Thursday, September 04, 2008

Why I Like Spiders

As has been elsewhere related, Ms. Tam is not so very fond of spiders. Me, I generally like arachnids in their place, especially non-poisonous ones; they do useful work.
As seen here! (Click to giganticize -- or not, if you're squeamish), Tiny, hard-workin' spider, and one of the fat, loud crickets that have decided to re-infest our basement. (I went on several Search & Destroy missions early on and a generation of 'em learned better or died trying).

I'll take the little spider over the loud crickets. Once her* work is done, she's easy to find and relocate, unlike the crickets, who sneak around like ninjas with boomboxes. (The Basement, 0hSoVeryDarkHundred: Okay. Her bedroom is right above us. You three climb up the pillar and across the floor joist. At my signal -- wait for it, wait for it -- start playing at full volume! The Bedroom, seconds later: "Aarrrgh! Air Raid, Tornad-- crickets. B-stards").
* I'm stereotyping. So it goes. What sex you think a spider is tends to reveal if you think of them as textile workers or steeplejacks.


Anonymous said...

IIRC, it'sm the female that are largish and the male as are smallish. Above and beyond that, who GAS?

Crickets wake you up? put me to sleep. Mus be about where you grew up.

Anonymous said...

There's a Chinese superstitions that if a cricket comes inside your home and stays, that is a sign of good fortune to come.

Do what I do with uninvited guests, get an airsoft pistol and get in some target practice. Wal-Marts got some good one. The ones that are made with the clear plastic and hopped up going 300+ fps are the most accurate.

And try not to shoot each other with them, because they hurt like a mother...

breda said...

We once had a spider living in the corner of our living room. I do not like spiders as a rule but my husband, knowing how soft-hearted I am to critters in general, gave her a name. (Charlotte, naturally) He would also go outside and collect bugs to throw in her web. I tolerated all this until Charlotte had babies.

Somerled said...

Any small creature with more than two legs and an exoskelton can serve as an illegitimate protein source particularly if dipped in chocolate. I think it would take a 12-pack at least to prime my innards, dipping sauce or not.

Do crickets make the same racket despite being swallowed in their whole? I ask in hopes there are entomologists amongst your readership, Roberta.

BobG said...

As long as the arachnid is not a black widow or a recluse, they don't bother me a bit. More than once I have carefully avoiding breaking webs in my vegetable garden because they were full of vegetable eating bugs. Anything that puts the munch on flies, grasshoppers, and other arthropod vermin is ok in my book.

LabRat said...

I don't care for them- I was wildly arachnophobic as a kid- but I tolerate them for their bug-killin' fu. (I vastly prefer the mantises, though- the other night there were four on our back screen slaughtering moths.) Unfortunately for me, Stingray likes them and tends to make informal pets of them. Augh. As long as they stay out of my way...

As Og mentioned, how you think of them does tend to reflect your education as well. I automatically think of all large spiders as "she" and all small ones as "he" regardless of species, unless I have a close enough view to see if it's got the right bits for the designation.

Roberta X said...

Og, crickets outside are restful; one loud cricket right under my bed, not so much.

Orangeneck, that's very true -- and only mean girl would point out that once squished, the cricket is not gonna leave. (I'd be happier with them if they didn't tend to nibble on clothing; we're short on closet space and as a result, about a third of the basement is used as a closet).

Breda: One spider, harmless eccentricity. One hundred tiny Just no.

Labrat and in general: Hey! We had a mantis outside the back door tonight! First I've seen in awhile. Hunting in the porchlight, I expect.

phlegmfatale said...

Okay, girl - y'all have got to get a couple chickens. Pop the chickens in your basement for a couple days, and you'll have no buggage left. They even eat roaches and fleas. No word on whether spidey is on their diet, but I love any creature strange enough to eat fleas. I've even found out that I can have some chickens in the back yard of my apartment from which I can see the skyscrapers looming from downtown-- how cool is that? Only problem is my Jack Russell Terrier may want chicken for dindin at some point. *shrug* At least she eats houseflies.

Anonymous said...

"one loud cricket right under my bed, not so much."

Ah. That I can easily see- but hell, I snore so loud the klickets sound is lose in the gale force wind of my breath.

NotClauswitz said...

Crickets? I don't think we even have crickets around here - but don't they announce themselves at least and provide a homing beacon?
Between you and Unix-Jedi my spider story-quotent gets filled this week: One spider not a harmless eccentricity. Believe me you'll notice it when one bites you if it's a violin or recluse, it stings pretty good then later the pain stops and the area just goes dead and necrotic - a black hole sorta opens up and grows across the skin with no sensation. (I carved at it a bit with my swiss-army knife, I'm a guy, we do stuff like that.) It still hurts in the surrounding area but the pain is not localized.
It also affects the blood enough that you can start seeing your veins - in my case it was the leg-veins. Big blue and yellow streaks on the leg and groin area. It was frightening my whole leg swelled up. The bite was on the shin of my left leg and occurred when I went to sleep in fresh sheets in a bed in a little "pensione" in Barcelona. The bastard had crawled under the sheets. I saw him run away and hide, I tried to exact my revenge.
Expect no help from the US Embassy or Consulate - that was a bit unnerving too. I found a "Free Clinic" and got some antibiotics - which I later learned were not particularly useful in an "enzyme reaction" venom problem. My leg/foot swelled up to the point that my knobby ankle bones were invisible and my knee also nearly so. I hobbled around and the next day asked some American tourists what they knew about Gangrene - I thought it was funny but I think I frightened them. I could not put my foot in a shoe - I bought some cheapo Spanish sandals. I now know why hippies wear sandals. It took about a month to fully go down and away, and by then I was back in Vienna.
We had much bigger spiders in India, bigger than your hand all outstretched, green and black and glistening they would make a thick web going across a footpath and trap small birds. Not a protein source in my imagination, but a TARGET for a flamethrower. Education also has much to do with direct practical experience and hands-on learning...not just an attitude of elevation that one arrives at following a course of study.
And then there were the four-inch millipedes that left a track across your skin where they walked at night and flying bugs as big as birds. I hate bugs.