Spidey Senses are tingling

Spiderman, MP David Wilks and me, on hunches, instincts and gut feelings.

Our Kootenay-Columbia Member of Parliament, David Wilks, was in the news briefly this week.

The Canadian Bar Association and Criminal Lawyers’ Association on Tuesday were criticising surveillance powers in the government’s anti-cyberbullying bill, Bill C-13. At one point, Michael Spratt of the CLA tangled with MP Wilks about the use of one’s spider senses (the following is taken from the Globe and Mail).

“What we want to avoid is police obtaining personal and private information based on their spidey senses, which happens all the time and the courts have a dim view on that,” Mr. Spratt said, speaking about the new powers in the bill.

Mr. Wilks, interrupting, said: “As a police officer, my spidey senses, as you [call] them, are the one and only thing that will allow me sometimes to move forward in an investigation that will eventually bring forward more information in a case.”

Well, indeed. While there are likely flaws in Bill C-13, I must agree with MP Wilks that instincts, hunches and gut feelings should not be discounted — though no one expects them to stand up in court. I know my instinctive reactions to a problem have often guided me to a decision. Not always 100 per cent for the better, of course.

For our older readers, “spider senses,” or “spidey senses,” are one of the superhuman attributes of the amazing Spiderman, a rather palooka-like everyman who was bitten by a radioactive spider in his youth developed superpowers, which set him on a career of fighting crime (crimes usually committed by supervillains). “My ‘spidey senses’ are tingling*,” meant there was immediate danger, present but hidden.

So no wonder MP Wilks, a former cop, would understand the value of spidey senses. I understand their value as well.  But the term “spidey senses” elicits something electric, a tingling announcing that “action will soon be your reward,” as the song says (“Your Friendly Neighbourhood Spiderman”). In my case, my warning signals manifest themselves as a heavy pain in my belly, like a snake has hatched in there and is squirming around.

A hypothetical situation: I have to decide whether to publish a certain piece in the newspaper. There is something dangerous about it — perhaps it’s potentially libelous. My reaction upon reading it will be unpleasant twisting in my guts, with the thought that if the piece is not published — if it is killed — an unhappy situation will result. If it is published, something even worse will result. In my hard-won experience, I have learned that this is usually how it plays out, and so I have learned to trust my spidey senses — or rather, the snake in my belly. Following the spidey senses doesn’t stand up in the court of the angry writer. But that’s better than ending up in a real court.

But enough of all these spiders and snakes. The important point is that the Amazing Spiderman and the cool things he says have entered our lexicon. “Spidey senses” has become part of our everyday speech, and Spiderman an awesome linguistic role model (“Is he strong? Listen, bud! He’s got radioactive blood!”).

* In Spanish, the term is “mi sentido aracnido zumba.” I learned that from reading a Mexican Spiderman comic.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dr. Albert de Villiers, Chief Medical Health Officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
‘People need to start listening’: IH top doc combats COVID-19 misconceptions

Dr. Albert de Villiers says light at the end of the tunnel will grow in step with people’s adherence to PHO guidance

(File)
One death and 82 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

1,981 total cases, 609 are active and those individuals are on isolation

Jim Webster displays one of the 50 ski chairs he recently purchased from the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (RCR). After around 50 years of use at the Kimberley Alpine Resort, Webster is now selling the chairs for $500 each to raise funds for a local parks project. Paul Rodgers photo.
Jim Webster sells vintage Kimberley Alpine Resort ski chairs for park fundraiser

Marysville resident Jim Webster recently came into possession of some Kimberley history;… Continue reading

Stock photo courtesy Cliff MacArthur/provincialcourt.bc.ca.
Double-murder trial in case of Cranbrook couple killed adjourned until January

A trial has been adjourned until January for two men charged with… Continue reading

Cranbrook Community Theatre (CCT) is presenting virtual visits and live letter readings with Santa, from Friday, Dec. 11, to Sunday, Dec. 13. Photo contributed
Cranbrook Community Theatre hosts Santa’s virtual visits and letter readings

Despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, Santa Claus is at large… Continue reading

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Good Samaritan Mountainview Village located at 1540 KLO Road in Kelowna. (Good Samaritan Society)
First long-term care resident dies from COVID-19 in Interior Health

Man in his 80s dies following virus outbreak at Mountainview Village

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

Amanda Weber-Roy, conservation specialist for BC Parks in the Kootenays. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
VIDEO: Kootenay youth climate group works to protect Nelson’s water supply

Youth Climate Corps members spent five weeks thinning forest in West Arm Park

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read