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The Blind Man Who Could Suddenly See (Sequel to "Without Vanity)
THE BLIND MAN WHO COULD SUDDENLY SEE
This is the story of a man. This is the story of how this man got promoted in his career in Arachnology. He worked in the field, always outside looking for spiders; this was the weirdest thing about this person. No one would believe that someone could have such a fascination for the world’s most despised animals (I actually do myself). No, this story doesn’t start out with the main character; it starts with someone else.
THE CHAPTER AFTER THE CHAPTER BEFORE THE FIRST CHAPTER (CHAPTER 1)
‘Can’t see, can’t move, can’t breathe!’ These were among her first thoughts. I did not give you “Her” name because she hadn’t even been born yet. Of course her thoughts changed when she broke through her soft, but tough encasing and found herself looking up into the eyes of an adult female black widow spider. ‘Mother?’ the newborn thought weakly. As if answering her thought, the black widow greeted her in a soft and gentile gesture, which meant ‘I am your mother, and I will take care of you’. As the newborn looked around, she noticed that she was the last to hatch. All the sudden, she felt very sleepy from breathing the thin air of the atmosphere, and fell asleep quickly.
THE CHAPTER BEFORE THE CHAPTER AFTER THE SECOND CHAPTER (CHAPTER 2)
About a year passed and the spiderlings had grown. Each of their leg spans was about the size of a nickel, except for the late-hatched spiderling. This smallest-in-the-family daughter of the black widow had a very kind heart and a gentile soul. Her mother often lectured her after dinnertime for refusing to eat the flies that were served; she would only eat plants. Also, when the flies that were soon to be for supper were bitten and poisoned by the other spiderlings, the little one winced.
One day, who should come around the bend to the electric utility box that the little one and her family lived in but Mr. Arachnologist! He crouched down, and before opening the cover of the box, he put on some latex gloves. After he lifted the cover and stared inside, he noticed one hundred baby black widows staring back at him. Suddenly, the spiderlings and their mother skittered away down the hole in the ground, all except for the little one. She did not feel that the Arachnologist was an enemy; she sensed a friend in him.
The Arachnologist held out his latex gloved hand for the little one to climb onto, and after about ten seconds of waiting, he motioned toward himself as he beckoned softly, “Come on”. The little one did not understand his words, but she seemed to know what he meant, as she happily but cautiously climbed onto the Arachnologist’s palm. The man took the little one home with him to examine, careful not to frighten her.
THE CHAPTER BEFORE THE CHAPTER AFTER THE THIRD CHAPTER (CHAPTER 3)
When he got home, the Arachnologist lowered the little black widow into a glass tank. After this was done and the tank was closed, he started to write in his journal. This is what he wrote:
“I found a young female black widow inside a utility box and took her home with me. I will do some tests with the computer on her to more understand her behavior and thoughts. I will give her a name to go by, and this name shall be ‘Evelyn’. July 4th, 2010.”
The next day, the Arachnologist conducted the thought test on Evelyn. The glass of the tank that she was in had hundreds of sensors to detect brain activity. The Arachnologist hooked up the cable from the tank to the computer, and started the physical analysis.
A three-dimensional outline of Evelyn enclosed in a 3D grid appeared on the screen, while countless strings of numbers filled the left-hand portion of the monitor. ‘I don’t see anything wrong with Evelyn’s appearance,’ thought the Arachnologist, so he started to collect data from the sensors in Evelyn’s tank.
Again, countless strings of numbers filled the left side of the screen, but the majority of the monitor stayed blank. Then, text appeared in this area, which was supposed to be what Evelyn was thinking. The text said, “Wow, what happened yesterday was scary! Okay girl, just like your mother said, ‘Identify your surroundings before you do anything else’”. The Arachnologist chuckled, and said sarcastically, “Sure! The stupid computer is making stuff up!” His attitude completely changed when Evelyn started to explore the tank.
“Oh my gosh! Is this really happening?” said the Arachnologist in disbelief. He ran outside and grabbed a pill bug from under a rock. He dropped the bug into Evelyn’s tank to prove that this was what Evelyn was really thinking. The computer screen filled with the words, “Hey, look! There’s someone. HELLO THERE!” and Evelyn waved her front leg at the pill bug. The Arachnologist passed out on the ground.
