Webs of Intrigue; a national geographic tape from the 1980s that was so good it won an emmy; a tape promising 45 whole minutes of spider behavior and web weaving. I had to have it. Why? It featured my favorite spider, the orb weaver. If i had this tape, i could see orb weavers whenever i wanted. I wouldn’t have to keep fighting the ever-multiplying praying mantises and destroying their egg structures in a desperate attempt to allow some of the orb weavers to live to adulthood so i could observe them. I mean, i still would do that, but not as much would be riding on it.
The first time i bought this tape from someone on ebay they sent me a different tape in this jacket sleeve. I was very disappointed. They refunded me my money but i wanted the tape. The second time i bought this tape i popped it in and the vcr promptly ripped all the ribbon out of the tape. It was a mess and it took me forever to get it all out of the vcr. At first i thought it was my vcr that was at fault but every tape i put in after was just fine. I tried to wind the tape back up but i never did get it fully back to normal and when i tried to insert it again the same thing happened. I was refunded my money but again, i wanted the tape. The third time i bought the tape on ebay it was not packed well. It arrived in a thin manila envelope. I could hear some pieces rattling around inside the tape and see where there were some plastic bits broken off the corner. If i wanted the ribbon to run smoothly i would have to extract the plastic pieces from the inside of the vhs tape or it would continue to skip and possibly get destroyed. So, i took it home, got out my toolbox, unwound the tiny screws, took the tape apart, extracted all the plastic pieces in there, and put the tape back together, screwing all the tiny screws back into place. There was only one problem. The plastic pieces belonged to a corner that one of the screws sat in. So, the screw was not holding that corner together anymore and the tape was now taller than it should have been on one side. I popped it into the vcr and was able to watch about a minute of the tape before i began to worry about how i was going to get it out. Its abnormal height meant the vcr did not automatically spit it out when i pressed eject and i had to delicately fish it out while pressing it together on the broken side with my fingers to condense the height, trying not to damage my vcr. I never again put it in my vcr for fear of damaging it but i did get a taste of the emmy award winning spider footage and boy it did not disappoint. Now i really wanted this tape. After obtaining my final refund i found the only other person selling this tape on ebay at a reasonable price (there was a thirty dollar difference between this one and the remaining guy’s asking price). I begged him to double bubble wrap it. He seemed slightly offended and assured me that he double wraps all of his products to begin with. The tape arrived and was in excellent condition. I then had the time of my life. Never before in the history of mankind had such footage of spider behavior been captured and explained, and set to such beautiful music. Everything was in focus and up close and personal. There were egg sacs hatching. There were webs being erected and then taken down before a storm. There were spiders hunting, spiders mating, spiders eating…everything one could ever wish to see about spiders. And of course, my beautiful orb weavers were the main feature. I was so happy i cried. It was by far my favorite national geographic tape in the collection. It was amazing. There was nothing more to say.