Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Spiders: I Hate Them.

WARNING:  If you hate spiders as much as I do, you might not want to read this.  I'm also sharing a scary spider picture which you might not want to see, especially if you plan on sleeping any time soon.  There are also going to be a few expletives along the way as I tend to have a bit of a potty mouth when freaking out.  If that is going to upset your delicate sensibilities then do us both a favor and look away.  You've been warned.

I hate spiders.

I cannot state that clearly enough.  I. HATE. SPIDERS.

Let me fill you in on the backstory so you can truly understand why I flipped out so badly before work this morning.

I was a naive little child, and for many years thought spiders were some sort of "outdoor" bug, much like butterflies and inchworms, and they would never be found in the house.  I didn't have a problem with them.  They did their thing outside, made pretty webs, and lived their happy little spider lives.  Spiders were nice, helpful creatures like in Charlotte's Web.

One night I woke up to find a spider creeping along on the pillow next to me, about 3 inches from my face.  Spiders and I had a bit of a falling out after that.  Not only would they dare to come in the house, into my bedroom, but I was pretty sure it was going to try to crawl on my face.  Not cool.

Not too terribly long after that first traumatizing discovery, I learned my next spider life lesson:  they will not only violate the sanctity of your home, they will lay their eggs in it.  How did I learn this? Why, hundreds of tiny baby spiders were crawling all over my bedroom ceiling.  My parents got them exterminated, of course, but the damage was done.  For years -- literally -- I could not go to sleep without checking for spiders.  I would lie in bed and study every inch of each ceiling tile for any signs of movement.  Even a dusty cobweb was enough to keep me from sleep until it was annihilated.  If I lost my place while scanning?  Nothing to do but start over again.

And then there was my darling brother.

I honestly don't remember its origin now, but he somehow managed to acquire a large, rubbery, jiggly, fake spider.  Why my parents ever thought letting him have possession of such an object was a good idea is beyond me.

Friends, do you have any siblings?  I hope so, because you will totally understand this next part.

For months (although it seems like years in retrospect), he would ambush me each night with that damn rubber spider.  It was that special form of love and torture known only to siblings.

One night I would go to flip on the lights in my room, and the giant spider would fall off of the switch and onto my hand.

The next night it might be balanced precariously -- just in the right spot -- on top of the bedroom door so it would fall on my head.

The next?  It might be between the sheets in my bed, waiting to attack my feet as I slipped under the covers.  Underneath the pillow was also a popular spot.

Some nights it wouldn't be there at all, leaving me to wonder where the fucking thing was and when I was going to get ambushed by it.

He got me every. single. time.

I would scream bloody murder, and he would start laughing his ass off, running for the safety of his room.  I, of course, would chase him threatening imminent pain.  My parents would break up the chaos before any bodily injuries took place, and tell him not to do it again.  Like that was going to happen.  He was having way too much fun to just stop.  I also got the classic advice, "Just ignore it, and he'll get bored and stop.  You know he's going to try and get you, and when you don't react it won't be fun anymore."  Sure!  I'll just ignore the giant phobia attacking my person -- that will be easy!

So now, maybe, you understand why I hate spiders as much as I do.

This morning I was in the bathroom making a last attempt to tame my hair against the humidity before leaving for work.  Out of my peripheral vision I noticed some sort of movement in the bathtub. I figured something must have tipped over, or maybe Jazz-kitty was behind me and had flung her toy-of-the-moment into the tub.  I looked into the tub to see what was going on, and I saw this giant spider crawling the rest of the way out of the drain.

Beast From Hell.  Fuel For Nightmares.

Holy shit!  OhMyGodOhMyGodOhMyGod.

It was probably about 3 inches long, and that fucker was moving fast!

How the hell did that even fit in my drain?  What if it was in there when I was showering?  It could have attacked my toes!  WHAT IF IT HAS FRIENDS?!

I seriously considered calling my parents, to see if my father would come over to my house and kill it for me.  Yeah.  That's the next-level type of "I fucking hate spiders" I'm dealing with, people.  Sadly, it would not surprise my parents in the slightest to receive such a phone call.  

No.  I realized I couldn't do that. 

