Every year, only in the northwest window of my office, a family of pseudoscorpions set up home. They are the tiniest of spiders, and they have non-poisonous, scorpion-like claws, which they wave about. And yes, reader, I wave back. Their world is the space between the screen and the windowpane, and they catch and devour small insects and mites.
Which is fine by me, as I am neither insect nor mite, just a Roman sitting at his desk and watching the mini gladiators bring down meaty, ant-y carnage, and cheering.
According to entomologist Donald Lewis, “They also spend most of their lives under mulch, leaf litter, stones and tree bark and other places where they will be hard to see. They have also been reported in bird nests and between siding boards of buildings.”
(There is the old robin redbreast joke. The girl robin sees a bulge on the boy robin, and she says, “Is that a pedipalp in your feathers, or are you just glad to see me?” Ba-dum-bum!)
So, my pseudoscorpions probably live inside my house siding, and the window screen is their playground. They run up and down the screen wire, like tiny racers. And yes, I suspend work and watch these delightful creatures, and they are damn cute, though one is not supposed to anthropomorphize critters.
Pseudoscorpions are the fun spiders; they appear to play tag and they are great dancers. They watch the hummingbirds at the feeder just inches away from the screen. Perhaps they dream of hummingbird pie. I dream of Helena Bonham Carter pie—I grok dreams.
On Saturday nights, four or five pseudoscorpions gather in a circle in the middle of the screen and clap their pedipalps in rhythm and sing Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee’s (I sang with them once) oldie, “Cornbread, Peas, and Black Molasses.” I call them the Jackson Five—I know, I’m not politically correct like you libtards out there. My spideys are the Jackson Five. If you don’t like it, go find and name your own pseudoscorpion boy band.
In summation, I am not ashamed to admit, I palpitate precipitously, passionately, phenomenalistically, psychotherapeutically, and photoautotrophically over pedipalps. You can have your pedicures. I heart pedipalps!