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02 May, 2011

Arach Attack

Yesterday I got all hysterical about the turkey, who may or may not represent an imminent threat, but remains potential only. The kinetic threat at the procession was the giant spider, followed by acolytes who held aloft it's immense web bedorned with coccooned husks of her victims. 

Emitting a complex rhythmic-click pattern, the arachnid stunned the crowd into dumbitude while its bevy of eyes scanned the crowd for the best morsel. Only the robot was immune (sensors on a different frequency, armored hydraulics) but alas, it had no empathy chip. So it also just stood there, trying desperately to fit in, wishing people would hurry up and forget the whole Iron Man revival so expectations of the metal clans could get back to normal.

No arachnophobia. Even when there appeared on the horizon, like the mainsail of the ship of doom, the web. (The Greek word for which (arakhne) is the origin of the word for spider.) ("Which came first, the spider or the egg" "Neither, it was the web.") No, people just stood there as the arthropod culled the crowd of obese youngsters.

Before the hypnotic haze ebbed, the next attacker was upon them. Not an arachnid proper, but an 8-legger nonetheless. (Much deeper than Greek, the roots for octo and arakhne merge. I don't remember the proto definition exactly, because I don't actually know if this is true.) (I do have a hunch, though, and a willingness to let language drift and change.) Right after I shot this photo, he dropped down and swallowed the guy standing under him.

You might think that would be disturbing, but it wasn't: quick, clean, and graceful. The octopus was fluid where the spider had been jerky, undulently soft skin instead of exoskeleton. You saw the guy disappear in an embrace, and were soothed by the tentacles' rhythmic motions and colors into thinking, "That's probably not a bad way to go." The robot looked on wistfully, knowing he'd never be that smooth.

Later in the parade, there was a troupe of dancing octopi. Someone sitting near me said they were actually people that had been previously "eaten" by the giant octopus, which was really just turning out hybrids who could dance and be his minions. Their job, till the effect wear off after the summer, will be to collect shellfish to satisfy the Big One's prodigious appetite for its traditional foods. Human turns out to wreak embarrassing havoc on the cephalopod digestive system, which is why we can all rest easy in the Salish Sea.


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