Thursday, June 28, 2007

Spiders, fish, and pussy

I'd venture to proclaim that most people are unaware that spiders moult. But they all do, leaving behind exuviae as they do. I have often seen an exuvia in a cupboard or something, and wrongly assumed that I was looking at a dead and dessicated spider corpse, when actually what I was looking at is more akin to a pupa from which a lovely butterfly has flown. Or summat.

Most of the spiders that we have in the UK don't leave very exciting exuviae behind. Tarantula spiders, on the other hand, oh boy, theirs are something else. As I'm sure this picture ably demonstrates.

You might be wondering why all this talk of spiders, and is it just an excuse to put a photo on my blog that might give some visitors the willies. I have to confess, I have recently been trying to get my hands on some tarantula exuviae, but having failed in that endeavour, I've decided to come clean about what I was planning to do. But not entirely.

There is a magic effect that I used to do, and have been thinking of re-introducing to my act. Without giving too much away, at an unexpected moment, the chap for whom I am performing the effect (I almost always pick a man for this, for various reasons) suddenly finds himself with a spider on him. Except it's plastic, and not very convincing. How much better, thought I, if I were to replace it with a tarantula exuvia. Much more effective. But there are none to be had for love nor money. I've tried pet shops. I've tried GumTree. I've tried contacting tarantula enthusiasts directly. No joy. So I'm sharing it here as a story of what might have been.

That brings me to another foray into the world of pets: fish. I bought a goldfish yesterday, and over the next few weeks, we'll be rehearsing a goldfish production effect together. In theory, there's no reason why I couldn't leave every table at a function with their own goldfish. Nice touch. Anyway, I'll be trying it out for the first time properly this weekend, and if it flies (perhaps "swims" would be more appropriate), then it's a big green light to The Goldfish Trick.

And finally, the third of the creatures mentioned in the subject of this blog entry, which is neither a reference to cats, nor to ladybits, but rather to me. When did I become such a big pussy? I remember as a child I would happily get dirty, eat sweets that had fallen on the ground, and so on and so on. I'm usually not too bad for the whole excessive hygiene thing. Sensible, but not absurd. However, I find myself really paranoid about getting any sort of contamination from the little fishy. So, when I change its water, I've been making sure the sink is disinfected before anything else goes near it. I've been rigorously scrubbing my hands after feeding the wee thing, or if the smallest part of my finger should even touch its water. What on earth is all that about? It's a bloody goldfish! It's not going to kill me. Yet somehow, somewhere along the line, I've become much more paranoid about interacting with a little bit of wildlife. This is despite having spent some quality time within the last few years fishing for snapper, and wading into a river to catch koura (fresh water crayfish), and then eating them. it makes no sense.

7 comments:

Tickersoid said...

That's it, thin end of the wedge, mate.
It won't be long before you'll confine yourself to one sterile room. Filling bottles with urin, remaining unshaven and only touching things with a fresh tissue.

I'm not helping am I?

CyberPete said...

I used to have a fish tank and I was the same way. The fish food smells just awful, that could be a reason why, and all those chemicals/vitamin drops. You never know what's in it. Ewww.

It looks pretty though, I wish I had room for it now, I miss my fish.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

So, how on earth would you feel about handling tarantula exuvia?!

Nick said...

Presumably you could only do the tarantula trick once with each exuviae? Because if I looked down and saw a freakin' great big spider on me, I'd be jumping up and down on it until there was nothing left...

Da Nator said...

Yes, and are the exuviae strong? Because I'd imagine they'd break easily, especially if flung with startled force.

So, if you leave a goldfish on each table, do you then go around and gather them up at the end?

As for washing after the goldfish - probably better safe that sorry, anyway. Although they may not carry salmonella, like most turtles do, they do poo a lot. And that food does smell awful...

First Nations said...

fishie probably has more to fear from you, germ wise.

not that you are excessively germy, just that fishies are excessively susceptable.

*pulls bag over head anyway*

Brian Sibley said...

Just remember, as I told you on my blog the other day.... Sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU through twice while washing your hands and you will be germ free - teach the goldfish to do likewise and your worries are at an end!

(Lovely word verificationtoday: 'teepudie'! I'm sure I recall that coming up on CALL MY BLUFF!)