...have a reputation for being a little weird. Not that I've done much to dispel that "myth." Whenever a customer brings in something to be engraved that is at all unusual, I'm asked to come out of my machine cave and offer my suggestions and/or caveats and just plain ol' decide if it is do-able.
Today a guy brought in a life-size brass apple. He seemed pretty cool. It is hollow and he intends to store some cremains in it. I get that kind of thing a lot. We talked about how I'd clamp it in the fixture without damaging it, what he wanted engraved and where, etc... He mentioned having been a machinist years ago, and told tales of some of the challenging jobs he'd done. He also mentioned that the last time he had something engraved it was a Vietnam-era Gerber fighting knife. Those are notorious for being formed of Wicked Hard steel, and he went on to say that the engraver went through 6 diamond bits trying to finish the job.
To the ladies who may be reading, this kind of shop talk is guy-speak for establishing Status (note the capital 'S') among fellow men. It's a guy thing you wouldn't understand. :) Or he could be saying "I know what I'm talking about, so don't quote me some BS rip-off price." Either way, it's all cool.
But then I noticed an itsy-bitsy spider was dangling off his face by its web. It was so small I was tempted to ignore it, but I just couldn't.
"Sorry, but, umm, excuse me. You have a little spider hanging out with you." When he tried to look down and see it, of course the spider just swung around as the guy turned his head, avoiding detection. So I gathered the little guy up and shook him off on the counter.
"Thanks," he says.
I bring my hand down abruptly on the interloper... **splat!!**
"Hey! You shouldn't have done that! Spiders are self-aware! You shouldn't go around killing things that are self aware! Ever see a spider crawling along your floor, and as soon as you look at him, he knows he's being looked at, so he stops and turns to face you??? That means he is self-aware!!"
The smart-butt in me wanted to say "Them thar spiders is smart. They gots, like, radar and stuff!" but managed instead to say "Actually, no. I either whisk them outside or just splat 'em like I just did to this other one."
"Seriously, you shouldn't have done that."
"Well, I sometimes put 'em outside, but when they get all up in my face, well, to me that's a Death Sentence."
"But it was MY face!"
OK, I was really wanting to confront the guy with something like "So, you have a personalized Gerber Death Knife, but killing a spider is supposed to be uncool?" but I managed to stifle it. We got back to business and shop talk, like the whole spider thing never happened.
But now I'm a little worried. This guy seemed really knowledgeable about spider sentience. Have I done some lasting damage? Will the ecosystem recover? Have I now a ton of bad karma? I have this nagging feeling that I've just ruined my entire future. Either that or people from Oregon are just kinda screwy. I could really use some reassurance right about now...