Friday, May 14, 2010


Picture this: You're lying in bed, trying to squeeze in a few grunted snores before work. You feel a searing pain next to your right eye. Your eyesight blurs, your face feels like a sewing machine base, your jaw locks and you start to feel woozy. Imagine my disappointment when this melodramatic pain turns out to be a spider bite not of the radioactive type.

The doctor confirms the worst, not only will I experience a list of symptoms of less than peachy discomfort, but I will not be able to climb walls with my new poisoned blood. Dreams of shooting webs from my wrists are banished. The possibility of swooping through the streets of Cape Town, taking out bad guys and accumulating mass appreciation, is dispelled. My heart breaks.

“Are you sure?” I tearfully ask the doctor, already designing my red and blue Lycra suit in my mind. “Just your average, everyday Button spider bite,” he responds, more concerned with my disappointment than my condition. My feet are heavy as I leave his mint-green office. My heart floats precariously in my throat. Gone is my opportunity for mutant fame. Relinquished are my delusions of radioactive grandeur. Doomed am I to a life of normalcy and apparent Yoda impersonations.

Despite my normal diagnosis I spend the days post-bite in a state of constant alertness. Every bout of pins and needles inspires my imagination to greater fantasies of flight and fight. I see myself manically pummelling a backstreet rapist, pulverising a knife-waving mugger, bringing a car down upon the empty head of a gun-toting hijacker. The more I think about these prospects, the angrier I become. Why couldn't I have become a spider-mutant? Why couldn't I kill and maim every evil-doer in Cape Town? It hit me at this point. It wasn't the radioactivity that I desired, rather the revenge I sought from these criminals.

How odd that my justice button was pushed by an insect bite. Trouble is, now I can't seem to turn it off. If you happen upon a red and blue-suited woman, swinging from a balcony in Long Street, possibly stuck and suspended by a broken piece of garden rope, maniacally threatening all bad-guys and yelling for medical assistance simultaneously, it may or may not be me. Criminals, you have been warned.

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