Thursday, July 20, 2017


Let’s start with the corrections.
My brother Michael wrote: BTW, venomous and poisonous are not synonyms.  Anything with poison is poisonous; only animals with venom are venomous.  So, while all venomous animals are poisonous, but not all poisonous things are venomous.  Just thought Iggy would like to know. (Why Michael could not have put this in the comments section of SQD is not addressed here. Reluctance and refusal are not synonyms.)

The next correction is not quite as clear. We checked the paper Tuesday morning for the official Jeopardy! answer to “one lethal type of this bone-free creature is the most venomous marine animal”….and it was “Jellyfish. Not Blue-ringed octopus, and not any particular type of jellyfish, just Jellyfish. There are thousands of different types of jellyfish, inhabiting every ocean. They can be found on the surface, on beaches, and way out in the deep sea. Given our household’s preference for specificity, “Jellyfish” was an entirely unsatisfactory answer. But Iggy could improve on it. “It’s probably a Box Jellyfish”, he explained. "Oh yes indeed! [he was becoming gleefully agitated] If you touch the bottom of the box jellyfish, or the top of the box jellyfish, or the tentacles of the box jellyfish, you get stinged and then [pregnant pause, lowering of voice] you are dead."

Then we went outside to splash in the plastic pool and cool off. Iggy leapt in and out of the pool and attached the hose to the waterfall gizmo so water could spray all over. I moved away from the pool. Iggy came and sat next to me, in one of our very old and mismatched but still usable lawn chairs. Once upon a time my mother had a set of matching black and orange Brown-Jordan lawn chairs, and once upon a time Chucker’s mother had a set of matching white poolside chaises, and once we had two matching green chairs; now we have a selection and each one is wobbly and distended in its own particular way. There on the black webbing of one of the chairs, Iggy saw something wonderful.
“Nana! It’s a robber fly!”
“A rubber fly? I don’t see anything.”
“A robber fly. Right there. Naturally, he has excellent camouflage. This is our lucky day!”
“Because we saw a robber fly?”
“Yes! They live worldwide. And they can be very sneaky.”
“I had no idea,” I said.
“They predators. That’s why it is so good we saw this one. We can make sure he doesn’t get any of your honeybees.”

So now you know. Our lucky day. Samuel Beckett would agree.

1 comment:

Lizzard said...

Get that kid to write a new encyclopedia tout de suite!