In the night I watched two spiders having sex. The larger one sent out two questing, tentacular legs towards the smaller, and the smaller approached then retreated, and this foreplay lasted over half an hour (Oh! The joys of insomnia!) Then the smaller dashed in, and the larger opened to him, pushing her legs back, while he jabbed at her underside repeatedly. Then suddenly he dashed away, and they sat a few inches apart, smoking a cigarette. I thought she was coming for him to eat him, but then I thought she was just repairing damage to her web. In the morning I saw three husks the size and shape of the smaller spider in her web, before I swept it away: she ran below my bed, and may yet lay eggs there.
In the pub, two dogs met: a Jack Russell and a spaniel perhaps twice its height at the shoulder. They sniffed each other’s bottoms, then the Jack Russell put its forepaws around the other’s neck. The other, distressed, was restrained by the man with its lead. The woman put the lead of the other round the leg of a chair, which the smaller dog proceeded to pull across the floor, and went away to chat. Then I saw the small dog with its forepaws on the other’s haunches.
“Is it trying to bugger it?” wondered a man. Then we saw its hips moving. “He likes dogs which have been spayed” the woman had said earlier, but I had not thought she meant that, as “spayed” usually means oopherectomy rather than castration. Later I saw the spaniel on its owner’s lap, while the Jack Russell, sitting on his haunches, batted up at its muzzle with his forepaws. I wondered how she would have responded had the spaniel’s owner complained, but doubt she would have had difficulty.
Nice pacifist Quakers don’t have conflict? “I need twenty”, I emailed to one, and he replied “You can have eight”. “I need twenty!” I emailed back, immediately, definitely. It does not matter what they were, as long as you realise that twenty is easier for me, more difficult for him, and considerably better. And he gave in, just like that.
I wrote before of the lawyers of Engrenages, and then wrote “But that is not me”. Possibly, it might be. I see such people, and think, yeah, that might work. What is it like? Here is Edward Burrough on the Quaker business meeting: do read the whole thing. When I read it before business meeting I missed out the bit about “hot contests”, a decision I regret, because we are strong personalities, who can be difficult. Proper business method leading to Unity requires us not to suppress our difficulties and differences, but to transcend them. My old, “Oh, why can’t we just get along?” does not work.