THE CHAPTER AFTER THE CHAPTER BEFORE THE FOURTH CHAPTER (CHAPTER 4 [This is getting kind of old, isn’t it?])
When the Arachnologist came to, Evelyn was asleep. The man tried to figure out what had happened, and when he did, he almost passed out again. When he saw that Evelyn had not eaten the pill bug, the Arachnologist was confused. ‘What does she eat then?’ the man thought.
When Evelyn awoke, she found herself very hungry. She began to look around outside her cage for a plant that would serve as food. When, at last, she found a potted plant behind her tank against the wall, she stared at it longingly as her mouth began to water. When the Arachnologist saw what Evelyn was doing, he took a leaf from the plant, puzzled, and gave it to her.
Evelyn nibbled on the leaf, and finding that it was indeed very tasty, soon finished it off. The Arachnologist gawked in awe and disbelief at the strange behavior of this creature. It took him a few seconds to snap out of it, and when he did, he started typing up a letter to his grumpy boss. This is what the letter said:
I think I might have discovered a new species.
I want to meet with you tomorrow night in the presentation room to discuss this matter.
Even though what I want to discuss you may not believe, I still want to say it.
The Arachnologist did not leave his name.
THE CHAPTER BEFORE THE CHAPTER AFTER THE FIFTH CHAPTER (CHAPTER 5 [Ok, I will stop now.])
The next day, the Arachnologist met his mean boss, Mr. Meaney, in the presentation room. He brought Evelyn, the tank and his computer to the meeting. “Mr. Meaney”, the Arachnologist announced, “I give you the ‘Vegetarian Black Widow!’” Mr. Meaney smirked, “You expect me to believe that?” The Arachnologist grinned. “I can prove it to you”, said he. Mr. Meaney asked, “Then why don’t you show it to me right now, because I have got business to do!” “Fine then!” said the Arachnologist.
The Arachnologist removed the cover of Evelyn’s cage and dropped a leaf of the plant into it and the spider started to eat it. Mr. Meaney exclaimed, “This is unbelievable! We should put this on the news!” The Arachnologist grinned as he mumbled, “She has conscious thought too”. “She WHAT!?” screamed Mr. Meaney. “She has conscious thought!” said the Arachnologist. “Show me”, Mr. Meaney said. The Arachnologist set up his portable computer, booted it up, and hooked it up to the tank. Then, the screen lit up and it started showing the thoughts of Evelyn after the Arachnologist opened the program that came with the tank. This is what appeared on the screen: “That was yummy! I wonder what kind of plant that was. I hope I come across it again. Oh, who’s this new dude? He seems grumpy.”
Mr. Meaney ignored Evelyn’s criticism and gaped at the words on the screen. Then, when the words that Evelyn had said were still on there, Mr. Meaney understood them and he was mad now. He said to the Arachnologist, “What do you think I am, an idiot? You probably programmed the computer to do that, or at least you taught this spider to say it”. The Arachnologist stuttered, and barely did the word “But” come out of his mouth before Mr. Meaney shouted, “YOU’RE FIRED!” “Yes, Mr. Meaney…but I really didn’t teach her or program the computer or anything like that,” said the Arachnologist. “I have a headache”, the boss complained.
“I would never do something to trick you boss, not ever”, the Arachnologist explained to Mr. Meaney. After that, Mr. Meaney gave the Arachnologist a promotion, and all the years after that, Evelyn and her offspring were the center of attention. The news quickly spread around the world, and it even reached Qatar. After that, Evelyn, her children and the Arachnologist lived happily ever after. The End.
PART 2: NURSE JOY
Zelindah was awoken when her tank gave a large jolt. She looked around frantically to figure out who was carrying her cage. A young woman, maybe in her early 20’s, had picked up Zelindah’s tank from its usual place in the boy’s room. This woman had a white coat on, wore glasses and had black hair. The woman took Zelindah into her truck, and pulled out of the driveway.
When the woman had reached her lab, she put Zelindah’s tank on a table next to a smaller tank. When Zelindah looked into this cage, she noticed a small jumping spider and called out to it. The jumping spider answered in a tiny female voice. They talked for a while, discussing what had happened to them and introducing themselves as the woman worked on some paperwork. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door.
