Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Melodrama Suits Us

The spider was huge -- baseball sized.  Like a tarantula that had lost a few pounds of flesh but kept its long legs and terrifying fuzz of hair.  (Propped as it was under the porch railing, I don't even know how I noticed it -- Spidey sense?)  I backed away instinctively, but before I could gain the safety of my car's interior, I noticed something worth noticing.  A blob.  An undulating blob.  Creeping closer than my survival instincts would have liked, I peered at the blob while avoiding the vicious glare of the giant spider.  She eyed my advance with apparent bloodlust and a tremor of fear shuddered over my skin. 

The tremor grew into a soul-shriek when I recognized the quivering blob's source of locomotion: babies.  Millions of baby spiders had crawled free from the egg-sack I was just seeing, hidden as it was until I'd come within a few feet of the dark corner.  They'd congregated into a small nest of writhing, seething, creeping arachnidity.  (Like humanity, see?  Try to keep up...)  Their mother -- the enormous creature who'd spawned a million more just like herself -- twitched the first bend of one hairy leg in my direction.

The darker blob is the seething mass of newborn spiders.  Cringe.

I jumped back, flailing my suddenly jelly-filled arms (but not before snapping a carefully aligned picture with my trusty spider-hunting camera), trying to reconcile my thirst for knowledge with my desire to beat the the thing senseless with my all-consuming need to run away screaming.  Three things to reconcile in such a short span of seconds left me breathless, and I decided to call for backup. 

My cousin -- a hunting, fishing, fearless, man's man -- agreed to 'take care' of the situation for me.  I couldn't live knowing that those million tiny spiders would soon grow into a million giant spiders, just like their mama, and propel themselves around the house to torment my family.  Later, I dialed my husband's number, grateful that I'd spared him, and by proxy, myself, any more involvement in this nasty business. 

But I'd vastly underestimated him.  He was angry.  Hurt that I'd not trusted his own toughness enough to remove the threat of Lady Eight-Legs and all her million infants. 

I tried to explain to him over the phone, but he didn't want to listen.  Babe, I whined, I only didn't ask you to do it because... because... it's just... sometimes you're as likely to PLAY with the spider as kill it, and then it gets away.  Plus, I didn't know if you'd actually KILL the babies so much as...take them across the street and find them a nice rock to cling to in the woods. 

And my suspicion had been correct.  Well, he huffed on the other end of the line, who's the better person here, the one saving lives or the one KILLING lives?  He went on about the harmlessness of spiders -- FALSEHOODS! LIES!! -- and how if I'd really wanted him to, he'd have killed them all in one quick smash.  And really, then you'd have a bunch of murders on YOUR hands.  And you know what they say about killing a spider, don't you?  Other spiders come out to avenge their lost relation.  They crawl up your bedsheets at night and reach for....

CLICK. 

I hung up the phone.  I knew my limits and hearing a grisly tale of vengeful spiders coming to take me away in the middle of the night would have been more than I could stand to hear and still maintain my sanity.  As it was, I was already brushing at imaginary creepy crawlers on my neckline and across the arches of my feet. 

RRRING.

I considered the chances of this being anyone but my mean-spirited husband, and answered without saying hello.  If you're going to say one more word about the things a spider will do to me in my sleep, I rushed, I'm not going to listen.  There was a longer pause than I thought there should be before I heard his low chuckle. 

I gave him a chance to redeem himself.  It's no big deal, he bluffed, it probably wouldn't hurt when they...

CLICK.

I hung up on him again.

RRRING.

This time I let it ring until the answering machine picked up.  I wasn't going to listen to nightmarish tales of murder by spider-fangs.  But I knew what his next step would be, so I listened carefully with the phone by my side, waiting for his move in this impolite game.  The answering machine picked up and his oh-so-funny voice bled through the room.  Sometimes they'll even lift up your eyelids until...

BEEP.

I turned him off.  Game, set, match.  Someday my husband will realize what he's up against, and then,

he'll just...

bring home a pet tarantula or something to keep me in line. 

15 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm sooooooooo on Team Sarah on this one. Uchh.

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  2. Normally I love the pictures, but I hate this one. Spiders creep me out!

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  3. Harmless? Bah! I'm sure our husbands would scream like... us, if they woke up with that horrifying thing perched on their face, "lifting up their eyelids."

    And I'm afraid this post has moved me to decide that I can't ever meet you in person, or at least not with our husbands present. They'd be in cahoots before we even sat down on the couch, and I just can't tolerate Ben having an ally in playing pranks that could potentially stop my heart.

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  4. I will totally be having a nightmare about that creepy, throbbing blob tonight. Nearly every time I hear a nasty spider story, I'm pretty much guaranteed a horrid dream about them crawling all over me and not being able to get them off. Shudder. Maybe I'll have to watch Charlotte's Web to soothe my fears before bed tonight.

    I hope your problem is... uh... "taken care of."

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  5. Im sorry, but I"m cracking up at you guys, this is so funny and cute! not the spider, the spider deserves to die, and the babies too!

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  6. Horrible! I cannot stand spiders! Shuddering! Thnakfully since moving to Canada I have not encountered any spiders larger than a nickel. It's one of the things I love about this country. :)

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  7. Sarah- I had to tell you- A few minutes after I read your post, I felt something on my arm and nearly jumped ten feet in the air!! It turned out to be a hair. Yeah. I know.

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  8. I'm sorry, but normally I love your posts but this time I actually couldn't believe what I was reading - how could you do that to some innocent spiders? Where's your conscience? And your humanity? The second part actually refers to anyone who is scared of spiders - remember, they are more scared of you than you are of it. And now I know why.

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  9. The photo alone totally freaked me out. Death to the spider and babies is the only answer.

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  10. Oh Sarah, this post made me cringe! And laugh...and cringe some more. Being on the other side of the world and safe inside my apartment, I want to side with Justin and the pretty fantasy of cartoon baby spiders, safe in the forest, clinging to a rock...but then I see that picture and all I can think is THOSE THINGS MUST DIE!! Sign me up for Team Sarah! Yuck!

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  11. Holy crap that is gross and creepy and I would have freaked out too. I don't mind small spiders, but something like that must not live. Now I'm going to be thinking about spiders all night.

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  12. Oh goodness! I love the playful banter though.

    But I agree, those babies have got to go!

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  13. Oh momma I hate spiders. But kuddos to you for taking the picture first.

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  14. When I lived at the oceanfront in the south, there was this HUGE garden spider (in fact - that might be her) that used to make a web across the path to my car in the morning - like she was trying to catch a human. I was trapped - late to my job at a magazine everyday during the summer - and.... everyday, I would have tales of how the spider jumped into the darkness to wait for me or lunged for me. I could never bring myself to get rid of her, though - kept thinking about Charlotte's Web.

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  15. Well, I had to scroll right past the picture as fast as I could. I don't need creepy visuals or a teasing husband putting nightmarish thoughts in my head-I've already got that craziness going on in my head without outside help ha ha. I am very sympathetic for you though....uughh to find that so close to where you and your babies sleep each night aaakkkk. Oh and did I send you this link (I never thought my fear of spiders could be justified or so funny): http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/03/spiders-are-scary-its-okay-to-be-afraid.html

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?