Monday, June 09, 2008

America: One more reason not to go

See this thing? It's a Tarantula Hawk Wasp.

Not only does it have an unsettling appearance, it has one of the most painful stings of any insect. Rating a 4.0 on the marvellous and memorable Schmidt Pain Index the sensation of having fallen foul of this vast and intimidating insect has been described as "...immediate, excruciating pain that simply shuts down one's ability to do anything, except, perhaps, scream."

These creatures range over a vast territory from Argentina to Oregon. You might want to print this post out to have ready next time one of your relatives floats the topic of Disneyland.

Everywhere's abroad, depending on where you start

So before you start thinking "Ooh! London! That's not far! let's go there!" I'd like you to remember that many, indeed all, of the putative 'attractions' are not only wildly disappointing when you actually get down to it, they're also ruinously expensive.

Now, the unequalled joy of sunning yourself in your garden and sucking down a cold beverage isn't absolutely free, but the expenses engendered (mortgage/rent, TV licence to cover use of radio, six-pack of Heineken mini-kegs) are ones you would bear irrespective of whether you fall into the holiday trap or not.

Something to think about, I'm sure you'll agree.