Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oregon people...

...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.

"No prob."

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...


  1. You are so totally screwed Inno. He was obviously the Spider Master and now he's going to send waves of his arachnoid minions after you. Your only hope now is to find Charlotte and convince her you're

  2. Either that or people from Oregon are just kinda screwy.

    Having spent five years in your Fair State... three in Klamath Falls and about two in North Bend... I'd cast my vote for the above.

    Just sayin'.

  3. I'm with Six. The spiders also have cybernetic implants that allow them to identify you, as well as a GPS fix in your place of work.

  4. You're one of the few sentient people in the whole state, in my opinion.

    BElieve it or not (your choice) I was just pondering sentience in the lower creatures not an hour ago on my drive back from teaching my class!

    May have had something to do with one or two of my students...

    Yep, you're OK.

  5. You might as well call where I live "S"piderland. They got so bad I had a guy come in and spray the little bastards. That was August and the spray has worn off and now the little "Aware" dears are coming in out of the cold. Ah, put the spider in the apple, that will make the guy feel better.

  6. My neck of the woods is known for a little fella called the Hobo spider.

    I've been bitten thrice. These are not nice bites. The venom kills the flesh around the bite, and it takes weeks to heal.

    I'm a fan of my outdoor garden spiders. That they can build such beautiful webs has always attracted me.

    Spiders indoors? Squish. Outdoors? Ooh!

  7. You have disturbed the Spider Force. Expect retribution you war-loving Human!!!!!

    Oh, and next time tell the idiot you kill spiders for fun. It would be nice to watch him twitch.

  8. You can't make this stuff up.

    Having been raised and schooled in all things lore by a Southern Mama, I can assure you that you did no harm. It was just a common spider, right? Not a Grandaddy Longlegs?

    If it was a Grandaddy Longlegs, you are not permitted to kill it indoors. Killing one indoors is bad luck -- you must grab him by one of those legs and escort him outdoors where you release him. Like you would do for a cricket.

    Or you can just pull off most of his legs and watch him bounce around. Kind of like tying one end of a string to a June Bug's leg and the other to a bedpost to watch him flying around in circles.

    Hmmm. I think Andy's right. Oregon hasn't cornered the market on screwy.

    Go with Odie's advice -- hang onto the spider corpse and put it in the apple.


Family-friendly phrasing heartily encouraged.

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