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By Mark Loper
It’s disheartening that a “Part II” is necessary to alert South Orange County residents of the predators anxious to take their lives.
But here we have it.
So, another frequent threat prowling in our neighborhoods is the Canis Latrans, or coyote, an animal that respected palm readers believe is closely related to the werewolf.
Keep in mind that coyotes usually subsist on a diet of rabbits, squirrels, and Chihuahuas.
But, on occasion and when diverting from its Paleo diet, the coyote will form a gang (several treatises have been penned on coyote gang rituals, appropriate behavior, and acceptable tats), find a suitable target, and then pounce!
But you don’t have to be a victim!
If surprised and surrounded by a pack of salivating Canis Latrans, do not panic.
Compliment the group on their cool gang colors, sit before them (the lotus position is best), and then gingerly stroke the fluffy throat of the gang leader . . . and you’ll be fine.
(The leader is the one who looks like Marlon Brando.)
OK, now you’re safe from carnivorous four-legged creatures (and those with feathers), but what about that silent killer with eight legs?
That’s right; I’m talking Loxosceles reclusa, or the brown recluse spider!
The brown recluse, shy and without any social media presence, is often called the J.D. Salinger of the arachnid world.
Uncomfortable with crowds, the brown recluse is usually found in woodpiles and at Walden Pond.
This innocuous-looking spider can be identified by a black violin shape on its underbelly or, in some cases, a teal clarinet.
And this arachnid is sneaky.
You probably won’t feel its furtive bite, but within 24 hours, you’ll have a fever, the infected area will swell to 10 times its size, and you’ll forget your manners.
But this painful and embarrassing experience doesn’t have to be yours.
Arachnologists recommend that if you come face-to-face with a brown recluse, you DO NOT make eye contact, DO hum the first few bars of Tchaikovsky’s “Violin Concerto” and, if possible, gently caress under the spider’s chin . . . and you’ll be fine.
OK, OK, now you’ve faced down several terrifying assailants and you’re feeling pretty good about yourself.
But there are always more bad guys; I mean, just watch John Wick.
As an example, don’t forget that silent killer, the black widow spider, notorious for poisoning her spouse and draining his bank account.
But, for the most part, just follow these guidelines, folks, and you’ll be fine.
Well, except for car dealers.
I have no solution for those predators.
Mark Loper has been a San Juan Capistrano resident for more than 30 years and has written for several kinds of media, including The Capistrano Dispatch. His writing has been scorned and rejected countless times but, while hanging onto a wisp of self-esteem, he’s managed to have the occasional scribbling published in book form, in columns, online, on TV and as advertising. He has yet to tweet.