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Jun 28, 2017

Ok, I've got your attention with the title. Not everybody has a tarantula in their garage. I don't, actually. It is a temporary resident at my mother's place. She, of all people (1), does not appreciate this unwelcome visitor. She doesn't tolerate insects in general, unless of course they are ladybirds that are good for her flowers. I have  memories from my childhood of hearing her yell, and then would come the sound of 'thump, thump' as she would use a shoe to squash some poor, unsuspecting(2) insect that had made the mistake of crawling into the same room as her. Bugs don't bother me that much really, the big ones do though. I once challenged myself in England to pick up a really big, black spider with my bare hands, and to throw it outside. "Look Anna," I said to myself, "it's only a spider. It's probably terrified of you. Look how much bigger you are than it!" I sort of convinced myself, even though my stomach wasn't in agreement. So I picked it off of the wall,    and holding it in both hands, threw it onto the patio. I shut the door quickly and shivered. I was nauseated. What is it about spiders that has this effect on people? Is it all the legs, the hairs, or the unpredictable(3) nature and movement? Tarantulas are a whole other ball of wax(4), as they say here. They are impressive in size, and meaty enough to cast a decent shadow. The one in my mother's garage which I have named Nigel, is actually dead and dry, and was ordered over the internet by my brother, Richard. As a teacher, he likes to stimulate discussion and fascination among his students by using interesting items; Nigel is his latest choice. I should imagine that my brother will point out Nigel's fangs to the children and explain how they work. I'm sure that Richard will be quite a popular teacher! "I don't care how interesting it is" says my mother. "It's not coming in my house, I can tell you that!" Poor Nigel is going to have to stay in his box in the garage until he finds his proper place in the classroom.

1. 'She, he, (a name) of all people' is a common expression which follows a subject, and emphasizes that  in the given context this person has an opinion, experience, qualification, or nature that is significant.

a. We should ask Mr. Brown to speak at the book fair. He, of all people, understands the need to read, as he was a literature professor.

b. I wouldn't buy Steve a fast car. He has crashed twice, and has many speeding tickets. He, of all people, should not get that kind of present!

c. The naughty school children were joking about the principal without knowing that he, of all people, was standing right behind them.

2. 'Unsuspecting' is an adjective describing a person who does not understand the situation, danger, or threat.

Un-sus-pec-ting   un-sus-pec-ting  un-sus-pec-ting

3. Another adjective meaning 'not easy to predict'

Un-pre-dic-table  un-pre-dic-table  un-pre-dic-table

4. 'A whole other ball of wax' is an American expression. 'A/ the ball of wax' means the whole thing. So 'a whole other ball of wax' means something completely different.

a. Many sports are popular, but the Olympics are a whole other ball of wax.

b. It's cheap and easy to make instant coffee, but good, fresh espresso is a different ball of wax.

c. Traveling to London in autumn is one thing. Being there in the middle of summer is a whole other ball of wax.

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