Recently, one of my friends put this on her Facebook status; ‘why are spiders so big?’ Indeed, why are they so big and why did the Almighty allow them to get so big? My friend had encountered a large spider in her home and was prevailing on her husband to remove it. Various comments followed on Facebook, some telling her to grow up and some hoping that the offending creature be put to death immediately if not sooner. In fact my friend’s husband commented later that the offending spider was really a plastic toy one, not that I believe him because the simple truth is that I, a grown man, really hate spiders.
I’ve always rather liked Spiderman though; in fact Spiderman is my very favourite super hero, partly because he’s so different from other super heroes. He’s young, nerdy, full of teenage angst (whatever that is) and as well as being a superhero he has to deal with a lot of stuff teenage people deal with, spots, acne, girls and so on. Peter Parker, as you may know, was bitten by a radioactive spider which gave him his incredible powers. If I was Peter Parker though, a radioactive spider would have got nowhere near me because (1) I would have splattered it immediately it came within range or else (2) my screams would have made it scuttle off pretty quickly!
James Bond has always been one of my favourite fictional characters. I read all the books as a teenager and once spent a hot afternoon in Manchester in an Oxford Road cinema watching a double bill of Goldfinger and From Russia with love. Bond has been in some pretty tight spots too, you may remember him strapped to a table and being threatened with a laser beam, then there was the time in Live and let Die when they left him on a little island surrounded by alligators. Remember when he was in a shark filled pool in You Only Live Twice? All pretty scary stuff but the scariest ever was in Doctor No when he wakes up, switches on the light and finds a massive saucer sized spider crawling over him. Luckily, as a double O agent he is licensed to kill and clearly this includes spiders as not long afterwards the spider met it’s just end.
The other day at work, I was having my morning ablutions in the comfortable surroundings of our disabled toilet, when a spider the size of a house, a mutant gargantuan spider limbo danced under the door and headed straight towards me. Now you may not know this but like Gandhi, I subscribe to the ancient tenets of Ahimsa, the culture of non-violence and also in recent years I have gravitated towards the Buddhist faith. Buddhism is a religion that is at peace with all mankind, a religion of respect and understanding. It also embraces the belief in Karma, the universal force which ensures that you will be paid back in equal measures for your kindness and also for your wicked deeds. Now, the thing is this, I may have to go out and find some old ladies to help across the road or donate a large portion of my earnings to charity because, well, perhaps you’ve guessed already:
As that spider came hurtling at me I didn’t think for a moment of Gandhi, Buddhism or Ahimsa. I just did what any right minded individual would have done: I put out my foot and squashed that spider!
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