The Size of Your Face

So if you needed another reason not to go to Sri Lanka, aside from ignorance of its geographic location and the fact it’s Sri Lanka, do I have a news article for you:

Tarantula the Size of a Human Face Discovered

Also, apparently, “the size of a human face” is now a standard unit of measurement when it comes to spiders.  Whose face?  I don’t know – presumably the guy running around shouting, “Help!  There’s a tarantula on my face!”

Apparently the Alien trilogy was shot in Sri Lanka.

Apparently, the Alien trilogy was shot in Sri Lanka.

Am I the only one who is neither excited nor titillated by the knowledge that we, as a species, have identified and cataloged a larger, scarier spider than we have ever cataloged before?  Call me short-sighted, but upon getting the phone call from some university or another going, “I hear they found a huge, creepy-ass spider out in Sri Lanka,” I fail to understand what motivates someone to go, “Gotta get me some of that!”  Thanks to this article, I spend my every waking moment terrified I will, spontaneously and accidentally, bi-locate to somewhere in Sri Lanka.  Furthermore, I have, and will continue to consider, doing something drastic enough to get on the government’s no-fly list just so I don’t find myself on a flight from Minneapolis to Chicago that diverts to Sri Lanka.  Yes, I understand the odds of these things are slim.  But that spider is real, and the odds cannot be slim enough.

Returning to the discussion of the spider, the article in question reads like the cliff notes for Arachnophobia.

The reason I carry an aerosol can and a lighter with me at all times.  ALL.  TIMES.

The reason I carry an aerosol can and a lighter with me at all times. ALL. TIMES.

If I might quote:

“The arachnid had originally been presented to [Sri Lanka's Biodiversity Education and Research organization] three years ago by villagers in Mankulam, who had killed a male specimen.”

At the request of the man in paragraph two, I would presume.

“Scientists immediately realised the dead spider was not like anything they already knew, and a group was charged with finding any living relatives.”

Presumably, the group doing the charging was their wives, and I’d hope the articulated mission was to ensure the living relatives in question were not living for long.

“It has been named Poecilotheria rajaei, in recognition of a senior police officer called Michael Rajakumar Purajah, who guided the research team through a hazardous jungle overrun by civil unrest in order to seek out the spider.”

On.  Your.  Face.

On. Your. Face.

Also, Poecilotheria rajaei just happens to be Sri Lankan for “Help – there’s a tarantula on my face.”

And if a spider the size of your face wasn’t enough to get you writing your congressman and demanding a tactical nuclear strike on Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte1, dig this.  Apparently, when pressed to provide a little more detail on the arachnid in question, their three adjectives of choice were “colourful, fast, and venomous.”  This inadvertently answers the questions of (1) how the spider ends up on your face and (2) what it does when it gets there.

It also raises questions as to what precisely happened to the previous village doctor, on which the article is silent – disturbingly so:

“They [the big @$$ spiders] prefer well-established old trees, but due to deforestation, the number have dwindled, and due to lack of suitable habitat they enter old buildings. […] The living Poecilotheria rajaei were eventually discovered in the former doctor’s quarters of the village’s hospital.”

Presumably the former doctor was not.  Before leaving on his flight to anyplace that was not Sri Lanka, my bet is that he was last heard telling the new village doctor, “Whatever you do, do not go in there.  There’s a spider the size of your face.”

1The capital of Sri Lanka, you geographic ignoramus.2

2Totally didn’t just look that up on Wikipedia.3

3Totally lying about not looking that up on Wikipedia.

Simple Hair Necessities

Let us begin with a simple proof. If an item is dead, it cannot (or at the very least should not) be characterized as either healthy or vibrant. Hair is dead. Ergo, hair cannot (or at the very least should not) be described as either healthy or vibrant. Indeed, if at any point in your life the substance growing out of the top of your head takes on properties that necessitate describing it as either healthy or vibrant, I would suggest you have a problem and recommend that you consider killing it – probably with fire and preferably before it gets too belligerent.

This is what healthy, vibrant hair looks like.  As you can see, Itt is not something to aspire to unless one is creepy and/or kooky.

This is what healthy, vibrant hair looks like. As you can see, Itt is not something to aspire to unless one is creepy and/or kooky.

Likewise, if you’re thinking you can skirt these guidelines by purchasing some sort of organic toupee , I would like to point out the following: If your toupee is alive, it means you’ve probably purchased a Chia pet by mistake or, alternately, have become a habitat for some furry, scalp-dwelling, woodland mammal. In event of the former, I recommend Weed-B-Gone. In case of the latter, a high-powered rifle and your friend’s best William Tell impression.



But to return at length to our original argument, there is nothing that Pantene Pro V can do which a good coat of shellac could not duplicate. The ubiquitous shampoo and conditioner ads wherein they promise a Lazarus-style regeneration and/or Schwarzenegger-esque body for your skeletal insulation overlook the fact that the stuff streaming out of our skulls was never alive to begin with. To summarize, zero times any fruit-scented number is still zero. And short of using a bottle of Herbal Essences to make a pact with the dark gods, one should expect their hair to be approximately as dead and flat when they get out of the shower as it was going in.

