Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Mini-Post: The Visitor

(not for arachnophobes)

So I went to this conference over the weekend, and I definitely want to talk about that, but first I have to tell you about something that happened this morning.  I'm at the pool, right, and I'm swimming, right, and I pull up at the other end of my lane to, I dunno, change fins or something, and there on the lane line is a big creepy bug.

You know what lane lines are, right? They're made up of numerous plastic circles and they stretch across the lane, dividing it from the next lane and breaking up any waves that form, right?  Well, there's this bug, sitting on top of the lane line like he owns it.  Now, I don't like creepy bugs, and I definitely don't want one in the water with me, and it's bound to end up in the water if it's sitting on the lane line.  So I try to get it onto my kickboard so I can flick it away toward the Aquatics Office, where there's a handy drain and some plants and stuff where a creepy bug will probably be fine.

Swim paddle
It will not cooperate. Every time I try to get it onto the kickboard, it goes to hide between two of the plastic circles.  So finally I swim down to the other end of the pool, grab one of my paddles and swim
back.  Aha, now I have a scoop-like thing that I can use to push this guy onto the kickboard.  But he still doesn't want to go.  He crawls down the other side of the lane line.  Then he crawls between two of the plastic circles. Then, finally, he climbs on top of the lane line and cusses me out.

Well, that's what it looks like he's doing, anyway.  He's waving his forelegs and carrying on.  And at this point I lose my temper. I say, "Look.  If you sit here, you're going to get hit by a wave sooner or later, and you're going to end up on the bottom of the pool and you're going to die.  And I don't want you in the water with me, because you might end up on my head or something and then I'll have apoplexy and maybe stroke out.  So if you would please get up on this fucking kickboard, right now, I'll get you out of here and then we'll both be happy.  Okay?"

(This must have been great for my fellow swim team denizens. "Hey, Coach, the fat lady's talking to a lane line.")

Anyway, right after I finish this speech, the creepy bug turns around and climbs right up the kickboard.  Thanking God, I take my swim paddle and flick him toward the Aquatics Office.  He rolls across the floor just like a marble.  And I'm thinking "mission accomplished" and I'm about to get back to what I'm doing when suddenly he explodes.

Well, that's what it looks like, anyway.  Lots of little pieces fly in all directions.  But the pieces are--moving.  And they appear to be running after the creepy bug, which is running down the drain.

And then it hits me.  It's not a bug.  It's a spider.  A big spider.  With babies.  Lots and lots of babies.

I can't see very well with my goggles on, you see.  They're not prescription.

So I can't decide which is creepier.  That there might be thousands of baby spiders crawling all around near the pool, or that spiders can apparently understand English.  I mean, I've heard they're fairly intelligent, figure out mazes in laboratories pretty quick and stuff like that, but mastering communication with big beings like me?  I mean, that's pretty amazing.  And creepy.

And I thought, what about when you're in one of those bad situations that you have absolutely no idea how to fix, and it looks completely hopeless, and suddenly something changes and it all turns out okay?  Is that something like a higher being coaxing us up onto a kickboard so it can flick us and our babies out of harm's way? Because if it is, I'll bet that happens all the time.  Only we're not spiders, so we don't know it.


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