I think it was 2005 that everything changed for me. That was the day I had a Venti Vanilla Frappacino at Starbucks and was bitten by a radioactive spider. I’m not really sure it was radioactive; the spider I mean, not the Frappacino, but it glowed the way old B horror movies show radioactive things. Like spiders. It was a warm day and I thought what could feel better going down than an over-priced drink that added milk to a non-dairy filler to create a milkshake-like treat.
Let me interrupt here. I found out something by watching Frappacinos being made. I learned that adding finely crushed ice to a thick shake really made the flavor brighter and made the shake a lot smoother. My recipe for non-Starbucks milkshake is 1 cup vanilla ice cream. I use Blue Bunny, but whatever. 1 cup of heavy whipping cream. Put that in a blender with 3 ice cubes and beat it until the ice appears to be gone. What you got yourself there is a by darn milkshake. Is it a healthy drinki? I’ve never been killed or sickened by one of my milkshakes, proving colclusively that I will drink them. I tend to like creamy milkshakes. I like real ice cream rather than ice milk or the non-dairy frozen dessert served at gazillions of fast food outlets. But my formative years were spent having to shake our milk bottles before pouring –to mix the four inch separated cream layer back with the milk. I grew up with 6-8% milk fat, you don’t think I’m going to even consider consuming anything under 3%. Below that it’s chalk-colored water.
Anyway, there wasn’t a radioactive spider in the Starbucks. It actually bit me as I was leaving, walking to my car. It seemed to just appear on my arm and stayed only long enough to sink its fangs into my skin. Then it was gone, leaving no trace. Radioactively induced bites heal almost immediately, one of the first effects of the radioactive poisoning now shooting through the veins. So I saw no evidence of the spider’s vicious attack on me. That I didn’t actually see the spider is irrelevant since I can imagine it just fine. Like I said, it glowed like radioactive things in the movies do. Or it would have, had I seen it.
“What are you looking at?” my partner asked me. I had stopped suddenly as we were leaving Starbucks.
“Something bit me.” I replied, looking at a bare spot on my arm. We both leaned in and squinted at the spot.
“I don’t see anything.” said Chuck. I allowed as how I didn’t see anything either, and we looked pensively at my arm. “Maybe something stung you. Some stings don’t show up but hurt like the dickens.”
“It felt kind of like an electric shock with a pinpoint of white hot heat. What bugs do that?”
“No, this was stealthy, the way it came and went. It was super light on its feet and quick to bite. I’m sure it was a bite. It felt like a bite.”
“Might have been a spider. Riding the wind and happened to land on you and took offense.” he said.
“Offense at what?”
“You got in his way.”
“That’s a pretty testy spider. I looked to my mind’s eye and pictured the criminal. It was right there, glowing like it knew it would. “I think it was radioactive. I think I was bitten by a glowing radioactive spider.”
“I suppose that’s as good an explanation as any.” said my partner supportively. I always appreciated his support.