As loyal readers of the blog know, last week Horrible Spider molted. Well, I have news. She is a he. It turns out this was his ultimate molt, meaning the one after which he is sexually mature. I didn't get a chance to look at HS fully until last night, when he finally came out of his hidey hole to eat a cricket. Lo and behold, suddenly he had tibial spurs on his first set of legs. Tibial spurs are small hooks that are used in mating, when the male locks the female's chelicerae (fangy fangs) in them in order to lift her up and deposit his sperm. It's all a bit ghastly, but human whoop-de-do isn't really all that aestehtically pleasing either, so don't judge.
Anyway, now I have to get used to calling Horrible Spider "he." I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. All the animals in the house are boys. Well, except for Honey (that's her on the right), but she's the butchest of all the dogs, so I still call them "the boys." Even the hamsters are boys. I think. It's difficult to tell with hamsters. No tibial spurs and all that. You have to turn them over and poke around, and that's not much fun for anyone involved. You can also check for nipples, which only the females have, but, again, do you really want to? Bob and Jeff don't seem too keen on giving it a try. Just picking them up results in consternation. I can't imagine what they'd do if I subjected them to a cavity search.
I've always said that once Horrible Spider's gender was no longer in doubt I would give him/her a proper name. Now that I know he's a boy, I'm not sure what to do. I kind of like Horrible Spider as a name, although some of my tarantula friends say it will give him a complex. And all the other critters have good, solid names: Bob, Jeff, Andrew Taylor, George William, Theodore Watson, Samuel Crenshaw and, well, Honey (she arrived named). I think HS deserves something good like that, something that says, "I am the world's most wonderful spider, and I will be successful at everything I do!"
I don't know. I considered Tom, but it just doesn't suit him. Neither does Brock, Staunton, or Pip. Doug might be good. Or perhaps Ike, although that reminds me of Ike Turner, who was a great big jackass. Truman? Lloyd? Winston?
I'll think about it. In the meantime, I'm a little sad that he's a he. Male tarantulas don't live all that long--a handful of years compared to upwards of 25 for females. But what can you do? You know when you bring them into the family that they won't be here forever. I have two boxes of ashes on my shelf to remind me of that (the much-loved Roger and Spike). It comes with the territory.
Now let's talk about Friday's Battlestar Galactica episode. It sucked. Truly, it did. The second-to-last episode of the series and NOTHING HAPPENED. The ship fell apart. Adama got all rah-rah-rah. Roslin staggered out of her hospital bed. Baltar whinged and twitched. Who cares?
All I have to say is that the final episode had better be good. The creators keep saying that we'll all be satisfied with the ending. Yes, well, I don't know. I swear to gods, if it turns out that the whole series was a dream one of the hybrids is having, there's going to be some swearing in my house.
Oh, and why is the Chief suddenly being a dick? He's always been my favorite character, but now he's all "whatever" about everything. I'm sorry, but Galen Tyrol would never "whatever" anything. He just wouldn't. I'm really pretty cross about it. Honestly, is that the face of someone who would "whatever" you? No, it isn't. That's the face of someone who would say, "Of course I can repair the reverse thrusters. Just let me get some glue and a couple of washers."
Maybe I should name Horrible Spider Tyrol. Or Galen. Except that I can totally hear HS "whatever" me.
Finally, here's the fortune I got last week at Patrick and my weekly dinner out with our friend Jill: "A short stranger will soon enter your life with blessings to share." So many possibilities with this one. A dwarf? Another dog? Linda Hunt? I can't wait to find out.