Take Hitler, Ted Bundy, Son of Sam, Stalin, and Ivan the Terrible. Put all their sorry souls in a blender, pulse on high. What issues forth is every dark thing I see when I glimpse a spider. There is simply nothing more loathsome, reprehensible, or terrifying than seeing those nasty legs attached to those hideous bodies. And I double dog dare even one of you to speak those wretched words, “But they’re good spiders; they eat bad bugs.” A pox on you and all your houses if you go there!
I have hated these rotten bastards since we lived near the Mexican border and tarantulas were part of our daily existence. More about that later. But last night, all-out war was declared, a line was drawn in the sand. I had taken leftovers out to the garage fridge. I was barefoot. On my trip back in I saw the scariest-assed spider I have seen since the tarantulas. This sucker was HUGE, brown, furry, and extremely dangerous looking. Even if I’d been wearing my flip-flops, I wouldn’t have dared to risk putting my generous size 10 shoe on that body and attempting to squish it. NO WAY JOSE!
The bastard was smack dab between me and the laundry room door, right on the threshold of the upper step. There was no way I was risking jumping past him. Heart pounding, I glanced around wildly looking for something to dispatch him with. All seven fly swatters were hanging on a hook inside the laundry room, so that wouldn’t do. But I spied shelves where we keep extra cleaning products and grabbed a bottle of Windex and drenched that little MOFO. Did he die? Hell no. But he did decide to rear up at me, just like a horse would do. Balancing on his back most legs, he reared back and make aggressive swimming motions with his front ones. Now, that really pissed me off. Whose name is on the deed to this house, AHOLE, yours or mine?
I then grabbed a bottle of dish detergent and proceeded to saturate him with it. No impact whatsoever. I then flung Drano crystals all over and around him, to no avail; it just made him madder. Now he’s starting to advance towards me, but in order to reach me, he would have to descend two brick steps to reach the garage floor. It was that moment that I noticed movement out of my left eye. Here come two more wolf spiders in support of their brethren. I now have two sides blocked by these critters, and feel pretty sure that were I brave enough to turn around, there might well be more behind me.
The entire time this is going on, I’m screaming my head off for The Spousal Unit, but he’s on the opposite end of the house in his office, with the perpetually turned on TV blaring at top volume. Hell’s Angels could have arrived in the driveway by the dozens and spirited me away and he would have heard nothing. Suffice it to say, that about 20 minutes later, with the assistance of a squeegee, one broom, a dustpan, and another half bottle of Windex, they gave up their battle against the Great White Bitch Homeowner and did the right thing. They expired. But then guess what? Dozens of tiny baby spiders came spilling out from their corpses!! It was like grains of sand had sprung to life on the garage floor; they got the Windex treatment as well, post haste! NO SHIT SHERLOCK!! Apparently, this is a super cool survival mechanism for these bastards.
Lessons learned last evening. Never go barefoot and never venture into the garage at night unarmed. Keep multiple household chemicals within easy reach. Oh, and keep a generous supply of tequila in the garage just in case they should trap you in your car overnight. These spiders just can’t take a joke.
Last night’s events pale in comparison to the three years we lived in South Texas. We lived out in the country and it was not even worth mentioning if you saw several dozen tarantulas a day. They were either brown or black, furry, and they could leap great distances. Just what the world needs, ugly, furry, flying 6″ diameter spiders. They were so bad that my Dad and Grandpa had to give me shooting lessons when I was just ten years old, so I could walk down the gravel road to a friend’s house. The parents of all the kids who got off the school bus stop had to take turns standing armed guard while we waited for the bus mornings and afternoons.
But the absolute worst moment happened one night when my parents were standing on the front porch saying goodnight to friends. I was being a nosey parker, as usual, and was peeking through the blinds. I was supposed to have been asleep hours before. Suddenly, I saw my stepdad grab a shovel that was propped up against the wall and slam it with full force right at my Mom’s head. Now this was very strange, because these two adored each other, so I couldn’t fathom what had happened to make him so mad at her. Turned out he had spotted a huge black tarantula on the wall behind her, all bunched up and ready to pounce on top of my Mom’s head. With my window closed, I hadn’t heard him yell, “Duck!” just before he swung the shovel. Close call.
And then there were the scorpions, same house, same border town. We had a ritual every single night before bedtime, and no, it wasn’t as much fun as getting read a bedtime story and being rocked to sleep! Every night, my stepdad unscrewed the glass light fixture that was over my bed and flushed any scorpions that were there down the drain. The fixture had to remain off through the night because apparently the scorpions liked the warm glass. Then, my parents would remove the pillowcase, quilt, AND top and bottom sheets on a thorough scorpion check. If the coast was clear, the bed was remade and I could safely be tucked in. E.V.E.R.Y. S.I.N.G.L.E. N.I.G.H.T. for three years. Now that’s parental devotion right there.
Then, to add insult to injury, I was pulling crabgrass out of one of my gardens this morning and came about three inches from putting my hand on a huge banana spider. I think my days of wearing flip-flops to work in the yard are soooo yesterday; I’m so over it. Anyhow, who wants to come over and watch “Arachnophobia” with me?