fairly good sized and terrified of snakes.) As the day progressed, much to my pleasure our catch increased. I happened to glance to my left and noticed a copperhead in the branches directly over where we sat in the boat happily casting away. Now a poisonous snake is not something I would invite into my bed; however, I was more afraid of my friend trying to get out of the boat than I was a couple glands full of venom emptying themselves into my leg. Thankfully, I was able to divert his attention and remove this snake with an oar.

Fortunately, spiders and snakes do not bother me in general. I’ll hold a tarantula, smash a wolf spider with my hand and in past years, catch non-poisonous snakes, allowing my young son to touch them and avoid fearing the scaly serpents when he became older.

I suppose the most common phobias (of which I too succumb) are claustrophobia (the fear of closed in spaces) and acrophobia (the fear of heights).

Other than hitting the ground at an abnormal rate of speed, air travel, including the heights, doesn’t bother me. On the other hand, standing on more than a half dozen stories of scaffolding on the outside of a building could push my fingerprints forever into the metal uprights of the scaffolding bucks.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, have you ever had an MRI?

Well, allow me to briefly tell you about the occurance. Imagine being pushed into a metal cylinder with your shoulders touching each side to fulfill the claustrophobic part of this event. Then, three men commence to wailing the cylinder with sledge hammers for the next forty-five minutes. Congratulations, you have experienced your first MRI.

Leave a comment

Filed under On writing

Sometimes I Scare Myself

I’d like to step away from writing briefly to discuss several things that tend to ruffle my feathers. I would greatly appreciate your indulgence in this endeavor.deer fly

Firstly, but not necessarily in the order of importance, are tissues that come impregnated with aloe. Have you ever tried to clean a pair of glasses with one of these greasy rags? I realize, having just been told by my personal assistant, typist, muse, editorial nuisance and all around nemesis, that these particular tissues are not intended to clean transparent surfaces.  I understand this; however, when you’re driving and the only tissue in the vehicle was purchased by your wife (and all she buys are the grease choked pulp wood sheets) there’s not much choice. Especially, when your glasses are coated in three layers of thumb prints, road grime, a dozen or so insects, and a coat of road salt. And; furthermore, I don’t like wiping my nose with a tissue that feels like it’s already been used. Nuff said.

Number two: I don’t mind spiders. I don’t mind snakes (not that I want either one napping with me at night.) They just don’t bother me in the way they do some people. But, what does rip me a new one are those yellow, green-eyed deer flies. They will attack in groups of two or three with the tenacity of an enraged, rabid wolverine. If you’ve never experienced these little gems before, allow me to enlighten you.

Imagine, several half-inch long F-15’s targeting your neck and face. They land and take off at the speed of light so that each time you feel them touch down and you move to swat one, it’s too late to stop them before they have dug in. Now that you have three organic fighter jets orbiting around your head, driving you to the brink of insanity, you began to swing wildly slapping yourself in the face. Then one makes it through. He lands on an inconspicuous spot that you cannot readily reach. (Did I fail to mention they can bite through thin clothing?) While the other two keep you smacking yourself into a stupor, the third drives a quarter-inch hollow spike several inches into your musculature. This miniature blood bank siphons off a pint and is back in the air before your brain can instruct your hand to react to the carnage that has just taken place. Occasionally, you’ll pin one (more often than not) against your temple, releasing an inordinate amount of goo as the stealthy fighter turns to mush under the pressure of a lucky slap down.

And lastly within my finite little world the thing that gets my goat, burns me up, and yanks my chain are people who constantly whine about things that bother them. I steer clear of these types at all costs. I once tried to get away from myself and almost accomplished it. The problem being, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut, so I eventually caught up with myself. So now you know why I’m constantly whining about people like me.

In a way it’s kind of comforting knowing there’s something I can do and do well. It’s just one of those little things that keep me going.

And before I forget, I despise slot headed screws. If old man Phillips had developed his head first, it would have saved a lot of wear and tear on my fingers and an overabundant usage of language that no one should use.

And another thing……

Leave a comment

Filed under On writing

If You Are What You Eat, Boy, Some of Us Have Some Real Problems

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her pork ‘n’ beans.
A spider came down and twiddled around expecting to scare her away.images
She pulled out a knife then whirled around twice raising the blade in the air.
Just 35 whacks and 3.2 hacks and everything fell into place.
With mad knife skills and culinary will a recipe started to bloom
The next day’s menu was arachnid stew and a smile of delight on her face.

If it wasn’t before it certainly is now supremely evident why I do not write poetry. I do however garner a great deal of respect for those who do. As near as I can surmise my offering would fall somewhere between Dr. Seuss and a lobotomized brick.

I will say in my own defense I have raised several interesting questions. For instance; what is a tuffet?

As near as I’ve been able to ascertain, a tuffet is a clump of something or a footstool. It seems that a “Dr. Muffet” wrote the original nursery rhyme about his daughter 500 years ago, give or take a decade or two.

I guess that’s as good an explanation why a nursery rhyme was written as any, although I wouldn’t pay more than a buck and a quarter if I were buying it.

Not having a great deal of fear for spiders, what gives me the willies about the whole poem is the curds and whey. In this day and age yogurt is the first thing that comes to mind. Even cheese is made with the milk curds after the clear liquid (or whey) is separated from the solids.

Jump back five centuries and the first picture of Little Miss Muffitt’s meal that flashes across my mind’s eye are lumps of white floating in an off-white broth. An occasional gurgle followed by a bubble or two indicate the bowl is alive with bacteria happily munching away. Light streaks of pink amidst other barely discernible pastel colors form a scum slick on top of the purulent mixture.

It reminds me of the contents in a carton of milk two or more weeks out of date. You pull the container from the refrigerator, bend back the tabs, pop out the spout and pour. At first just a small trickle followed by a large glop of udder butter.

Mm, mm. Enough of this drop at a time stuff, heat up the cow!

Isn’t it amazing the information you can glean from something as simple as a child’s nursery rhyme?

That brings another rhyme to mind. Jack and the candlestick! Boy, what fun you can have with incendiary devices.

But that’s another story…

Leave a comment

November 26, 2014 · 3:31 PM