March 15th, 2008
Spiders suck. Spiders crawl on you, look funny, and lurk in corners. Plus, I’ve seen several of them jump. J-u-m-p. Onto people. And cattle, which they then eat whole.
I grew up in Illinois. I saw it.
I do not like spiders, but I try to be as nice to them as possible. When I see one, I will gently lift it onto a piece of paper and while holding it at arm’s length, tenderly shoo it outside to frolic with the birds and the bees. Occasionally, the spider will drop under my shoe where I accidentally grind it underfoot. Then shoot it in the face.
As a helpful measure, I open my windows wide, inviting spiders to leave my domicile for fresh air and sunshine SOMEWHERE ELSE. I even put up informative exit signs to show them the way.
I’ve attempted to live peacefully with spiders, and just this week, even let one wander about my home in relative ease. At one point, he clung to a web in the corner of my shower and I let him, which if you know me, is a real advancement in my personal evolution.
So this spider stays around for awhile. One day he’s in my shower, the next over my sink, and the day after that, above the bathroom door.
I even let him hang out in my closet.
I’m thinking we’ve developed a relationship. I let him see me naked and he stays the effing hell away from me.
So I’m used to this guy. I know where he lives and I expect him to uphold his end of the my not killing him bargain by not dangling over my face at night or popping out of my shoe right before I put it on.
Then, he up and disappears.
I stress to you that I do not appreciate disappearing spiders. THOSE are the ones that crawl out when you least expect it and you find that while they’ve been gone, they’ve been dating, got married and bore 10 majillion kids.
For old time’s sake, I’m hoping he comes back to say goodbye in a non-threatening, non-jumping, manner, so I can shoot him in the face.
Meanwhile, I thought I’d drive home the point of my spider hatingness with 8 spider vignettes. All of them true.
1 – I’m pregnant. I’m naked. I’m adjusting the shower nozzle and about to step into the bath at my dad’s house. A ton of bricks drops onto my shoulder. I’m thinking, “A ton of bricks? That can’t be good for the baby.” My hand swipes my shoulder to brush the bricks off as a spider, the size of a BRICK and weighing as much as a TON OF BRICKS, falls into the shower. I scream. My dad rushes in. We’re both embarrassed, but I stand there naked as I monitor the situation to ensure Spider Brick is destroyed. My dad didn’t find it and I refused to shower for the rest of my visit. No good can come from that.
2 – My dad’s driving me to school. An odd sensation hits my chest and I look down at my Izod cardigan to see an enormous banana spider (yellow, translucent) rapidly making its way to my brain. I scream, my dad brakes in the middle of the highway. It was not good.
3 –My friend gets up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. She returns to bed, and by the light of the moon, sees Spiganturan scurry out from UNDER HER PILLOW, crawl ACROSS IT and scamper beneath the sheets. Not good, not good at all.
4 –My brothers, sister and I were mischief making in a friend’s basement. As we played hide and seek behind the bar, we came upon a case of Mountain Dew, which looked refreshing and tasty. My brother grabbed a can, opened the pop top and took a swig. A second later, he spit out a stream of the Dew, upon which surfed a huge-a** spider, which had been INSIDE THE MOUNTAIN DEW. Not refreshing. Not tasty. Not good.
5 –Toot’s Christmas present, a bug vacuum, lay on its side against some crumpled wrapping paper. She’d just opened it, not moments before, and I thought I’d check it out. Helpfully, the bug vacuum engineers included a magnifying glass in the toy, so any bugs looked about 85 pajillion times bigger than in real life. Good thing, too, because as I brought it to my face, I saw immediately that it contained a trapped spider, and I was able to really get a close look at its evil sneer, right before I smashed it to bits.
6 –I’m cleaning out the closet. Two wooden TV trays lay folded in the corner. Good! We could use something that makes it easier to eat in front of the television! I pull them out and set them up right then and there. As I do so, two BLACK WIDOW spiders jump out from under the trays, scamper ACROSS MY HAND and disappear back into the closet. I did not like that. It was not good.
7 –I’m approaching the entrance to Island’s Restaurant. I’m walking fast, there’s a burger inside. I’m about to pass a small group of people huddled just outside the door, when a woman throws her arm out, blocking the way. I lean forward to chew her arm off, when I see, 3 millimeters in front of my face, a thick bodied, yellow and black tree spider — the kind that eats birds and cattle — suspended in mid-air. The woman saved me from certain cardiac arrest. One more step and I’d have walked right into that thing. We still talk. I pledged my first born to her. I hear they’re happy together.
8 –I just gave birth. I’m recovering at home and grabbing the few seconds of sleep I can before Booger wakes. It’s about midnight and I groggily look up at the ceiling fan right above the bed. It’s dark, but I think I see a black mass just below the fan’s blades. An giant dust bunny? Maybe, maybe. Do dust bunnies hop like that? And is it coming closer? Is it CLINGING TO A STRING AND MAKING ITS WAY DOWN TO MY FACE? The spider hovered above me for a bit, as I was just too tired to move and thought maybe I was in some sort of postpartum fugue state that made all my nightmares real, so next I’d see that freaky kid from The Grudge pop up from under the bed, screaming silently with his mouth wide open. Then, I realize I’m the one screaming and it’s not silent, not silent at all. Also, not good.
So there you have it.
As you may have noticed, I’m using this post as a springboard to capture the attention of the Spider Council of America marketing department. I’d like to propose a new ad slogan: “Spiders. Not good.” or “We’re spiders. Please shoot us in the face.” Or if they want to go another route, get folks to actually like spiders, maybe start changing negative spider perceptions, they could use the tagline, “We’re spiders and we’re real sorry we eat cattle and jump on you.”
I don’t know, something catchy like that.