ITSY BITSY SPIDER . . . by Becky A

October brings to mind the beauty of multicolored trees, the crispness of crunchy leaves under foot, plus cool shivery weather. Along with the chilly air come images of Halloween: spooks, witches and ghouls galore. I’m not impressed by ghosts, vampires or Freddy Kruger. The real scary stuff comes straight from nature itself. You know, those snakes, spiders, bats and bugs that show up in unexpected places. Like our homes.

I could tell you the story about when my hubby found a three foot snake in our closet. He was terrified of snakes. Guess who got to pick it up and haul it outside? I don’t like snakes, but I can deal with them. Or, the time the neighbors asked my spouse to remove another three footer from their house. I carried it half a block and released it into a nearby field. Snakes feel icky. That’s the only way I can describe it, but they are doable.

I’ve never been around bats much but I’m pretty sure I would freak if one landed on me. I prefer to keep my blood, thank you. Bugs are here to be squished, period. I don’t care how much good they do. But then we get to spiders, yuck!

The one time I decided to be merciful to a spider, it came into my bedroom via my laundry. It was sitting on my clothesline one day and I said, “If you will leave me alone, I will leave you alone.” The little sucker ended up under the covers with me and bit my left calf in the middle of the night. Now, I didn’t feel it bite me. I did feel it crawling up my thigh. I flipped back the covers and swatted the then unknown culprit and went back to sleep. Two days later, I knew I had a problem. I proceeded to crawl around on my hands and knees until I found the shriveled little corpse. Yup, it was a brown recluse. Stupid spider! After a round of antibiotics, much prayer, and liberal doses of garlic infused olive oil, problem solved. I then spent many days vacuuming every corner repeatedly to get rid of all his little friends that had come with. Aacckk!

That's still not my most memorable spider story. I saved it for last. If you’ve got a better one, then I want to hear it. Here goes:

Getting up in the middle of the night and stumbling into the bathroom, I kicked something with my bare little tootsies. Flipping on the light, expecting to see a stuffed toy, I nearly came unglued as I stared into the big beady eyes of the largest spider I had ever seen up close and personal. It was the green, gray and tan colors of dried grasses. The body and legs were covered in spiky hair, and its overall appearance was of a tarantula. Its size was too, about five inches across. I’m going to go out on a limb and declare it was a tarantula. What kind? The, I’m not ever going to the bathroom in the middle of the night again, kind. Needless to say, after doing a very brief heebie jeebie ick dance, I ran screaming for my spouse.

By the time he pried his eyes open and arrived at the scene of the crime, the humongous and hairy nightmare was gone. I made him do a thorough search while I watched from my elevated vantage point. I stood rigid with fear in the middle of the bed, every light blazing. When all efforts failed to locate the creepy crawler, we determined that it must have come through the space around our sink drain. A full half inch between pipe and drywall was apparently enough. Stupid spider!

My spouse, satisfied that the problem was solved, crawled back into bed and resumed snoring. I considered bashing him over the head. We may have solved how it got in, and we may have run it back out. But, if it came in once, WHAT WAS GOING TO STOP IT FROM COMING IN AGAIN??? There was no way I could sleep now. My vivid imagination provided lovely pictures of it crawling into our bed or snuggling up to my helpless babies. Not to mention taking a bite to try out its super duper deluxe fangs. So, I did what every other intelligent, capable, and hero deprived wife does. I got out the duct tape and proceeded to seal that sucker into the wall.

Do I care if it looks ugly? NO! Do I care if my beloved has to pull it all off to fix it correctly? NO! Do I care that we are still living in a rental? NO, NO, and NO! Will I think of that stupid spider every time I get up to go to the can in the middle of the night? YES, YES, and ick, YES, at least for the next 20 years or so.

Now, for the moral of the story: Be careful. Be very careful when your tootsies go bump in the night. What you thought was a stray sock or stuffed toy, may be something very large and hairy, just waiting to make your acquaintance.
(Evil laughter-hahahahahahahaha!)

PS: I’ve decided to name him, Fang. Now tell us all about your favorite “pet”.


Nina Sipes said...

Well, I wouldn't exactly call him a pet, but the big guy that races to the TV cabinet is a huge wolf spider by coloration and speed. He started out, (translation--first time I saw him) about the size of a nickel. He's now the size of a fifty cent piece--that's long way. He's half that distance wide. I don't see him often and have regularly thought I must surely have vacuumed him up, but I saw him a couple of weeks ago, so I guess not. Somehow he also seems to live through the occassional 'bug' man's visit. Once again, I have no idea how. But to really talk about a spider I loathe, it was the guy who lived in the kitchen window (outside) for a summer. He started out a decent livable size and ballooned to something grotesque. He oozed evil. Every night he made a new web. The light from the kitchen would lour unsuspecting bugs to the window which would then be caught in the evil one's web. He didn't merely dine, he feasted. Often. Regularly. Until he became the very picture of swollen,dark mottled grey-black evil. I could never find him by day. Finally, I could stand it no more and fearing he would spawn and I would have his progeny in the window forever--I killed him as he started his web one evening. His insides were as repulsive as his outside, but I managed to keep them off of me. Another spider of the same type came the next year to the kitchen window. This time I knew what to expect and managed his exit from this world a bit earlier in the season.

