May 27 2009

Spinster aunt has an appointment in town, so this is all the post you get

Brown recluse spider
Venomous sicariid (male) enjoying its last heartwarming moments in the Spinster Araneae Compound. May 2009.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said Tuesday that North Korea is “trying to test whether they can intimidate the international community” with an underground nuclear test and launching of short-range missiles.

Well, color me intimidated, Susan. Whenever crazy dictators start blowing up Hiroshima-class nukes just for the hell of it, it is a matter of policy with me to take to my bed with a wedge of triple cream Brie and pull the blanket up over my quavering lobe. That is, after I inventory the household stores of life-saving duct-tape, plastic sheeting, and flame-thrower fuel.

Also intimidating is the long, dead arm of justice in California. Little can be added to the discourse condemning the heterocentric hate now carved in the California state constitution, but I’ll say this: Repellent hatebags voted in that anti-gay initiative, and repellent authority figure hatebags upheld it. Well, what goes around comes around, Repellent Californian Hatebags. Sooner or later your bags will pop like fermented bottles of Odwalla Superfood, and you will die of something, but not before your kid comes out in a big pile of rainbow bumperstickers, birkenstocks, and mustachioed girlfriends who are all going to Michigan together in a Subaru.

Meanwhile, here’s hoping a family of brown recluse spiders moves into your liquor cabinets. Fucking knobs.


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  1. PandanCat

    Good lard, call the exterminators! That spider is terrifying. Sent a serious chill down my spine. Now I’m going to have nightmares.

  2. Pulsar

    All I have to say is fuck Focus on the Family and Knights of Columbus and all the other sponsors/creators of Prop 8, this is seriously Dark Ages 2.0 (or rather just another extension of Dark Ages 1.0).

  3. BadKitty

    If you’re bored and like to freak yourself out after you’ve been bitten by a spider (any spider will do – it doesn’t have to be a brown recluse if you have a good imagination), I recommend doing a search on “Brown Recluse Spider bites”. The resulting stories and photos are enough to cause nightmares and a raving case of arachnophobia. I made that mistake last summer after a wicked bite that left a wound that remained for months afterwards. It made me want to take a flame thrower to the garden.

  4. angryyoungwoman

    Great photo! I used to get tons of brown recluses in my former apartment. Those little devils are ugly–and fast! My best friend got a brown recluse bite–terrifying to see.

    Here’s to the hope prop 8 is overturned in the next election! If anything, we are more united and more organized now.

  5. Hattie

    And it came to pass…
    Revenge is taking place.

  6. PhysioProf

    You killed the fucker? How heartwarming!

  7. Pulsar

    Probably what pissed me off the most about the Prop 8 campaign was their doublethink “We don’t hate gay people!” attitude. That such a huge portion of the population could vote yes on 8 and convince themselves of this is terrifying.

  8. Sycorax


    I’m all for heartwarming nature crap, but can those of us with actual honest-to-dog phobias get a trigger warning or a cut or something?


  9. Spiders

    Ya call that a spider??

  10. Dicey Venison

    Well put, Twisty.
    As the bumper-sticker saying goes:

    “May the fetus you save grow up to be gay.”

  11. Larkspur

    Brown recluse spiders. Oh crap. I think I may have to withdraw my application for El Rancho House-Boi position.

    One time while I was house-sitting here in northern California, I was sleeping in the guest house and I got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Sometimes I don’t even turn on the overhead light, because there is enough ambient light. But this time I did, thank you jeebus, because there was a scorpion on the floor in front of the toilet.

    Scorpions are not unheard of in these parts, but for the 30-some years I’ve been here, scorpions have been unseen-of by moi. And yet, still not as scary as brown recluses. No one believes that I saw the scorpion, though. I should have captured it as evidence, but all I could think of to do was sweep it up with paper towel and flush it. Then I had to worry for the rest of the night that maybe as it died, it sent out the universal scorpion death and vengeance scream, and that an army was approaching.

  12. The Menstruator

    mostly off topic. the spider reminded me of my favorite ant… the Mycocepurus smithii. no males. only females.
    seriously. no lie. i’m jealous of an ant.
    They have no males. NO MEN. No shirtless ants to make me vomit. I want to be an ant!!!!

  13. sonia

    hopefully the saved fetuses grow up and dismantle systems of power.

    seriously? I think that Prop 8 would never have passed 5 years ago. the politics of this state have changed for such the worse. I don’t know where all these fuckwads in MDXs came from, but I wish they’d go back so we can smoke weed, eat tofu, and screw people of the same sex in peace.

    and why is there a Brooks Brothers five miles from my house now?

    I apologize for California.

  14. sonia

    sorry for saying screw on your awesome feminist blog, Twisty.

  15. PandanCat

    I’m with Sycorax. I don’t think I can handle seeing that spider a third time.

