By DARREN HANDSCHUH
I recently read a article by local museum curator Ron Candy in which he talked about spiders.
As any one who has read my past columns knows, I do not like spiders. Actually they scare the snot out of me.
In my teen years, my then-girlfriend thought it would be great fun to throw a rather large and ugly spider at me. I am not ashamed, I admit it, I screamed like a frightened school girl on Halloween night.
I then did the spider dance and was generally creeped out for the rest of the day.
In Ron's column, he talked about how beneficial the little critters are. I have never argued their benefit to the world, I have just demanded their execution on sight.
No trial, no jury and no mercy, just straight to the death chamber commonly known as the bottom of my shoe.
The only good spider is a spider that has been smashed into a unrecognizable pile of goo. Now that's my kind of arachnid.
Ron's column talked about how spiders are revered in some cultures. Let's just say I am not from that culture.
Some cultures eat spiders, and I say go ahead because a dead spider is a good spider, just don't invite me over for dinner.
Some cultures keep spiders as pets. Friends of mine have a teen aged son who has a tarantula as a pet. One day she was talking to my wife and said the tarantula had escaped its enclosure.
My wife asked how many times that had happened.
Slamming my foot to the ground as hard as I could my answer was, “Once.”
And I meant it. If I was at their house and the eight-legged horror was walking across the room they would have one less pet to feed (and a carpet to clean.)
Ron goes on to say Hindus in eastern Bengal collect spiders and let them go at a wedding as a sign of good luck.
Who in the blue hell thinks a small army of spiders crawling all over the place is good luck. I would rather have the wedding guests stick pencils up my nose for luck.
It might be good luck for my wife because she could start our marriage by cashing in my life insurance. If there are 100 people at the wedding and each one of them let even one spider go, that would be it for me. I would see all these little eight-legged nasties running around and I would be out of there so fast the wind from me leaving would knock people over.
But if you think that is bad, Ron goes on to describe another tradition in Egypt where it is common practice to place a spider in the bed of the newly married couple.
OK, hold it. Stop right there. Folks, you have just crossed the line.
Putting a spider in my bed is quite possibly the worst idea I have ever heard. Can you imagine being all in love and happy about the nuptials only to find a bug-eyed monster staring back at you from the honeymoon love lounger?
It would be the shortest honeymoon in the history of honeymoons.
“Honey, why don't you pull the sheets back. I'll be right there.”“Why yes my new wife, that sounds like a great plan.”
“Honey, what was that high-pitched scream? Honey? Honey?”
The next sound would be the door breaking as I ran through it to get out of the room.
Throwing rice and toilet-papering the car is quite enough of a wedding tradition for me thank you.