Generally, I'll get up and kill it, and she'll sit there in her guard tower with her pointing finger locked and loaded, making sure that nobody escapes the yard. God help me if I miss the spider and it makes it over the wall, because that means the alarm sirens go off, the search parties are formed, the hounds are released and nobody is getting any sleep at all until the spider is found.
If I'm not home, the story goes a little differently. What happens then is that I walk in the door and see some sort of container upside down on the floor. Most of the time it's a drinking glass. There's no note or anything -- just some kind of bug with his face pressed up against the glass, looking at me forlornly.
In these cases, most of the time I scoop up the spider or whatever and take it outside, and when she asks me what I did with it (she always asks me what I did with it) I tell her I killed it. That's to address the argument that "if it's still alive, it might try to come back in." Now, I know that's true of mice, but I don't think spiders have the innate navigational skills to find their way back from a good fling across the lawn. So I fake-kill them. Trust me. It's just easier. Plus, spiders are one of the good insects because they eat deer flies, and anyone or anything that lowers the deer fly population in my back yard is OK by me. Unless they look really fast, in which case I might actually kill them. It's not really a karma thing with me. It's more about less deer flies and a peaceful night's sleep.
So back to the phone call. It turns out that she walked out onto the deck and got a spider web across her face. She looked up and the spider was hanging directly over her head. I'm not sure if she thought the spider was going to lasso her with webbing and pull her up into the web or what, but she freaked out and ran back inside and immediately called me at work. I was informed, in no uncertain terms, that the spider had to go. I'm pretty sure she would have preferred that I drive home right that instant and take care of it, but I work about an hour away and the spider was outside so I was granted a little grace period.
When I got home, I saw this sign on the sliding glass door:
That's just so I wouldn't forget.
I walked out to the garage and got a can of insect spray. The label says it's supposed to kill spiders and ants and just about anything else that crawls, and I've used it on the ants in the garage before and it's pretty quick acting stuff.
I found the spider pretty quickly, and sprayed the hell out of it. It laughed at me, and dropped down on a strand of webbing. It landed on the deck and started running toward me. I sprayed it again. It kept coming. I hit it again. I sprayed it so much it looked like it was covered in shaving cream.
The spray had no effect. It walked out of the foam pile without even changing direction. This thing was like the Terminator. It just kept walking toward me and I just kept spraying the shit out of it and backing up. I thought about just stomping on it, but it looked pretty juicy and I didn't want that shit on my shoes.
I sprayed it again. It was starting to slow down a little but it was still walking purposefully, like it had a bone to pick with me. It walked like it had a plan -- like it was thinking "OK, first I'm going to deal with this douche bag with the fucking spray can, and then I'm going out for some sushi."
A few seconds later, it started drunk-walking. Then it slowed down, and finally stopped. I swear I could almost see the red lights in its eyes fade out.
It was dead. It didn't really look dead, since it didn't do that curl-up-and-die thing, but I was pretty sure it was. I poked it a little with my boot, just to make sure. I know that's a bonehead move (I've seen all the movies), but I did it anyway.
Normally, I laugh at my wife's fear of spiders, however, in this particular case having this particular spider almost drop on her head might have actually justified a little hysteria. Bugs don't bother me unless they are actually on me, but this thing even freaked me out a little.
Here's a picture I took after it was safely in spider heaven (click to make it bigger if you're a glutton for punishment):
Jesus, just look at the spikey legs and that body. It looks like Shelob for chrissakes. And you know how when you get a spider web across the face it just sort of tickles? Well, this web was so tough it just stretched. It had actual resistance, like a rubber band.
So I went back in the house, and when she got home I told her the spider was dead.
What I didn't tell her was that after I killed the giant spider, I looked up toward the web.
Apparently, mama's egg sac hatched and there were about a dozen smaller versions of this spider stationed about every 3 feet under the eaves. Smaller versions that the spray wouldn't reach.
So I won the battle, but I'm a little worried about the war. I mean, they watched me kill their mother, and that had to piss them off, right? I think they're just biding their time.
Watching. Growing. Planning. It's been nice knowing you all.
PS - on a completely unrelated note -- if anyone reading this has ever been to Daddy O's restaurant on Long Beach Island, NJ and liked it, please send me an e-mail (address in profile). I have a small favor to ask.
Lastly, if you want to read some really weird shit, click on that new ad over on my banner that points to buttelf.com.
Happy weekend, everyone!
Happy weekend, everyone!