The title of the new Samuel L Jackson movie… Keeping with the recent animal-theme, here’s a little story from today.
As we know the Tube is home to several species of animals. Some are harmless like mice and rats, and some are not so much.
This little story is about a spider. It’s nothing monumental, really, so most likely you will be disappointed at the end of it.
I was standing on the Tube, reading my ebook reader (Quo Vadis, if interested*), when I noticed a tiny spider, no bigger than a pinhead, walking about on my sleeve. It had a nice, white body with some sort of a pattern, and tiny brown legs. Since I was underground I did not brush it off; thought I’d wait until I get off.
Suddenly a woman next to me jerked away from me eyes wide, and telling me on an alarmed tone that I have a spider on my coat. From her reaction I thought it was a mutant huntsmen, but no, she spotted the tiny dude.
I smiled at her and told her I knew, but what am I to do? Don’t want to kill it, after all. Some other people joined into the conversation, but you could just see the horror in that woman’s eyes. She actually tried to move away from the vicinity of the scary beast, but the carriage was packed. I carefully transferred the spider onto my ebook reader, and closed the cover- I hoped that in the dark the spider would calm down and stop moving. I put it in my bag, and the story ended for most parties concerned. It turned out the spider did stay put in the dark; it was still in the reader when I got it out in the office. (There is a gap between the cover and the screen; it was unhurt, if you’re curious.) I transferred it to a plant, and our story finally concluded.
I shared this story because of the unlikely reaction of that poor woman. People who know me know that I hate spiders; but at this size even I can’t be bothered to be scared of it. Apparently, not everyone can.
*Only added this detail to show off my literary sophistication, obviously
I’m turning into Grizzly Adams. Normally I wear a “cultivated stubble”, but lately facial hair got out of control. I got to the stage where I need to decide if I go with the Grizzly Adams, the full beard, the lubersexual or the Bandholz.
This is not a deliberate decision on my part, or a sign of an early mid-life crisis. We just moved, and my wife unpacked my trimmer. We spent a weekend trying to find it, but not to avail. And while I’m waiting for the replacement to arrive I feel more and more like a lost Viking than your regular civil servant.
I had a really gross discovery in the glass pot we keep the table salt. On the bottom a black, shrivelled body of a snail was hiding.
I’m not sure if it had an existential crisis and crawled all the way across the kitchen into the salt-pot to end it all, or it was just an exceptionally stupid snail, but what the actual hell… Just why?
At least it made cutting back on calories easy on that day.
This happened way back in the winter of 2012 when I was typing up my PhD thesis at home during the Christmas break.
I was sitting in the kitchen by my computer on a Saturday morning, when my mother came in, with the groceries and a brand new broom she bought on the market.
I looked up briefly, and said: “I thought you took the car to the market”, and went back to typing.
There was a brief, stunned silence, then about twenty minutes of laughter.
So in the last post I mentioned my phone… I feel like I really need to add a short addendum. I did mention I did not like the phone, as it was not a very good one; well, one of the major issues is that a finger-width band on the screen is unresponsive. So I’ve got all this awesome computing power, a CPU with multiple cores, and no way to run games (the only things that actually use this power on a phone), since you need the full screen normally to interact with the software.
But it gets worse. I was on a job interview yesterday, and when I tried to unlock the screen afterwards I realized I cannot. There’s a character “1” in my pin; and since it happens to be placed in the area of that particular strip, I could not actually enter my pin. It used to work -the area was not completely unresponsive- but now it became absolutely impossible. It was maddening and ridiculous at the same time. So that’s it: I’ve got a phone I cannot get into unless I have the screen replaced.
No, not that kind. (We can talk about it, too, if you want to.)
I had to reboot my phone the other day, and for that I needed to remove the battery; so the phone came out of its hard protective shell which made it look like a big, flat, rubber brick.
I just realized how nice it actually looks. Designers poured countless hours to make it look aesthetically pleasing, from the brushed metal surface to the curved lines on the side, and then to make sure it does not get damaged should I dropped it onto some concrete walkway, I hide it all in layers of plastic and rubber. (By the way the phone is bad; I’m never going to get another LG again. But it does look good.) It was like having a brand new phone, so I did not put it back to the protective case. At least not yet.
Anyhow, this lead me thinking about the whole issue of protection and function. We use protective cases, protective mats for sofas, carpets and chairs; essentially disfiguring these items in order to make sure they stay beautiful (or at least whole).
Just look at this thing.
You spend two grands on a leather sofa, and then cover it to make sure it does not get damaged. The fact you have a beautiful leather sofa can only be deducted from the presence of the protector, but now, what you have, objectively looking, is a butt-ugly sofa in the end.
We are weird.
In case you ran out of ideas for obscure sports to follow…
I give you the International Jousting Association.
(And the worst part? I thought of the idea as a joke, and it seems like it does exist. Apparently it’s difficult to think of new things, no matter how surreal and bizarre they are.)