After the woman answered the door, a lady in the same clothes as the original woman but had blond hair came into the room. “Hello! You must be Professor Schnitzelpuskrackendershadmeyer. I’m Dr. McLean. I’m new here”, said she. “How are you?” asked Professor Schnitzelpuskrackendershadmeyer. “Boy, are you lucky to meet me! I hope to be the very first person to generate manmade life (with the right equipment, of course)! I will give you an overview of my project”.
“I will take DNA samples from this tarantula (named Zelindah) and this jumping spider”, said Prof. Schnitzel-Whatever, “and combine them with the ingredients of life. Then I will force energy into the mixture, and something will form (hopefully) out of it. Now, let’s get to work!”
Prof. Schnitzel-Blah then turned on the radio in the corner of the room. The program on the radio set will be brought to you in script form to better explain what is going on. This program is also brought to you by contributions from readers like you. Thank you.
(A woman enters a diner and sits at the counter next to a man and talks to the woman employee there.)
WOMAN: “What have you got for breakfast?”
EMPLOYEE: “We’ve got hash browns with Spam on the side, Spam and pancakes, Spam and more Spam, Spam Spam sausage eggs ‘n Spam, Spam Spam Spam…”
(While the employee is going on about Spam, some nearby Vikings start to sing.)
VIKINGS: “Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam! Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam! Wonderful Spam! Oh wonderful Spam! Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam…”
WOMAN: (screaming) “Stop, stop, stop!!! Aaugghh!”
(The Vikings abruptly stop singing.)
WOMAN: “Where were we?”
EMPLOYEE: “Oh, yeah. Uh, Spam Spam sausage eggs ‘n Spam, Spam Spam—
WOMAN: (Sarcastically) “Hey! Don’t you mean Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam…?”
(The Vikings begin singing again.)
VIKINGS: “Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam! Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam! Wonderful Spam! Oh wonderful Spam! Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam…”
WOMAN: (Screaming again) “Aaauuggghhh!!! ENOUGH!!!”
WOMAN: “Stupid Vikings. Haven’t you got anything without Spam in it?”
EMPLOYEE: “Well, the Spam Spam egg sausage ‘n Spam doesn’t got much Spam in it.”
WOMAN: (whining) “I don’t want any Spam!”
MAN: “I’ll eat your Spam. I love it! I could eat it every day if I wanted to.
(Somebody in the diner was saying something about the Spanish acquisition.)
MAN: “Oh, which reminds me. I didn’t expect the Spanish acquisition.”
WOMAN 2: (Bursting into the door) “Nobody expects the Spanish acquisition!”
MAN: “OK, that was random.”
RADIO ANNOUNCER: “We interrupt this program to bring you an urgent news bulletin.” (People start singing the “Goldfish” jingle.) “The Snack that Smiles Back! Goldfish.”
Prof. Schnitzel-Blah turned off the radio set and placed Zelindah inside a compartment of a machine. She typed in a few commands into the computer and some cloudy gas was sprayed into the compartment. “This is Carbon Dioxide to make Zelindah fall asleep so she doesn’t feel pain when I pluck a piece of her fur out”, said Prof. Schnitzel-Blah.
Zelindah suddenly felt very drowsy. She tried to pinch herself, but was too sleepy to move. Her eyelids were getting very heavy and started drooping (I know that spiders and all arthropods have no eyelids, but what the heck, right?). Soon Zelindah fell into a deep sleep.
Prof. Schnitzelpuskrackendershadmeyer then typed seemingly a hundred commands into the computer, and a mechanical arm appeared in the compartment of the machine. The arm had a tiny pincher at the tip of it, and this pointy tweezer-like appendage opened and neared the hairs on Zelindah’s back. Very carefully, the claw plucked a piece of hair out of Zelindah’s abdomen, and disappeared behind a small metal door in the wall of the compartment.
Another arm appeared in the compartment carrying a small bandage and a cotton swab. The arm took the swab and gently wiped the small cut where the hair had been taken out. When the swab cleared the wound, you could see the tiniest bit of Zelindah’s translucent, blue blood. The Professor had to be very careful, because Zelindah’s incision site was right above her heart.
