Thursday, July 15, 2010

Spider, spider on the wall…

For about a week, a large Daddy Long-Legs spider had staked out a spot on our bathroom wall and was there every day for most of the day. Richard decided we needed to put a 6-inch ruler next to it for scale. So we did, and I was amused when it moved one of its legs to investigate.

I am not sure what it was up to, but we left it alone, mainly because anything that might be willing to feast on cockroaches is welcome in our house. At the moment, the cockroach invasion that began early in the Spring has been quashed, but there are so many of them outside that seem determined to come inside that we must be ever vigilant.

Some time ago there was a report on NPR about a company that makes over-the-counter pesticides for consumers to use in their homes. The company found that when they tried to market their brand of pesticide to eliminate cockroaches and ants in Minnesota, they were forced to redesign the package to emphasize the product’s ability to eliminate ants and downplay that it was also for cockroaches. Apparently in Minnesota, it is OK to have ants, the fact that someone needs a product to eliminate cockroaches is an embarrassment and people were not buying the product.

I once watched a blue-tailed skink scurry across our porch to gobble up a cockroach that was heading for the house, but it is not practical to invite blue-tailed skinks to come in the house.

I am not entirely sure how good of a cockroach catcher the Daddy Long-legs spider would be. One summer several years ago I was sitting on the couch with a bowl of whole cherries (a sister-in-law once sent me a delightful card that said “life is just a chair of bowlies”) my beloved had brought me from the store, and I was spitting the pits into an old pie tin next to me on the couch. All of a sudden, a Daddy Long-leg appeared over the edge of the cushion, walked across my lap, and headed straight for the pie tin. It looked to me like it was eating the bits of cherry left on the pits. I was dumbfounded.

And on an entirely different matter, when I was mulling over the title this post, I began reflecting back on my childhood, growing up in the 50s and being taken to see the full-length Walt Disney cartoons. Many of them had seriously sad and scary parts before the happy ending. Remember the dragon in Sleeping Beauty? Do I need to bring up what happened to poor little Dumbo? And Bambi? And the horrible witch in Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs  with her “Mirror, mirror, on the wall….?”

Were we somehow damaged by seeing these cartoons? Or was it actually a good thing that some of these cartoons had really sad and scary things in them? I dunno.

We saw Despicable Me last weekend, and no, it wasn’t exactly up to Pixar standards, but it was cute, it was funny, and we laughed and laughed, and had a good time. The theater was quite full of parents and grandparents and their children. There was a bit of suspense in the cartoon, but I don’t think anyone was scared. And I think it was a good thing.

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