A few minutes ago youngest son presented a wad of toilet paper. “Hey Mom, does this look like a black widow?” Before I could say “pretty sure it was before you squashed it to smithereens”, youngest son apologetically explained his act of arachnid annihilation. “Sitting on the toilet when it ran towards me, squashed it before I had time to think”. Trust me it wasn’t after you, went unspoken. Youngest son knew how I felt about killing spiders.
Spider bites are extremely rare, truth is they want nothing to do with us. Spiders exist to control insect populations. House spiders control flies, snag mosquitoes, sideline beetles and trounce moths. Garden spiders feast on aphids ,control grubs and beetles, dissuade spider mites and crop destroying grasshoppers. But for spiders, ours would be a unrecognizable world. Like it or not, spiders matter.
It’s no secret I have a thing for spiders. Truth be told, the first thing I did after youngest son dispatched bathroom widow was check on kitchen widow. The sight of kitchen window widow’s shellacked body eased regret over bathroom widow’s demise. Well behaved spiders are welcome in my house, uppity ones are caught and released.
Catch and release contradicts human nature. Instinct commands our imperative to eradicate arachnid invaders. I get it, house spiders terrify most people. That said, next time a spider surprises you on the toilet, muster the fortitude to catch and release. All it takes is a glass and sheet of paper. Spiders aren’t after us, they mean us no harm. Trust me, catch and release feels great.
This post is SO STUPID. That said, watch before reading another word-
Started the vehicle to make my way home from work. CBC Radio filled the air, first thing I heard was “Laurel”. Drove off without a second thought. Radio announcer said “we’ll play it one more time. What do you hear, Yanny or Laurel?” Yanny? Are you nuts? What’s wrong with you people and why does it matter to CBC?
Apparently “Yanny or Laurel” deserves mention for trending above all other social media froth. For the next five minutes, rush hour traffic stuttered belligerently to the cadence of Yanny or Laurel uncertainty. Blah, blah, blah. Half the newsroom heard Yanny, the other Laurel. I wanted to scream “nobody cares!” Pretty sure I flipped off the nincompoop who cut in front of me. I need a vacation. Sigh.
Earlier this week Prabhu Bhatara left a wedding near Pharsaguda, India. Compelled by a full bladder he pulled off the road to relieve himself in the forest. Bhatara spots an injured bear, moves in for a moron with wounded bear selfie. Amateur video captured his mauling and death. Had Bharta stopped posting selfies long enough to watch the news, he might have known barely a week had passed since a Indian taxi driver succumbed to an eerily similar bear maul selfie death. Truth is, 60% of all selfie deaths occur in India, that’s 76 of 127 recorded global selfie deaths between March 2014 and September 2016. A statistic alarming enough to prompt government intervention. Mumbai has banned selfies in 16 high risk locations.
Death by selfie begs the question, why India? Temptation to reason proportionate population only goes so far. During the same period only 8 Americans died by selfie. China admits to a paltry 4 selfie deaths, not one of them by bear. Ponder death by selfie the next time an injured bear finds you watering the forest. Death by selfie is far from epidemic. That said, it’s worth noting that statistically selfie death is more likely than death by shark.
What drives selfie obsession to pepper social media with still life caricatures? Social media created a generation of me-bots. “Look at me, look what I’m eating, look where I am”. Me, me, me. Happy face, goofy face, glamour pose. Look, I’m having fun, don’t I look pretty, don’t hate me for being fabulous. Hate to break it to you me-bot, but nobody cares. If you’re so fabulous, hand your camera to someone else and let them capture how the world sees you. Trust me, death by selfie extends beyond a handful of accidental screw-ups. Don’t be a me-bot, put that selfie stick down.