Rox Delaney said...

I know we're women and see spiders and similar icky things as male, but I believe only female spiders spin webs. ;) I'm sure it's all a part of the ability to multi-task.

We always had wolf spiders in the basement at the farm. Quite often they liked to hide in the shower, meaning a planned nighttime shower would be skipped. Their resemblance to tarantulas (in my mind) is amazing. LOL Ours were sometimes as big around as soup cans.

Becky A said...

Nina, I had another encounter with a spider just last month that sounds a lot like your evil oozing friend. I opened the back door and there it was, my side of the screen door. It was grey/black, very large body (like 2 golfballs stuck together) and I hit it three times with my fly swatter. It felt like it was made of rubber and the flyswatter wasn't cutting it. I turned to get something harder and in the 2 seconds it took me to turn back around, it was gone. Ick, ick and double ick. I have no idea where it went but I hope it never comes back. You didn't by any chance send yours as a gift did you? Just in case you did, I now know what to get you for Christmas. (evil laughter-hehehehe)

Becky A said...

Roxann, If I had to pick a spider to be my friend, for some strange reason, it would be a Wolf spider. They don't seem to bother me like the rest. Don't ask me why. Insanity maybe? I suspect if I had to take a shower with one, I'd do my best to drown it first. Thanks for another great spider-web!

Rox Delaney said...

Becky, wolf spiders don't seem to be aggressive, so that's one good point in their favor. For some reason, I have this idea that they're wimps, so big and ugly is the only way they can be scary. LOL I don't like spiders, but if there's one around that I think might bother me--other than the shower ones--I'll whack it with a shoe, if available, or even my hand. In truth, I'd rather escort them outside and let them do their job. I just haven't found a good way to do that yet.

Joan Vincent said...

Fang scares me and I wasn't even there! I'm afraid I'm of they "the only good spider is a dead spider" cast. The only spider story I can think of is a couple of years ago when I had my grandkids I woke up from a nap feeling someone was staring at me and it was Roman, about 5 at the time. He said he needed me to come downstairs to the bedroom he where he was supposed to be napping. When I got down there he lifted a pillow on top of a rectangular stack of blocks in the middle of the bed and proudly pointed out his new pet. Yes, a large spider. Don't know what kind just big and brown. I resisted the urge to squash it and got a canning jar and trapped it. I "forgot" to put any air holes in the lid and did hold a funeral for it for Roman.! Love and marvel at spider webs but won't share inside space with their manufacturers.

Nina Sipes said...

I was testing my children's story on the grade school classes at our grade school. On first grade teacher had a rug with pillows as a reading to the children area. I got down on the rug, ready to read my story, when a little boy pointed at a spider heading my way. Without thought, I did my spider rub move and killed it. Then I looked up at the sudden silence around the floor. I had just KILLED something in front of an entire class. Trying to look unguilty, I said, "Let's get started."
Very awkward moment.

Becky A said...

Our oldest son is a softie for spiders. He always managed to find a way to get them out the door before I could play Whack a Mole with their little heads. I must say I have never been tempted to smack one with my hand. With the exception of a certain brown recluse, but then I didn't know the nature of my midnight crawler at that point. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. If I had known, the little bugger would probably still be alive and well thanks to my panicked efforts to get out of that bed!

Rox Delaney said...

Becky, I've just gotten to the point where I don't think, I just whack. Seems there's never a shoe around or on my foot that'll work right or as well. However, I truly would rather smoosh one with something other than my hand, and I won't do it to anything larger than a quarter. I'm getting really good about ignoring the mess. ;) The mind is a powerful thing.

Becky A said...

Hi Joan, gotta love those sneaky grandmas! I'm with you, spiders can do whatever they want outside of my house but if they come in, they're dead meat. I'm glad my son never went so far as to want one for a pet. I suspect he knew it would be a useless request. I've decided the real reason vacumes were invented was to suck up all the bugs. Some man got tired of killing them for his wife. Since most men don't mind a little dirt, cleaning the floors came as a bonus!

Becky A said...

Nina, I have trouble believing that most of the girls were very anguished over the death of a spider. What else were you supposed to do? Show and tell? I suppose if it bit you, that might have made a great show.LOL

Becky A said...

Roxann, I am rolling my eyes in unbelief while unable to get the visual out of my head of spider guts all over your hand! AACCKK woman, you're scarin' me!

Rox Delaney said...

Garlic infused olive oil? Interesting. I hadn't heard of that one. Not only did it help your spider bite, but I'll bet it kept the vampires away, too. ;)


Penny Rader said...