Tuesday, April 29, 2008

But Karen, Spiders Eat Bugs!

I don't care if they eat green eggs with ham and wash it down with 100 percent pure Florida pulp free orange juice mixed with Kentucky bourbon. Unless you can persuade me that they'll keep the soap scum off my bathroom tiles, I want nothing to do with them.

Erica Ridley recently blogged about lizards in her house, while Vicki Lane so does not do snakes. Guess what I’m railing against today?

Anytime I see a spider, you have a window to go to court and have me declared legally insane.

Spiders haven’t been a problem in our current abode, perhaps because of the “bug guy” who visits every three months. But in the much older house where we lived in the 90’s, about fifteen miles north of here, arachnids abounded, huge brown things almost as big as the back of my hand. We were more likely to see them early in the morning, or late at night.

These spiders weren’t poisonous, just creepy looking, especially when they carried egg sacs. We had a screened porch just off the family room, and one afternoon I spotted one of these monsters on the screen with its bag of little monsters. The sunlight hit the screen in such a way that the spider’s shadow made it look bigger and even more menacing. I brought the children inside and sent Mr. Lucky out to slay it.

He was on the computer late one night when he was startled by one scampering across the ceiling, hauling an egg sac like a bank bandit on the lam. On another occasion, he opened the fuse box to find two of them with their little bag of spoils.

And they were fast. They could whisk across the room in the blink of an eye. I would see one, run to grab the bug spray, and when I came back, the spider would be gone. But I was never content to shrug my shoulders and move on with my life—no, that spider had to be found and eliminated to the exclusion of all other considerations, and I usually caught up to it in another room.

It took a lot of bug spray just to get rid of one, they were so big and stubborn. When we didn’t have bug spray, I applied the starch Mr. Lucky kept for his military uniforms, and on another occasion, I used oven cleaner. It wasn’t as if I ever cleaned the oven, anyway, except in years ending with the letter F.

Mr. Lucky thought nothing of shooting half a can of bug spray at a few mosquitoes or gnats outside on the porch. Yet anytime one of those giant brown spiders showed up inside the house, he’d only tickle it with a light mist. As it scurried off in rage, usually behind the heaviest piece of furniture, Mr. Lucky would saunter away in the opposite direction, offhandedly declaring, “It’ll be dead soon.”

“I want it dead and out of my house NOW!” I yelled. I was always afraid my son would find the carcass before I did, and stick it in his mouth. Mr. Lucky, on the other hand, insisted I had some crazy idea that if the spider didn’t die immediately, then it would mutate into fifty times its original size and seek vengeance on me while I slept. I don’t know where he came up with that notion but he did—and he even scoffed at his own assumption. Men!

As further evidence of how easily these little critters can scar me for life, when I was in the Air Force, single and living in my own apartment off base in Texas, I woke up one night to the sound of crackling paper in the room. I switched on the light and traced the sound to a paper bag in the corner. A huge black spider was crawling around in there. I nearly freaked out, and I can’t remember why I didn’t kill it then and there, but I do remember grabbing the bag and throwing it outside the apartment door.

Twe—oh, never mind how many years later it is now—but today we have a ceiling fan in the bedroom that I absolutely must have running at full speed all night, not just to keep cool, but because I can’t sleep without the “white noise” it makes. Sometimes I wake up to the sound of crackling and rattling, but it’s invariably something in the room being blown or ruffled by the ceiling fan. Yet to Mr. Lucky’s understandable annoyance, I cannot, nay, will not go back to sleep or allow him to do so, until I turn on the light, identify the source of the sound, confirm that it is only because of the ceiling fan and not a spider, and take steps to muffle that nerve-wracking noise.

I wonder why he’s never taken advantage of that window to have me committed? Love? Free maid service? Or because I’m the only one in the house who knows that if the pizza cutter isn’t in the kitchen drawer, then it must be at the bottom of Baby Bear’s toy box?


Vicki said...

OMG, Karen, spiders!! They scare me terribly. And what I don't like even more, is they scurry away so quickly, it makes it hard to find them.

Karen Lingefelt said...

I also don't like the ones who build webs at night--I almost walked right into one once.