Some Pig.

My wife called me in a panic yesterday morning. You see, she's a little afraid of spiders. And by that I mean she will wake up in the middle of the night and flip on the light and point to a tiny black speck on the ceiling 20 feet away and yell, "SPIDER! SPIDER! THERE'S A SPIDER ON THE CEILING!" while frantically poking me in the back with her other hand. It's like some sort of spider-sense, but not the good kind that warns her that The Green Goblin is about to take off her head with a glider wing. This is the bad kind that wakes me up in the middle of the night and makes me kill things.

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!


  1. Oh, ugh. That's so nasty. I hate spiders too, and the fact that it was poison resistant was bad enough. But now that there are dozens of tiny babies who have inherited that trait, all running around...geez. Creeped me right the hell out. Hopefully it will be so cool soon that your wife won't need to spend a lot of time on the deck.

  2. You're a hero. Tell your wife that she is making love to a hero tonight. If she says "Okay" and walks out, you better grab that spray and follow her.

  3. Anonymous11:22 PM

    Some Pig?

  4. Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White. Main plot point is the friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte. When they figure out Wilbur is intended for next Easter's ham dinner, they hatch a plan to keep him breathing. One of which is to have Charlotte weave propaganda slogans into her web. "Some Pig" is the first one, as in, boy, that sure is some pig...

    I'm sure Charlotte didn't look like that monster on your deck, though, that would have put Mr. White right off my reading list.

  5. Um . . . does your wife know you write this blog?

  6. Oh yes. I've been trying to get her to kill her own bugs for YEARS....with no luck.

  7. eww..not wonder you didn't wanna to squish it. That goo woulda probably eaten a hole thru your soul, er, sole.

  8. Oh God Almighty! I don't think I'll sleep for a week! I got the heebie-jeebies just reading that! Thanks JV.

  9. You need to sweep the eves with a broom. Perhaps pre-treated with something very toxic. EW!

  10. Spiders freak me out too. But I have to pretend to be all macho and whatnot. So, I hold my breath, grab a shoe and start flailing. But seriously? that one in the picture? Yeah, I'd have been running for the hills screaming like a little girl.

  11. Anonymous12:04 PM

    We have spiders like that all over the outside of our house. They are creepy looking but they put a serious dent in the aphid population.

    I'm more about the spray when it comes to wasps, hornets and yellow jackets. Those I will kill.

    Spiders? Not at all.

    In case we don't hear from you again once mama spider's offspring come for you, it's been nice knowin' ya.

  12. That totally is the real-life version of Shelob. Just minaturized.

  13. I live in the house of spiders, but I find that taking the vacuum cleaner to all the corners once or twice a summer does the trick.

    Of course, they're probably all in the bag growing huge on dust gorging, and one of these days.....

  14. Anonymous4:36 PM

    Good news is, I think that's a crab spider, not harmful to humans, usually likes to plant its keister on plants and such. Bad news is, and I quote "it likes to lie in wait for prey." You are toast, my brother.

  15. Auugghhh! I am TOTALLY with your wife about the spiders. Unfortunately, my husband got tired of my wussiness a few years ago, and refused to kill any more bugs for me. A battle with a spider like that would leave me freaked out for hours. It's very nice of you to take care of it for your wife.

  16. Anonymous7:02 PM

    Does anyone else think that the body of this spider bears an uncanny resemblance to Charlie Brown?

  17. I think I'd powerwash the eaves, or, failing that, burn the house down.

    I'm kind of nearsighted so the idea of this spider's tiny replicants is MUCH SCARIER than just the one I can see.

  18. The damned thing has a creepy, evil smiley face on its ass!

    Did you at least leave it there (dead) for your wife to find it?

  19. Okay, you're going to want to get the offspring by whatever means necessary. A few years ago we got a golden orb weaver in the yard and decided to leave it alone because it was pretty and way in the back. The next year we had about 400 of them, all 2" long and weaving their big golden webs all over everything. Unless you have a magic car.

