Did you know spiders have no muscles? Instead, their limbs function on a system of arachnid hydraulics, or something close to that. The complicated locomotion of spiders, though, doesn’t stop them from being utterly disgusting. I’m not going to pretend to tolerate spiders. I hate the nasty things.
When I went downstairs the other night to check on a load of laundry, there a was giant shaggy spider crouched in front of the dryer. I’m not sure if the beast was enjoying the heat from the permanent press setting, or why he was there, but he was big and he was ugly.
For some strange reason, I can stare down a class of 35 teenagers without batting an eye, but that one long-legged beastie sent chills from my toenails to the fillings in my molars. Something about the way spiders move just skeeves me right out; damn creepy hydraulics.
Luckily for me, I keep a menacing red can of something called “Spider Blaster” on the shelf next to the washing machine. Some genius at the Raid company decided that the can should be labeled with a picture of a large, angry, glossy spider, because apparently the name “Spider Blaster” didn’t convey the intended use of the product clearly enough. Guess what, Mr. Raid artistic designer: folks who despise spiders enough to purchase a toxic spray for crawling invertebrates do not want to handle a can featuring a larger-than-life photograph of a gnarly spider, complete with fangs. Shudder. I suggest relabeling the next production of this stuff with a big symbol, similar to the ones meaning no smoking, or no German Shepards in this park, but with a simple eight-legged silhouette behind the red bar instead. Either that or a giant smiley face, which will absolutely represent my joy at the prospect of a spider-free residence.
Back to the big dude in front of the dryer. I reached slowly for the Raid, silently praying that the furry fella didn’t leap up from the concrete floor and tear out my spleen. He seemed oblivious to my intent when I popped off the plastic cap, then I leaned in as far as I dared and let fly with my Spider Blaster. Despite my direct hit, Sir Crawls a Lot was unfazed. He moseyed under the dryer, apparently none the worse for my spraying. Perhaps when the bottles are relabeled, they should also rename the stuff “Spider Tickler,” since he seemed amused more than terrified for his life.
Since I didn’t want to see him again, I sprayed a liberal moat around the base of the dryer with my red can of doom, since the product bragged that it kept “killing for up to two weeks.” I figured I was safe, and my basement smelled like funeral home floral from the Raid.
The next morning, when I went downstairs in my hot pink housecoat to retrieve the last load, on the wall at the base of the stairs was my hairy scary friend, as pert and gigantic as ever. He glared at me and shifted his fangs around to let me know who was in charge. I decided to give the Spider Blaster one last shot, largely because I cannot handle the smash-crunch-ooze of shoe to critter spider combat. With the first spray, he fell from the wall, and tried to make a break for the safety of the crack near the baseboard. I sprayed him again, pressing down on that little white button with all I had, and he slowed down. Finally, he stopped in his tracks and shifted into something best described as Riverdance, but with more legs and no shoes. I blasted him a little more and he tucked into the little ball we all know means the spider is no more. I decided to leave the carcass there to lure other creepers, who might hopefully inspect his body hoping for a meal and fall prey to the poison as well.
Grabbing my laundry basket, I flipped off the laundry room light switch and turned to hurry upstairs. I nearly dropped my basket of towels, t-shirts, and undies when I saw the giant spider, the one I just killed for crying in my Cornpops, balancing all Cirque de Soleil style on a web strung between the wall and the first step. I will say this: it was a darn good thing I peed that morning before I went down to deal with the laundry, or this story might have a bit of extra scandal. Truly, I thought I was finally losing what’s left of my mind.
I turned to check the scene of the last crime, and the bristly ball that was once a spider was lying right where he took his last gasp. Comfortingly (and alarmingly) the creature at the base of the stairs was a different spider. What were the odds of seeing two of the same freaking freaky things on one laundry run?
At a loss, I pressed my body desperately against the far wall of the narrow dollhouse stairwell, facing the beast so he couldn’t attack me from behind. I swear that spider was taunting me, and he sounded like an angry Gilbert Gottfried.
When I called The Electrician after work, I said to him, “Darling, I have a super big tough guy job that requires your muscles.”
“Sure, love, anything for you,” he replied, because he rocks.
“I need you to go on a spider killing spree in the basement. I’ve seen three huge ones in the last 24 hours and I will run out of clean undies before I’ll go willingly back down there.”
“Gross,” he sighed. I have a sneaking feeling he hates spiders almost as much as I do, but he’s bigger and braver than I am, so he accepted the mission.
The Electrician doesn’t like snakes. He does NOT like snakes one bit, and I don’t mind them, so I’ve decided that if a man-eating snake ever finds its way into my basement, or his for that matter, I will pull up my big girl panties and deal with it. In the meantime, he can use his masculine courage to kill spiders for me.
When he ventured downstairs with a roll of Bounty and nerves of steel, The Electrician was gone a long time. I started to worry. He finally returned with a wadded-up bundle of paper towel and a grimace on his bearded face.
“Buttercup,” he sighed, “trust me when I say you don’t want to know.” Apparently, it was a spider blood bath with many casualties. I don’t think spiders have blood, per se, but they do have whatever that goop is that bursts out when they’re smashed. It was a goop bath, then. Gack.
Thank goodness for The Electrician and his tough guy courage, or I might have had to start driving to the laundromat.
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