323. “Hey, come into my parlor!”

The episode:The Horrors of Spider Island,” ep. 1011

The riff: Called out invitingly by Mike as our high pants-wearing “hero” stumbles through the brush toward a large spider-like monster that is lying in wait.

The explanation: Mike is paraphrasing a famous English poem by Mary Howitt called “The Spider and the Fly” that was first published in 1829. It’s about a spider trying to trick a fly to enter its web through seduction and flattery, telling the fly how wonderful it all is. The poem was often taught to children as a lesson about guarding against fraudulent and dangerous tricksters. You can read the full text here.

Novelty factor: I don’t remember ever having learned this one in school, which is too bad.


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