A) That would be seriously pathetic on my part,
B) That thing could wander off to parts unknown before backup arrived, and
C) I could not leave for work knowing that thing was creeping in my house, winding up who knows where.

It had to die.

My preferred method of spider killing is to have someone else do it.  I do not want to get remotely close enough that it could in any way touch me, or jump onto me.  That option was out, as I live alone.  Next best method:  smash the shit out of it with a shoe -- an enclosed shoe (sneakers or boots are best) that I can stick my hand inside for extra protection from the spider. This thing, though, was way too big and too fast for the shoe method.  

I was somehow going to have to handicap it first -- take it out at the knees, so to speak.  No way was I getting within striking distance until I was sure it wasn't going to be able to strike back. How was I going to do that?  I scanned the bathroom.  Hair spray?  Sunscreen?  No.  That might just piss it off, and I don't need a giant pissed off spider in the bathroom, out for my blood.

And then I had an epiphany.

You might not be a wasp or hornet, but I bet this stuff will bring the pain -- from far, far away.

Truthfully, I have never been more delighted that I have wasps that occasionally think it would be a good idea to set up shop along the back of the porch.  

Before I put my plan into motion, I took the above picture of the spider.  If things went bad and it bit me I wanted a photo to show the hospital staff.  Yeah.  I was going into this battle giving us 50-50 odds on winning.

I snuck back into the bathroom, closing the door behind me as quietly as possible so as not to alert my foe.  Honestly, I considered leaving the door open for a quick escape route, but I didn't want the fumes from the Spray of Death to get into the rest of the house.

There it was, chilling in the corner of the tub.  I seized the moment and sprayed the hell out of it. Take that, creepy ass spider!

It took off -- pissed off and running toward the other end of the tub.  I sprayed that creature for about three minutes, chasing it back and forth around the tub without it seeming to be bothered in the slightest by the foamy Spray of Death raining down upon it.

And then came the moment when I ran out of Death Spray.  I knew there hadn't been much left in the can, but I thought it would have been enough.


Now I've got a foamy, pissed off, fast giant spider in the tub.  What if this stuff just made it stronger in its spider-fury and awakened its blood-lust?

There was a tense stand-off as it headed back toward the shower drain, not going to lie.  Thankfully, the Spray of Death had kind of puddled there a bit.  My nemesis ran into the puddle, and then he slowly began to collapse.  Ha.  Ha!  Who's smarter now, giant spider?  You just ran into a Puddle of Doom!

I wasn't taking any chances though.  No way was I going to assume it was near dead.  It might just be gathering its reserves of strength for an assault.  It was still moving, dragging itself around.

Time for the Sneaker of Victory to make an appearance.

I beat the crap out of the thing.  No way was it coming out of that tub alive.  If there was even the slightest visible twitch, I hit it again.  

Eventually, there was stillness.  Also, I was kind of hacking up a lung from being in the fumes of the Spray of Death at that point.

I gathered far more toilet paper than was remotely necessary, and removed my foe from the field of battle.  He might be dead, but I am not letting his spidery body or guts come in contact with my person.  

Just to make abso-fucking-lutely sure that it would not make some miraculous recovery, I flushed it down the toilet.  I flushed multiple times to speed it on its way.  Burial at sea for you! (Well, probably more like Burial-in-the-sewage-treatment-plant, but that sounds nowhere near as poetic.)

My mission accomplished, I cracked open the bathroom window to release the Spray of Death from the room, but I still closed the door.  I don't need the cats getting sick from the fumes, and if that thing somehow managed to survive and climb back up the plumbing it was not going to be given easy passage into the rest of my house.

This epic battle probably took all of about 10 minutes.  I don't even know that my two cats realized that a life-and-death struggle was taking place beyond the bathroom door.  Did I panic and freak out?  Obviously.  But I won!  

In your face, spiders!  Now maybe you will stay outdoors, or in the cellar where you belong.  (I ceded most cellar rights to the spiders when I bought the house.  I keep nothing down there.  We worked out a deal:  I will only go down there if I need to do something with the furnace and/or the hot water heater, and in return they will not enter any other parts of the house or they die. Violators will most definitely be punished.) 

After that, I left for work.  I honestly didn't care what my hair looked like at that point, no way was I going back into that bathroom right away.

Yeah.  I really hate spiders.

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