The arm then stuck the small adhesive bandage that looked somewhat like a round Band-Aid, on the wound. The arm then retreated into the door in the wall of the compartment, and the door that led to the outside of it slid open. Prof. Schnitzel-whatever lifted the sleeping tarantula out of the compartment and placed her back in the cage. “She should wake up and be as good as new in no time”, said the Professor. She typed in a few more things into the computer and a tiny vial containing Zelindah’s fur popped out of the machine. The Professor set the vial on the table next to the computer.
The professor repeated the same anesthesia, pluck, and swab routine with the jumping spider, except she did not put as bandage on her. “Smaller animals heal quicker”, said the Professor. She placed the vial containing the jumping spider’s hair on the table next to Zelindah’s hair.
The Professor then moved on to the other side of the room where a large glass capsule was attached to a machine and a computer. She then inserted the two vials into the machine. She typed in a few commands into the computer, and the fur of both spiders was converted into pure DNA. A clear orb then appeared inside the glass capsule. The Professor flipped one switch in a row of switches on the machine, saying “Hydrogen. Atomic number: 1”. She repeated the same process for Boron, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Fluorine, Neon, Aluminum, Silicon, Phosphorus, Sulfur, Chlorine and Argon, the elements that make up life. All these elements were sprayed into the orb, along with the spiders’ DNA. The solution was mixed up until it was thoroughly combined.
“Now all that’s left is energy, defined as the ability to do work or cause pain. The form of energy we will be using to bring this mixture to life is electricity”, said the Professor.
The Professor threw the biggest switch on the control deck, and a huge bolt of electric current zapped the orb. The charge continued to zap the orb for some time, during which, both women were ooing and aahing at the light show. When the lightning finally stopped, a giant spider’s egg lay in the center of the orb.
The egg was about an inch in diameter. Both spiders watched in awe at this miraculous thing that had been made out of their genetic code. The Professor took the egg out of the orb and laid it upon a soft bed of cotton under a heat light to hatch.
Several days passed, and when the day finally came for the spiderling to hatch (To make a long story short), she did. The Professor beckoned the baby spider (who was about the size of the egg) onto her hand. The spiderling hesitated, but then after a while, climbed onto the Professor’s palm. Professor Schnitzelpuskrackendershadmeyer thought, ‘after all that work, I finally succeeded!’ She then announced aloud with tears welling up in her eyes, “I shall name her Joy”.
After a day, the two women began to train Joy to do what they said. One day, the Professor called her by her name. Joy cocked her head, looking confused. The Professor then motioned her to come, and after that, Joy understood and jumped onto the Professor’s hand. Prof. Schnitzel-Blah gave Joy a small cricket as a treat.
In the days after that, Joy more and more understood what her name was. In no time, she answered to that name without hesitation. Joy became like a dog, but much more intelligent, because she fetched the newspaper when the Professor was at home, answered to her name, and most of all, was a loyal companion to the Professor.
When the time came for her to present Joy to her co-workers, the Professor took her to the presentation building in a cat carrier, for she had grown to the size of a medium sized cat. The Professor placed the carrier outside the door of the room and opened it. Joy stayed inside. “Ladies and Gentlemen”, announced the Professor, “I give you: Manmade Life!”
Joy bounded out of the cat carrier and into the room. When everyone saw her, all the women in the room fainted, and the leader of the men shouted, “Get that thing out of here and kill it! That hideous thing has no purpose in this world but to be ugly!” Joy squeaked a sad little squeak and moped away into the carrier. The Professor accused, “Now look what you’ve done! You got her sad! You should be ashamed of yourselves for being so disrespectful to a being that is so new to this world! Joy doesn’t know what people are like! Now I’m not going to show you how intelligent our little friend is because of that.” Then she stormed out of the room with her furry friend, who would be crying if she could. When the Professor got home she said to Joy, “I’m sorry about the insult that my co-workers made. You know, it’s something you have to live with”. Then the Professor left the room and went into her study. Joy followed her in, even though Professor Schnitzel-Whatever didn’t call her, for Joy looked up to her, even in hard times.
To be continued…