Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wrestling with wild beasts at Ephesus... more or less.

So, as has already been plentifully established, I am not a Brave Sort of Person.

When I was little and there was a spider, I'd call my bravest of the brave Daddy to come kill it for me. Even if it was just a little bitty spider. Because spiders are freaky and terrifying.

After I reached a certain age, Daddy suggested I might begin to kill my own spiders. I looked at him with shock and horror, and he quickly took back his suggestion. But, Daddy wasn't always at home, and Mama really wasn't any better than I about eight legged creepies.

Guess where spiders favorite place upstairs is? My bathtub. They love it. Why? I have absolutely no idea. Maybe because it's so slipperyslidey, and they secretly like to play slip 'n' slide when nobody is watching.

Anyway, that's where they like to hang out, and after a while, I got a system down pat. I'd carefully check the shower, (this includes shaking the shower curtain and peering behind the shampoo bottles,) before I stepped in. (This cautious approach was firmly imprinted in my brain after the day a large spider suddenly appeared by my toes during the shower. He died very shortly afterwards, cause of death being scalding water and drowning mingled with ear splitting shrieks. I thought about hanging his body up with a sign, like in Pirates of the Caribbean, saying "be warned all ye spiders who enter here." But I decided that was just gross.)

Back to my system. If there was a spider, I'd drown him with hot water and then carefully use about a half roll of toilet paper to gingerly pick him up by one leg and deposit him into the dark recesses of the toilet.

So, I got pretty comfortable with handling spiders in the tub. But in the last two years, brown recluses and gigantic wolf spiders have begun using our house as an apartment complex. And they sign really long leases with somebody. The brown recluses don't really bother me, except when they crawl across my pillow, (yep, it's happened,) but the wolf spiders get to me. Literally.

If you want a good idea of these aptly named monsters, just check 'em out on Wikipedia. They are defined as "robust and agile" and believe me, I can testify of their robustity and agility. (Yes, robustity is a word. I just made it up, so there.)

They like to just appear out of thin air, unexpected and uninvited, and sit and watch you out of their beady little eyes until you catch sight and scream bloody murder. At which they chuckle darkly and hurry away. Sometimes you catch up with them and WHAM!! no more spider! Sometimes they get away. I choose not to think of those times; they give me nightmares.

Usually whether they get killed or not is a direct result of how close Mama or Trey or someone else is, because I mount a chair and stay there until the execution and clean-up are complete. I don't kill them. It's disgusting and scary to get as close as you have to to accomplish the work, and you know that at any moment they could decide to scurry towards you at roughly the speed of light.

But the other night, (this is where this post has been going all along; sorry for the really, really long introduction,) I was in my room, calmly lying on my bed, reading, when something large and brown by my bookcase caught the corner of my eye.

"Whoa, is that a mouse?" I thought, turning to look.

No. It was a spider.

I had only seen one spider that big in our house before, on the wall above my bed, and I had, shall we say, not handled it well. Mama was away from home all night, and I was staying alone. Needless to say, I set off a spider bomb thingy in the bedroom and slept on the couch.

But here it was, in my room, and I knew I wouldn't be able to rest in peace if I let it slink away. I went and hollered for mama, but she wasn't home. I panicked a little. Then I decided to call Trey, but the creature started moving along the baseboard, and I was afraid he was going to slip in a crack and be gone. Gone, but still very much there, if you know what I mean. I flew downstairs and got the flyswatter, (becuase I didn't want to hit it with one of my books and then have to clean the... ahem, guts... off, and when you smush them with a shoe, you hear the crunching sound waaaay too clearly,) then flew back up the stairs and prepared for the slaughter. It was hiding behind my chair, but I moved the chair just a bit and out he popped. I screeched and hopped back three feet.

Then he started a mad dash for the corner, and I quickly edged closer and closer, stretched out my arm as far as it would go, (keeping distance, of course,) and SWAT!! as hard as I could.

The dratted thing wasn't dead. Or even visibly damaged. He just paused a moment, as if stunned, then started scurrying towards me. I screamed again and hit him, over and over, as hard as I could, until he crumpled and gave up the ghost.

Then, flushed with triumph, I called Amelie to tell her of my brave feat, discarded the remains, and did a little happy dance. Then I got on the loudspeaker and told all the spiders lurking in the shadows that Katie had come into her own, so prepare to die. They didn't believe me.

But they will soon. Oh, yes. They will soon.

p.s. My clock thingamajig is messed up, so the times that show up on here aren't correct. Just thought I'd let y'all know that valuable piece of information.

p.p.s. I didn't exaggerate this story. Really. I wish I had, because I don't like the fact that such things happen. But they do. It's very unfortunate.


Emily said...

Soooo . . . you don't mind the poisonous spiders that could cause your flesh to rot with one little chomp . . . but you do mind the harmless spiders that eat the poisonous ones . . . Oh yeah, that makes perfect sense.

People who are not arachnophobes like to make fun of people who are.

Katie said...

Shush, Emily.

Yes. I know it doesn't make sense. But the brown recluses are so small compared to the ... other ones.

Gurtrude said...

The brown recluses always got stuck in our bath tub too, but it never bothered me. I never did find one on the shower curtains, but one time my cousin and I were playing a game and I pulled back the curtains and a mouse fell down on my arm.

Oh, and wolf spiders, I've been bitten by one of those and it drew blood. It hurt...bad!

PS. I've living in our house full of brown recluses for fourteen years and have not got bitten yet.

Lolly said...

Katie-me-love, I feel your pain. As you know, I share your, shall we say, less-than-fondness-of eight legged unmentionables. You remember my first house? The wolf *things* from you-know-where? Oh yes, I know all about the thought processes of weighing the probability of the disgusting "crunch" and even the possibility of being eaten alive (yes, I do believe this is possible) against the allowing of *it* to get away, then appear in a much worse manner and place - like your shoe, perhaps, as you put it on, or your bed - way down at the bottom where you can't see, even if you check (which I did). You will survive, my Dear. I know you will.

elliebird said...

How have the mighty fallen! You are woman, hear you roar! You make me feel like a natural woman! doesn't fit. Nevermind.

Heather said...

I am so glad you left me a comment... I have been meaning to find your blog! I am not scared of spiders, but roaches are an entirely different story!