Monday, February 01, 2010

eating my curds and whey

Several bloggers have noted that they are currently suffering from various ailments. 

I joined the ranks this weekend.  But mine is not strep.  Or swine flu. Or dengue.  I seem to merely have a head cold that is slowly settling into a game of Pong between the two sides of my head.

So, I decided to spend the day at home.  To rest.  To read.  To drink lots of liquid and Nyquil.

On my first drug-stupored trip to the hammock, I nearly stepped on a leaf on the patio.  Why it caught my eye, I am not certain.  We have had enough breezes lately that a leaf on the patio would hardly be an eye-catcher.

But then I saw why.  There were no breezes.  But it was moving.  Not fast.  Just deliberately.

When I took a closer look, I knew what it was immediately: what is often called a whip spider or tailless scorpion.

It is not a spider or a scorpion.  But it is an arachnid.  Cousins.  If it lived in West Virginia, it would be required to marry a spider or a scorpion.

They are fascinating creatures. 
Other arachnids have eight legs.  So do these lovely guys.  But two of their legs have been modified to become long sensory feelers -- about twice the length of their body.  Quite handy (or leg-y) for these nocturnal animals.

But God played a terrible practical joke on them.

They look ferocious.  In fact, if you ask most local gardeners or maids, they will tell you that they are the most deadly spider in Mexico.  You will die within steps after being bitten.

There is one big problem with that fearsome warning.  It is pure malarkey.  It not only lacks a stinging tail; it lacks fangs.  No venom.  The result: Gandhi in Mike Tyson's body.

As a result, most are killed on sight.  Every year on the local meassage board, someone will post a picture of the "poisonous" spider they have massacred with their size 11 just before it put a deadly lip lock on Cookie or Buttons.  Left to their own devices, Cookie or Buttons would have eaten the thing and no one would be the wiser.

So, having made Mexico a bit safer for -- hey, I never did tell you the proper name, did I? -- each amblypygid, I will sneak back to my hammock and try to see which side of my head is winning. 

The score was Dexter: 3; Sinister: 2 when I came in to draft this post.

And who says Nyquil has no healing powers?


Chrissy y Keith said...

Good for you Steve. I have tried to tell people the same thing about these harmless critters. Although I dont like them in my house, I just show them outdoors to do their thing.

Darrel said...

What a great picture. If Christy or Mom had seen it before you there wouldn’t have been much to photograph. So, are you going to put a leash on it and take it for walks on the beach?

Anonymous said...

I have seen women in San Miguel wear stuff like that as jewelry. P

Anonymous said...

wow-that really is a very interesting looking arachnid! i'd never seen one before.

hope you feel better soon. i couldn't work today because of a terrible cold. i didn't want to give it to a bunch of little first graders so i cancelled my job.

have a good week!


Anonymous said...


The arachnid is dangerous not because of its venom, but, rather, because of its ability to suck all of one's breath out while one sleeps in a hammock.

Even if the creature does not kill its intended victim through hypoxia, it can cause severe brain damage, leading to various kinds of aphasia, grandiose ideation, hyper-preoccupation with highly idiosyncratic imaginings, and recurrent twitterpation.

In short, old love, it's not the Nyquil you're experiencing.

A. N. M.

- Mexican Trailrunner said...

Gandhi in Mike Tyson's body. . .
Oooo, great line!
Get well soon.
BTW, ANM is right! The most common cause of death from this critter is cerebral necrotizing fascitis. Of course, the recurrent twitterpation will probably kill you first.

Steve Cotton said...

Chrissy -- They certainly can be startling. My last maid killed every last one she found.

Darrel -- You are correct. I would have been photographing a damp spot on the tile.

Richand -- I suspect if an SMA women were to wear something similar here, she would run the risk of a dislocated shoulder when the well-meaning sandal flattened her "pet."

Teresa -- It sounds as if we are both suffering from the cold bug.

ANM -- I fear you have been dipping into the Aristotle again.

Mexican Trailrunner -- Thanks. I must admit, I liked it enough to chuckle when I wrote it.