And so the spiders spoke and they said, “Have mercy on us”

Dear Loyal Blog Reader,

And so it came to pass that yesterday I came across a giant daddy long legs on the bathroom wall while washing my hands. I normally kill spiders without discrimination; daddy and mommy spiders, grandma spiders, spiders who have just sprung forth from their mommy’s womb (translation: egg sac), as well as anything that looks like a spider, such as ants, centipedes, ladybugs, butterflies, hamsters, puppies, and small children.

But as it came to pass that I faced off with this daddy long legs (to be henceforth referred to as DLL, or Dell, but not the computer), it came to me the fond memory of a fairy tale that I read as a small child (who looked like a spider) and the story went a little something like this: “Daddy long legs prey on small insects and also scavenge dead or dying insects.” (Fairy tale or webpage: You Decide.) Recognizing that Dell was actually my partner in crime by killing off other, smaller, weaker insects in a fine show of evolutionary brilliance (Dell is so superior to other arachnids he in fact had NINE legs), I decided to spare Dell’s life. I went and collected a small tupperware container from my kitchen cupboard and returned to the bathroom to place my good friend Dell in the container. Dell didn’t go willingly, and as I coaxed him with words of encouragement, “Stop fighting me….I’m not going to hurt you….we’re a team, you and I…..&*%…@#$%&&…AAAAGGGHH….@#$*%%”) I had no idea that Dell, being a spider, has no ears, and that while he hears with very tiny hairs on his legs that allowed him to localize to the soothing sound of my voice, he may not be familiar with the English language or the soothing words which I spoke.

Much like a small child, Dell did not know what was good for him, and much like a parent, I forced him into the small tupperware container anyway. (What?? Your parents didn’t force you into small containers as a child?? Huh….) We walked together, Dell and I, to the backyard, where I courageously removed the container’s lid and courageously flung Dell spiraling into the yard, where he could continue his important life of preying on small insects. (Did I mention how courageous this act was?)

While saving Dell from myself (after all, had I not saved him, I would have inevitably flushed him), I was happy to have rescued the life of something that was equivalent to myself in value and importance . (I know what you’re thinking, “Troi is as VALUABLE as an arachnid?? How does she know for certain?!”) Well, Loyal Blog Reader, in fact God does point out in the Bible that “Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it” (Matthew 10:29, New Living Translation). I have often translated this verse as follows: “Not even an arachnid, worth only the small insects he eats, can be flung into the yard without your Father knowing it.” God then continues on to say, “So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:30, NIV). I have often translated this verse to mean, “So don’t be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows, or equal in worth to one arachnid.” You see? God loves us both.

However, after reveling in the glory of Dell’s new chance at life, I found a website that stated the following and experienced considerable distress. “The venom of the daddy long legs is one of the most poisonous.” Luckily, upon further investigation I learned that this is likely an urban legend. Although their venom may be poisonous, the fangs of daddy long legs such as Dell are too small to penetrate the skin, rendering them mostly innocuous to humans. The venom of daddy long legs has never been scientifically tested on mammals, although Wikipedia helpfully points out that testing this legend would involve the simple process of milking the spiders and injecting the venom into humans. (I just milked Dell and I’m just waiting for a human subject to step up and let me inject his venom into you….any takers??) At any rate, those of us who are of the paranoid persuasion (me) hate to take any chances with anything that contains venom, unless its name is Tobey Maguire. For the safety of the paranoid, the neurotic, and even the normal, I have developed the following motto when it comes to protecting yourself from arachnids, “When in doubt, or in a rush, save yourself, just flush flush flush.”

–Troi out

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