Spiritual leader Rev. Sean Moon presides over World Peace and Unification, a breakaway of his late father Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification church. Followers are encouraged to bring assault rifles to church, AR-15s represent “rods of iron” in the book of Revelation. Parishioners pray for “a kingdom of peace police and peace militia where the citizens, through the right given to them by almighty God to keep and bear arms, will be able to protect one another and protect human flourishing.” Outside, state police draw a line between protesters and pious rod of iron Unification faithful. Alarmed Wallenpaupack Area School District officials evacuate an elementary school several blocks away. Bewildered devotees can’t imagine what the fuss is about. They stand with iron rod indifference toward a nation traumatized by 17 students gunned down by an AR-15 in Parkland, Florida. As far as they’re concerned, “an attendant checked each weapon at the door to make sure it was unloaded and secured with a zip tie, and the elaborate commitment ceremony went off without a hitch.”
Beyond women in white, men in black, AR-15 assault rifles in the hands of many, ponder bullets fashioned into gold crowns. Witness dozens of followers attending a “commitment ceremony” to exchange and renew wedding vows. The ceremony, Cosmic True Parents of Heaven, Hearth and Humanity Cheon Il Guk Book of Life Registration Blessing, was part of a week long “Festival of Grace” .
Religious “gun-damentalism”, equal parts NRA propaganda, calculated manipulation of truth and wack-a-doodle bible study. Followers unable to legally obtain a assault rifle in time for the ceremony were urged to purchase $700 gun store gift certificates as evidence they would secure rods of iron in the near future. The church insists they do not worship or bless guns, rather “God centered families are sovereign and prepared to defend themselves with the rod of iron, which is represented in the AR-15.”
World Peace and Unification hold fast to their God given right to protect themselves from “sickos and evil psychopaths.” Oblivious to all but rod of iron ceremony. “People have the right to bear arms, and in God’s kingdom, you have to protect that”
Three days ago rapper Childish Gambino ( Donald Glover ) posted This Is America on YouTube. 46 million views and counting later, ponder his statement on gun violence in America.
Said this once, time to say it again….
Exasperation plucks my last nerve. I’m tired of politics, climate debate, religious soap boxes, poverty, racial injustice, gender inequality, gun violence and hate. All we do is wring our hands clucking blah, blah, blah. My news is real, yours is fake, yak, yak, yak. Media bobble heads spoon inane bat shit into gaping mouths of catatonic numskulls hungry for affirmation of their bias. I’m tired of dimwits who parrot partisan absurdity as fact, lunkhead patriots void of independent thought and verbatim regurgitation of misinformed lunacy.
Freedom is tired of her name being taken in vain. I wouldn’t be so tired if free speech wasn’t masquerading as free to twist whichever reality furthered personal gain, religious agenda or corporate coffer. Wake up!
Recently a client asked if any one situation stood out in my hospitality career. Hmm, that’s a loaded question.
There was the groom who begged for a make-up miracle to conceal his black eye. Pimps don’t care if it’s your wedding day – any man who slinks out between nuptials and reception to bang a hooker and refuses to pay, deserves more than a black eye.
Standing between drunks and free flowing alcohol is a barrel of laughs – “I thought they gassed all the Jews” stands out as one way to guarantee a call to security is handled promptly.
Being hired to manage a “birthday party”, arrive to find a Bris, explain politely we could have provided a loaf of bread to “break” had they bothered to ask, negotiate compromise with the Rabbi (technically ceremonial “breaking” of sliced bread for the spinach dip fulfills ritual requirements, right? ) Post party clean-up – realize the coffee cup in my hand contains blood soaked gauze and foreskin.
Applying red nail polish to a bowl of raw chicken feet (Metallica dressing room), assuring Neil Diamond I would fire any staff who made eye contact with him. Asked to deliver a bottle of Jack Daniels (won’t say whose dressing room) moments after they trotted in a sheep on a leash. Jack in hand, walked in on rock star performing a sex act with said sheep. Brushing lint off Elton John’s jacket. Giving Robert Plant a stern piece of my mind for ignoring tour protocol regarding production company approval of any additional expenses. His “sorry ma’am” still rings in my ears.