Speaking of the shower, I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss shampoo commercials and their flagrant disrespect for the space time continuum. Nearly all shampoos are marketed the same. Two seconds into the ad, show the product. Six seconds into the ad, show naked woman applying the product. Remaining twenty seconds of the ad, switch to slow motion while the aforementioned naked woman tosses her hair about like Shrek’s Prince Charming.

Hair with body like a sumo wrestler.

Hair with body like a sumo wrestler.

Ladies, if time is slowing down while you’re in the shower, it doesn’t mean you’ve picked a good conditioner – it means you’re approaching the speed of light. As a kindness to the rest of us, please don’t abuse general relativity while in the shower – you use up all the hot water.

Now, if any are struggling with the concept that their hair is essentially beyond help, there is always the option to get rid of it. (And for those who are unwillingly going down that road, might I gently encourage you to take the plunge as opposed to embarking on a desperate attempt to save it? I trust I need not remind you that there has not yet been a comb-over created that doesn’t make the combee look utterly ridiculous.) Besides, many a celebrity is approaching sphere-bald with great effect. Men, look to Bruce Willis, Denzel Washington, or Jack Nicholson. Yes, I understand no one wants to look like Jack Nicholson, but… Alright, you know what, forget about it.  Just forget I said Jack Nicholson, okay? Bad example.



Women, I know I have a harder sell here, but every eighteen to twenty-four-year-old male will tell you Sigourney Weaver looked mighty fine in the first Alien movie. I’m just sayin’.

Ultimately, we should all have a more utilitarian approach to our hair. Is your head too cold? Then I recommend you produce a little more. Is your head too hot? Maybe go for a little less. Is your name Jack Nicholson? Maybe you should see if you can look like someone else. Granted, I doubt Jack could pull off Bruce Willis. Maybe he should try for Sigourney Weaver. It’d be a good move for him.

I’m Switching to Contacts

Glasses, of the sort that rest upon one’s nose, possess certain failings.  They’re worn on the face, making them susceptible to the slings, arrows, and schoolyard bullies of outrageous fortune.  They make the use of other types of eye covering – swim goggles, paintball masks, and welding helmets – awkward at best and bloody well impossible at worst.  And, perhaps most damning, they seem to be a sort of societal status symbol for, “Hey, I can fix your computer.”

You used to shove me in a locker and take my lunch money. Now, I know your browsing history and where you work. It would seem the balance of power has shifted.

Let us address the last point.  Yes, I can fix your computer.  Despite the fact that your desktop is populated by more icons than an eastern church, your internet browser is a veritable hive of scum and villainy, and your boot time is now measured in increments reserved for interstellar travel, I can undo the damage.  You have no system CDs, no support documentation, and no clue, but none of that will stop me.  Like the Bill Clinton of tech support, I feel your pain.

Never mind, of course, that your pain is entirely self-inflicted.  I had thought that, ’round about the same time we stopped flinging our poo at each other for sport, we also concluded that downloading and installing Smiley Central would not be in our best interest.  Apparently, I was wrong.  Likewise, based on where your internet browser keeps pointing me, I’ve concluded you are also unsatisfied with the dimensions of your…you know what, never mind.  Furthermore, I feel I have to comment about the three hundred gigs apparently devoted to various MP3s…mostly disco.  And while I must confess to being curious as to what dark force you bargained with to find three hundred gigs worth of disco, I’m going to content myself with sending it to the recycle bin so we can…I don’t know…have more than six kilobytes of free space to work with here.

I did not know BitTorrent had a “download all” option.

I think this also might be a good time to address your apparent goal of clicking everything on the internet.  I would like you to stop.  Immediately.  I don’t care if the banner ad says you’ve won an iPod, a million dollars, or adoption into the royal family.  Odds are it’s lying, and if you click it you, or at the very least I, am going to regret it.  The same goes for offers of academic degrees, Rolex watches, or any product that claims to increase your chances with the fairer sex.  Admittedly, you need all the help you can get on that last part, but let’s confine this discussion to your computer.

Which, ironically, brings us to the fundamental problem we’re facing.  This is your computer.  Once I get done working my particular form of triage, I am going to give this back to you, and you are going to screw it up again.  Thus, while I can treat the symptoms, it seems I cannot cure the disease without being tried for homicide.  However, don’t think that I haven’t thought about it – or about how many times I have to uninstall the BonziBuddy before murder is not simply justified but encouraged.

See this purple gorilla? Contrary to what he wants you to believe, he is not your friend. He’s a communist spy sent to steal your data and transmit it to unsavory sorts from Eastern Bloc nations.

If you need further proof of that, let it be known there reaches a point where not even a jury of my peers would convict me.  I submit the following:  You have lost all your system CDs, you have no support documentation, and somehow a Dorito – cool ranch by the looks of it – found its way inside the CD-ROM tray.  In the future, will you be able to remember the CD-ROM is not, in fact, a coaster, or do I need to acquire a Dymo labeler and apply a sticker to that effect?

I’d let you make the label, but based on what I’m seeing with your computer, I’m concerned that if I gave you a number 2 pencil, you’d try to eat it.

But here we are.  Done and done.  The computer functions, more or less, as it was originally intended.  And I hope you don’t mind, but I converted your snack drawer back into a CD-ROM.  I’d tell you to be more careful in the future, but that would be somewhat akin to asking Ozzy Osbourne to speak coherently.  As for me, I’ve learned one important lesson from your computer: I’m switching to contacts.