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Originally posted by AHI

I am wondering why they didn't just remove the spider. I took this with my cell phone. Suppose she hatches little babies that migrate towards the house that is 10 yards away? The house where the little children live.

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Killing and/or moving bugs has no meaningful effect. Cecil Adams, author of The Straight Dope, explains here: http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_022.html


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Originally posted by Les


Where do you find this stuff. The piece has words that I've not seen lately on inspector forums!

Good stuff.

Thanks. If co-inspector Rick were here, he'd tell you that I am a fountain of useless-but-fascinating information. Poor Rick spent 14 years with me, often explaining to people (while I'm out of earshot) that, yes, I'm like that all the time, no, he doesn't know where I get this stuff, but I do seem to have an inexhaustible supply of it.

As you know, I've been writing for an alternative paper for more than 12 years. (I think I'm now the Scene's longest-lasting columnist.) Anyhow, if I'm going to invent a story a week, I must spend several hours a day tracking down the incongruent, the dissonant, the repugnant and the inspiring.

FYI, I have cited Cecil Adams many times, especially when dealing with HI customers. It helped my HI career, I think, to explain to people that there are certain conditions -- Sisyphusean tasks -- that overcome all human or superhuman effort to change them. I've given the "fly supply" speech many times. And then there's the, "Everything at your house will last about as long as a dog," speech.

I'm also blessed by the counsel of people who are way smarter than me. One day, you ought to meet my smarty-pants lawyer (SPL) Jean. She translated Dante's Inferno into English, just for kicks. If Jean and Pete Engle got into a staring contest, I think the universe might implode.

Doncha love thread drift,


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Originally posted by Chad Fabry

I've given the "fly supply" speech many times.

While the number of baby maggots is big, my cursory running of the data suggests that Cecil did not remember that flies die. So the actual number of flies should end up being roughly 1/12 of his prediction.

OK. But his final verdict was that at any given time, there are about as many flies as there can be. As flies die, so shall they be born. It's kinda the inverse of the monkey/typewriters/Shakespeare thing.


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Originally posted by Eric B

I'm quite sure that if I ever met Cecil our conversation would be exceptionally brief. One of us would be on a completely different wave length than the other.

True that. In my humble experience, HIs and professional humorists are not simpatico. Most of the HIs can't write a lick, and the humorists can't change a light bulb.

Present company excepted, of course...


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If I may harken back to the original topic, I have to agree with John. I don't believe you can reasonably compare house flies to black widows, either in terms of the treat presented or the natural population threshold. Flies are absolutely everywhere and they multiply like mad; black widows, not so much. I'd kill that spider, and any like it I found in or around my house. Silly me. [:-dunce]

Brian G.

Poisonous Spider Bad! [:-propell

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