Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Commentary

October 12, 2012

It takes all kinds

Do you like spiders? Would you sacrifice $15 million just to save one?

I don't know about you, but my natural instinct upon spotting any member of the arachnid family is "kill." A kind of disquieting mania comes over me. The adrenaline starts to rush through my body and I begin grabbing every thing I can find and flinging it at the beast while uttering a kind of guttural growl of disgust and detestation as I track it and beat it to a pulp.

It doesn't matter if I'm decked out and late for a meeting. I will crawl through any grime, including the mystery muck that makes up my garage floor, and spend as much time as it takes to make sure the spider is destroyed.

So I'm going to have to go with "no," I would not sacrifice $15 million.

But believe it or not, some people would. It takes all kinds. Some kinds of spiders apparently are worth more than others.

Workers in Texas recently found a Braken Bat Cave Meshweaver spider in the middle of a $15 million highway construction project in northwestern San Antonio. Pretty impressive, isn't it? Just imagine how excited the construction workers were. "Hey, ya'll! Looka he-ah," they shouted in fine, Texas accents. "This he-ah is one of them there Braken Bat Cave Meshweaver spiders!"

No, that's not how it happened. Actually, what happened was, there were biologists from the Texas Department of Transportation's environmental affairs division working along side the construction crews, because that particular area in San Antonio is "known for its abundance of natural resources, including songbirds and rare cave animals, like the spiders."

Seriously; I'm not making that up. That is an actual quote from an actual news story. Songbirds and spiders are natural resources. Who knew? So the project was halted despite the $15 million price tag.

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