Joe Cocker wearing nothing but boxer shorts, mesmerized by imperfections of his vulnerable shell, I set dinner on a table. He strikes up a conversation, for 30 effortless minutes we discuss the cosmos. Myself, Tina Turner, Bonnie Raitt and Sarah McLachlan post show in a dark, empty arena – four ladies talking until the wee hours of morning. B.B. King holding court after his show, not a “meet and greet”, nothing formal, seems he just felt like hanging around. An hour passes, another, it’s after 1 am when he calls me over – “Darlin, I could really use some BBQ chips”. He takes my hand, presses something into the palm and holds on for a peculiarly long time. He lets go, I open my hand to find a 14K gold pendant commemorating B.B. King’s final tour.
Menstrual calamities – cutting out red stained section of hysterical brides’ wedding dress, fashioning faux lace from white tissue paper, hand stitching in place with 10 minutes to spare before she walked down the aisle. Young Asian women with limited English, “help” drew my attention to blood running down both legs from crotch length spandex to 4 inch stilettos. Couldn’t find a feminine product but offered a jug of warm water and 2 clean bar rags. “You clean” she replied. “Wash your own legs” is universal in any language, she shrugged as I led her out the back door to tidy up in our cargo van. Hunched over, wobbling on stilettos, she used one cloth to wash, stuffed the other in her panties, ran back inside, jumped on stage to sing a karaoke rendition of Lady Gaga, I Was Born This Way.
Work is why I’m fearless, the reason my then teenage son once declared “Mom, you’re the MOST” (Master Of Small Talk). Amusement, satisfaction and unusual strokes knock without invitation. Truth be told, the stand out situation of hospitality life is recognizing the moment adrenalin flips a switch at “go time”. Unfazed, daunted, hesitant or perturbed, go time is my time to shine.
Fellow Worpresser Peter ( https://ppazucha.wordpress.com/ ) sent word of a tragic arachnid death. The world’s oldest spider, a female Australian trapdoor spider known only as Number 16 was found dead in her burrow at age 43. Number 16 didn’t succumb to old age, her death is credited to a parasitic wasp attack. Wasps enter burrows laying eggs in or on the spider. When eggs hatch, larvae eat the spider from outside in or inside out. Number 16 was identified in 1973 by Barbara York Main, the University of Western Australia arachnologist known as “the spider lady”, part of Main’s trapdoor spider population study in the central wheat-belt of Western Australia. Before Number 16, a 28-year-old captive Mexican tarantula held the title of oldest known spider. Curse you parasitic wasp, RIP Number 16.
It’s impossible to Google death of world’s oldest spider without stumbling upon a plethora of insect peculiarities.
Chris Miller, project manager of the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside, England discovered a lethal virus that turns caterpillars into zombies. Baculovirus affects how caterpillars’ brains react to sunlight and forces them to make a death march towards treetops in the middle of the day. Zombie caterpillars march to the treetops and die. Their bodies liquefy, the virus bursts out of their corpses and drips onto victims below.
Hats off to Nymphister Kronaueri, a new species of beetle identified by Christoph Von Beeren, an ecologist at Germany’s Technische Universitaet Darmstadt while studying army ants with his colleague Daniel Kronauer in the Costa Rica rainforest, spring 2014. Camped in the jungle, watching army ants by lamplight, they noticed ants with double butts. Closer inspection revealed another example of specialized adaptation in the natural world. Evolutionary whimsy decreed army ants wouldn’t notice a stowaway beetle masquerading as an ant ass. Army ants are apex predators, voracious marauders stinging, dismembering and devouring unfortunate spiders, birds, snakes and small animals along the way. Over 300 insect species shadow ant armies feeding on scraps. Science doesn’t know why, but for what must be a very good reason nature insists a piggy-backing ant butt beetle gets first crack at the buffet.