By Wendy Langhans
Last week, a friend shared her photos from a trip to the wineries around Santa Barbara. She included a few photos of a tarantula she found in a winery patio. This reminded me of the classic opening line to a joke: a (fill-in-the-blank) walks into a bar... I wonder if any of these jokes would work with a tarantula? They'd have to be both funny and accurate. You be the judge of how funny they are.
A tarantula on the move. (Photo courtesy Sheri Marrs.)
"A tarantula walks into a bar wearing a pearl necklace. He orders a drink. "I've never seen a tarantula wearing a pearl necklace before", says the barkeep. "What do you expect with basic black?", says the tarantula."
Darn - this joke won't work. Not only do tarantulas come in different colors (including pink), the ones you see wandering about during the day are males (in search of females, of course.)
Is this tarantula in search of a free drink or amore?
"A tarantula walks into a bar. OUCH! You would have thought he would have seen it!"
Hmmm - this joke might work. After all, tarantula's are arachnids and, like most spiders, they have eight eyes. However, their eyesight is weak; they can't see very far.
"A tarantula walks into a bar. The bartender says, 'You're quite a celebrity around here. We've even got a tequila named after you.' The tarantula says, 'You've got a drink named Steve?'"
Darn - I don't think this joke will work, especially if I tell it during a meal. Tarantula's don't drink liquids, not even tequila. How they get their nourishment is really quite gruesome (click here  for the details).
"A man walks into a bar and sits down next to a lady and a tarantula. The man asks, "Does your tarantula bite?". The lady answers, "Never!" The man reaches out to pet the tarantula and the tarantula bites him. The man says, "I thought you said your tarantula doesn't bite!" The woman replies, "He doesn't. This isn't my tarantula."
Darn - this joke won't work very well either. Yes, tarantulas do have fangs and bite their prey, which consists mostly of insects and lizards. But according to WebMD , the native tarantulas found in North America rarely bite humans. When threatened, tarantulas retreat or if that doesn't work, rub their legs on their abdomen, releasing "urticating hairs " into the air. This hair can irritate the eyes, lungs, and exposed skin of any potential predator. The downside is, of course, that it creates a temporary bald spot on the tarantula, at least until the hair grows back.
All right - I admit it - these jokes are pretty lame. But this last joke has given me a new idea - does anybody know any good jokes about balding?
Upcoming Outdoor Events:
Saturday, September 19, 8-10 AM Bird walk in Towsley Canyon. All year round, the habitats of Towsley Canyon attract a wealth of birdlife. Beginners are welcome. Bring your binoculars. 2 hours, easy walk.
You can listen to stories like this every Friday morning at 7:10 a.m. on "The Hike Report", brought to you by your hometown radio station KHTS (AM1220) and by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.
For the complete MRCA hike and activity schedule and for trail maps, go to www.LAMountains.com.