Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What The Arachnid Did

A slim fiber was tapping my forearm as I tried to bridge the gap between falling and actually being asleep. It was pitch black in my room so I couldn’t see exactly what it was.  It could be my hair, which is long enough to drape down to where my forearm was tucked up under my chin. Or it could be the bedclothes settling in the breeze from the ceiling fan.

The cat, Tom-meh, was in his spot at my feet so it wasn’t him whisker tickling in prelude to affection. 

I flexed my forearm and the sensation ceased. 
Then it started again, so I flicked my arm slightly to dislodge the gossamer annoyance and settled into my pillow fortress aggressively confident I had solved the problem.
All eight legs touched down on my arm as though the thing had taken a few steps back and pole vaulted down onto my quivering skin.
Torn between thrashing like a maniac to get the thing off me or slowly moving toward the door to shed the arachnid outside, I attempted a little of both. I flicked on the light and stared at the interloper.
It stared back. We had a moment.
This monster was no Charlotte and I expected no pithy life affirming messages spun in a web above my head. Unless it was something like “Bite You.” 

It was one of Florida’s finest, a gigantic Wolf Spider. They like to come in out of the rain and heat. To mate. You can actually hear them scuttling about when they dash across the ceiling.
When I was younger after a night of tequila and who knows what else, I woke up splayed on my bed with a half-eaten quesadilla in my hand and one of these spiders studying me from about two inches from my face.  Life altering.
And then there’s the Jonny Quest episode with the big gi-normous one-eyed attack robot spider…Cue the high pitched scream here.

This one had a brown fuzzy body about the size of a dime and long spindly jointed legs all splayed out on my arm for stability.  Or to make its next jump. Which would be right to my face.
And what’s with the attitude?
This spider had swagger, thuggishly bobbing up and down, popping and locking,  preparing its next move.
Which was to jump down into my sheets and run like hell using the wrinkles as causeways to a hiding place behind my bed.
When the last of the adrenalin leeched out of my overtaxed system, I slept in the recliner with the lights on.

Next morning, geared up with my son’s paintball helmet, gloves, a large plastic cup and stiff paper, I set about capturing Mr. Legs “Fuzzy” McSpiderson for release outside in a more suitable environment.
Terrified of spiders, I still won’t kill one if I can help it. My method is usually really effective and better than flailing at it with a tennis racket as the thing limps away with maybe four legs left. Even more better than drowning it in bug spray until it flinches no more in a curled pile of imploded exoskeleton.
I place the cup over top of it and slide the paper between it and the wall or floor.  Then I run to the door and throw it all in the yard like a nelly-girl usually with a scream and a little nervous dance. Spiders get it and, even after a rough landing, they scurry quickly away.
I looked for Legs, but not for long.  Alas, there would be no pee-inducing nervous dance in the yard, no paper cup forced relocation of an alien life form to its former planet. 
Tom-meh found and assassinated the Spider with Swagger and left his exploded dismembered carcass on my pillow as a gift, as cats will do.


And just so you know I am not lying, enjoy these two clips.


  1. I REFUSE to watch the videos, because I would like to be able to sleep tonight, but the part about Tom-Meh killing the night stalker made me proud. Sorry. Can't help it! Well-told story!

  2. Laughed til I had to pee. I think I've lived this story before. Well told.


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