It's not about the house.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sympathy For The Devil

Last week, I got in Chuck (TFT) to discover a spider had spun a perfect web from the dash to the shotgun seat, and I actually opted to leave the windows closed so as not to ruin her hard work.

Last night, there was an eight-legged bump in the middle of another silken spiral, this time between the clothesline and the giant rhododendron. I turned on the back porch light to highlight it for Johnny.

“The brown ones are poisonous,” he said.

I said “Really?” and shut the light off.

And just this second I passed a yellow one dangling from my bedroom ceiling. I just blew it aside as I walked by.

What’s happening to me?

Actually, I think I learned about this when I was studying ethology. I think it’s called habituation. You know, like at the zoo: you bang on the glass enough times eventually the snakes stop startling? I must note, however, that the article I just linked to, points out that habituation is the “simplest form of learning.”

So.

I can’t learn not to buy the wrong thing all the time. I can’t learn not to put things where they’ll ruin other things. Can’t learn not to trust people I shouldn’t. Hell, I can’t even learn to shut windows against the rain. Or sprinkler. But I can learn not to be afraid of spiders.

Whoopee. At least I’m smarter than a grub. If, that is, grubs are incapable of non-associative learning – a fact I don’t seem to remember anymore.

Ah well, maybe it’s Stockholm Syndrome.

5 comments:

POPO said...

NOT AFRAID OF SPIDERS!!!!!!!!!
TRAITOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DO YOU WANT TO BE DISOWNED??????????????
COME ON, REMEMBER THE DRIVE HOME AND THE MAILBOX!!!!!!!!!!
DON'T GO OVER TO THE DARK SIDE!!!!!
What, are you becoming a Dubliner????

EGE said...

I think it must have been temporary insanity, because I actually squashed a tiny little yellow one with the comforter I just took out of the dryer...

Anonymous said...

Mealworms can be taught to navigate a maze, then ground up and fed to other mealworms. The second generation can navigate without being taught!

Gracie said...

oops george I forgot to sign in

EGE said...

Oh that's right, I used to know that... You see what happens when you get old, and learn new things (ahem) and drink too much?

But mealworms aren't the same as grubs -- are they?