Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Tarantulas are not a normal part of most people’s day. I do not have a normal life. As such I’ve been forced to deal with palm sized arachnids for the last 20 months. I’ve developed what I would like to call The Five Stages of Arachnid Cohabitation.
Stage 1: Discovery and Absolute Horror
There were about six blissful weeks when I first moved to Chisec when I saw no tarantulas. Sure, there were other large spiders but nothing as grotesque as a real live tarantula. Then, one day, I was cooking in the kitchen. I keep my spice jars in a basket next to the stove and I reached into the basket to get some curry powder. As my fingertips grazed the prickly fibers I panicked. Potatoes and chicken went flying as I accidentally knocked the frying pan off the stove and watched as my houseguest ran for cover behind the kitchen table. I was in shock. Had I really seen a tarantula? Was this some sort of nightmare? Was John Goodman going to come busting in through my door to save me? No. This was real. Goodman wasn’t coming and I had to take care of the spider myself.
Stage 2: Minor Fascination
After the initial shock wore off I developed a bit of a minor fascination with the tarantulas. I never went so far as to touch them, but after trapping one in the kitchen and escorting him outside with the broom I took some really cool pictures. Despite being creepy, they’re actually really interesting creatures. I Goggled tarantulas in Central America and it appears as though my new roommate is not in fact poisonous.
Stage 3: Acceptance
I actually came to accept that tarantulas were a part of my life in Chisec and while always a bit annoyed by their presence I usually just swept them outside or used the broom handle to scare them back into their hiding spots in the eaves of my house.
Stage 4: Surprise Attack
Only after I’d been lulled into a false sense of security did the tarantulas launch their full-scale attack on me. My brother Alex came to visit and we were packing to head up to the Tikal ruins. I dug up my running shoes and as I was about to put my foot in I noticed a rather large spider web in the shoe. A tarantula had moved in. I panicked; drop kicked the shoe outside and yelled for my brother. Alex spent the next ten minutes trying to get the tarantula out of my shoe. It’d hidden himself deep in the toe of the shoe and efforts to beat it out weren’t working. Alex suggested just squishing it in there but I didn’t want to ruin my shoes. I ended up taking my hiking boots (after a thorough inspection) up on the trip rather than the running shoes.
The story doesn’t end there though. The little shit managed to ruin my shoe and my week even after he was gone. A few days after I came home I put my running shoes on to work out. I checked my shoes thoroughly for spiders and hesitantly put them on. I thought I was good, but shortly after my work out my foot began to itch like crazy. Turns out tarantulas shed their hairs when they are frightened and the beating we had given it had turned the inside of my shoe into a formidable spider hairball. The rash on my foot took over a week to go away.
Stage 5: Mission to Kill
As my rash faded away, my anger bubbled up inside of me. I was on a mission to brutally kill every tarantula I faced. I’d had to throw out my shoes since there was no way of removing the hairs. One evening I caught a tarantula strolling across my kitchen floor. I trapped it under the colander that I use as a sort of tarantula jail and put him outside while I took a shower and contemplated how to destroy the creature. I have no idea if this was the same tarantula that ruined my shoe but in my blind rage all tarantulas were guilty of causing the evil rash on my foot
While in the shower I kind of chickened out. What if he could shoot his hairs at me and they stung my eyeballs and blinded me? Was this a smart idea to launch an attack on the spider on his home turf, two hours from the nearest hospital? I planned to release the spider but Peluche, the dog, had a better idea. While I’d been showering he’d discovered the tarantula underneath the colander outside. Best. Toy. Ever. The dog proceeded to scoot the colander around the porch trying to get the tarantula out and when he finally knocked it over and the tarantula went running for the bushes Peluche hunted him down. For the next hour he mercilessly tossed the arachnid up and down in the air and pawed at it as it tried to run away. In short, he mauled the spider to death. Peluche is now my favorite animal. Sorry Sasha.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
My mom called me yesterday from the airport in San Diego, she and my dad have been down there attending the APA conference. Anyhow she told me that she felt just like me then went on to describe how she hadn’t changed her clothes in several days, she was stuck wearing flip flops because she couldn’t find shoes, she needed a pedicure so badly she was embarrassed to face the Vietnamese girls at For Your Nails and that her hair was so frizzy she looked like she'd gone back to her student days at Berkeley. At first I was kind of insulted, although assaults on my general state of cleanliness are nothing new, she used to tell me I looked like a homeless person when id come home from college with baskets of dirty laundry wearing sweats and old tie-dyed t-shirts. Then I took a look at myself and decided, shes probably right. Most of my clothes smell like mold, I’ve developed a bad case of what we refer to as “country foot” and I can’t find my razor so I haven’t shaved my legs in a month. Heres a good visual comparison…
Hurley from Lost /Me
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Amusing/Funny/Unusual Things that I’ve Seen Animals Do In Guatemala
1. I was sitting on the bus the other day and I looked out the window and there was a pig, a really big pig, like 20 pounds of bacon worth, chasing a duck across a soccer field.
2. Walking into town one day there was this stray dog passed out on the side of the road and sitting on top of him was a duck.
3. This one never fails to amuse me. Entire truckloads of Guatemalans will erupt into laughter when they see this. So when dogs have doggie sex, sometimes they get stuck together, and when the male dog tries to dismount he usually ends up spinning around so they are stuck together, ass to ass. Then, if they are in the middle of the street and a car is approaching they try to run away but they’re headed in opposite directions so they don’t get anywhere. It may be one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.