Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bug off, you critters!

This week I am in Tucson, Arizona for a conference. The weather is beautiful, as are the views and the hotel. However there is one thing that concerns me;  Arizona is known for its bugs, snakes, and generally scary wildlife. You know you are "not in Kansas anymore Toto", when there are signs dotted around the hotel grounds saying "Beware, wildlife is dangerous". The signs I am more used to in the UK are "Beware, bar closes at 11pm", so this is a bit of a shock to me.

The hotel staff cheerfully told us about the family of bobcats that live around the hotel, and I also heard tales of mountain lions that come visit in the mornings. A collegue here at the conference was running on the treadmill in the hotel gym when he spotted a 'hand-sized spider' run under his treadmill. He had two options: to cut his run short or to finish it with the treadmill cranked up to 20 miles per hour in case the critter decided to surface. Being a true man he chose the latter. That'll teach that spider....

So far I have spent my week bent over scrutinizing the floor for bugs; people think this is how I walk naturally. All I know is, when I go to bed at night in my hotel room, I make sure I close the toilet lid down and make sure the plugs in the sink and shower are fully closed before I turn out the lights...the last thing I want is to wake up eye-to-eye with a furry tarantula or with a scorpion clasped to my nose.....

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