    The first dream I remember is the one that gave me a fear of spiders. I was smooshing my nose up against a huge plexiglass tank full of spiders and scorpions. All of a sudden, it started to shake and the top burst open and a geyser of creepy-crawlies rained to earth.

    I’m sure the patriarchy is somehow to blame, though I’m not quite sure how.

    (Oh, and I referred to the women’s office as the Savage Death Island today. Now I think I really do need a sign.)

  16. Julia/Joolya

    I had a spider on my bed this morning, but not as exciting a specimen as this.

    Heads up for blamers: Zuska over at ScienceBlogs is doing an in-depth post series on “The Gender Knot” – first stop, “What is patriarchy?” http://scienceblogs.com/thusspakezuska/2009/05/the_gender_knot_ch_1_discussio.php

  17. Vinaigrette Girl

    Re prop 8 some commentators in teh blogospehere are reading the judgement and observing that what it actually says is that it isn’t the legal family entity which is in fact denied by prop 8, but the specific label of “marriage”, so it could be called “marridge” and be everything else a “marriage” is, but between same-sex people. The point being that now the rights to everything a marriage entails still pertain to same-sex unions, by 7-0 majority, bar the label, and that it won’t take that long to changethat.

    Looking at the details, I think the supporters of prop 8 won a phony battle and have utterly, legally, lost the war. They just don’t know it yet.

  18. speedbudget

    It’s amazing that in 2009 we are justifying separate but equal.

  19. MLH

    Well, I am happy to report that in Spain (where I am from) same-sex marriage is legal. Unfortunately, the patriarchy is alive and well over there, too. Must work on that…

  20. Lindsey

    “It’s amazing that in 2009 we are justifying separate but equal”

    Speedbucket I agree, and it totally riles me that here in the UK it’s called “civil partnership” and that they banned het couples from doing it so that the division couldn’t be undermined.

  21. Ron Sullivan

    Don’t fret, Larkspur; we do have scorpions here but after lots and lots of carrying-on it’s pretty sure we don’t have brown recluse spiders. We do have, oh, assassin bugs (who, like spiders, are on our side if we’re gardeners, but who pack a painful bite) and various other spiders ditto bites, and interesting microorganisms that can infect any old little wound from splinters or rosethorns or what have you and eat your flesssssssh.

    And we have the state supreme court and, scarier yet, all those voters. I’ll hang out with the spiders, thanks.

  22. ambivalent academic

    They have no males. NO MEN. No shirtless ants to make me vomit. I want to be an ant!!!!

    Yeah, but the trouble with ants is that their whole colony operates on an extremely rigid hierarchical social structure in which some classes are placed above the others in terms of value, and receive disproportionate benefits as a direct out come of this power differential. Sounds familiar, though in the case of female-only ant species, the matriarchy takes the place of the patriarchy as we all know and blame it. It is truly lobe-blowing.

  23. Digger

    What Speedbudget said.

  24. Amber de Katt

    Sooner or later your bags will pop like fermented bottles of Odwalla Superfood

    I had that happen, sort of, once. First, for those who have never seen or drunk the stuff, Odwalla Superfood is a thick, slightly viscous beverage made from various fruit juices and purees (including banana), and contains open-cell chlorella and other green plant-derived ingredients. It’s tasty, but it looks just like a bottle of liquid pond scum.

    I had a bottle at my desk at work… it had been kept cool after I bought it at the store and later on the way to work, and quickly refrigerated at home and then at work, so I wasn’t expecting what happened.

    It ~didn’t~ explode.

    Instead, when I’d just barely twisted the cap to open it, the contents promptly and energetically geysered. All over me and all over my desk. And all the various work-related appliances on my desk.

    Ever see the “Mentos into a bottle of Diet Coke” video? Picture that. Except… did I mention this stuff looks like pond scum?

    Fully half the bottle geysered out. After I hosed myself off and mopped up my cubie as best as I could under the circumstances, I tasted the remainder after sniffing it first (since I was covered in the stuff, that wasn’t difficult)… it tasted just fine, just like normal, except it was fizzy.

    I called Odwalla the next day to say “Hey WTF d00d?”, and the gentleman who took my call said it sounded like the bottle had partially fermented somewhere in transit, but not enough to acually spoil the beverage — just enough to impart carbonation. They sent me a coupon for a free replacement.

    I’m always very careful about opening bottles of Odwalla Superfood, now.

  25. Sandi LeoDog

    Twisty, no kidding; I found the most amazing Triple Creme Brie at the local ‘Wegman’s’, made with goat’s milk. It was the best brie I’ve ever had. And that’s saying a lot. Because I am a cheese slut. Big time. Cheese is the only reason that I am not a Vegan. And for the record, I am totally against nuclear anything.

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