  20. *shudder* that picture made my skin crawl.....yuck

  21. That would be a common Orb Weaver spider. One of the human friendliest spiders around in my opinion, considering their amazing abilities to catch nuisance insects!

    Consider them a good thing if they stay in an area that doesn't upset the family too much. :)

    Don't worry, I don't LOVE spiders, but I don't mind if they aren't on me or in my space.

  22. Awesome story, got a good laugh out of it.

    And what about Daddy O's? I live 15 minutes from it just over the bridge and have been there a couple times. what do you need done? email me at metalbmxdrtridr8@aol.com to let me know.
    - Tim

  23. Yes Anonymous, the body of that spider looks exactly like Charley Brown's head. It floored how much they resemble each other. Arggghh is right.

    I hate spider's but I don't want to kill them. It is better to catch them and put them somewhere else.

    That is something my mother taught me.

  24. Anonymous, that spider *SO* looks like a sinister Charlie Brown.

    Seriously? You're just going to leave the insecticide-resistant offspring dangling over your eaves? Growing bigger and bigger and waiting for your wife to innocently pop out of the house again?

  25. redraven12:37 AM

    We don't kill spiders in our house - usually they get scooped up and taken outside, if they get too obvious. I generally have several daddy longlegs in the corners of my bathroom, but if their webs are full, I leave them - they're doing their job, and we can coexist with no problem. The only exception is black widows...man those things give me a major case of the heebie jeevies. They get a quick death.

    We have orb spiders here in NorCal, but I don't think I've ever seen one that looks quite like the one you killed, Johnny, although they definitely get as big (or bigger). They create the most incredible webs and are much loved and respected for the art they create in our yard. As we say, we "honor the maker".

    You are a hero Johnny - for being such a caring huz. Bravo! :)

  26. Oh god, that made me laugh so hard I was crying. I needed a good laugh, so thanks.

  27. I once lived in a rental house in NC with spider infested shrubs near the front door. Big brown furry wolf spiders.

    I'm not a spider hater, but I don't want them in my house. One night one of those wolf spiders ran inside as we were going out. I grabbed the spray can while my husband beat it with a broom (on carpet) Legs were coming off, but that spider just kept coming for what felt like *years*.

    After it finally died and we had disposed of its carcass, we prepared once again to go out. What do you think happened? His mate came looking for him and we had to go through the whole thing all over again!!

    You better go get those babies before they grow up...

  28. Anonymous2:19 PM

    I read something once that claimed there are two types of spiders; those that stay inside a house and the others are outside.

    Now after seeing the previous post about the wolf spider running inside the door, I'm not so sure about the inside/outside thing.


  29. Anonymous4:37 PM

    Oh Johnny- that spider was AWFUL!! A similar thing happened to a relative of mine - only she realized she was trying to kill the damn bug with a can of pledge.... he eventually died...but with a nice sheen and a lemony-y scent!

  30. When I first read your post I thought, “what a wiener, that spider hardly the size of a quarter”, but amusing story anyway.
    Well, today while blackberry picking, I encountered a spider in my berry basket and my first thought was “that looks like the spider (in your post)”. I admit, mine had a bit less junk in the trunk, but the same meaty hairy spiky legs and pale I-drink-blood complexion. While it was apparent that both the spider and I agreed that it should get the hell out of my basket, we seemed to differ on the method; I believed that the spider should exit on its own power without touching any part of my body or clothing, while it seemed to be operating on a “shortest distance between two points” strategy with my arm approximating “a straight line”. We managed to work things out, I didn’t spill my basket of berries and the spider got to the ground and under a leaf. Since it appeared to be in full retreat mode, I let it live.
    I hope I don’t have nightmares.
    I’ve decided you’re not a total wiener, though I think your wife could toughen up a bit.

  31. Listen here mind knitter -- I ain't a-scared of no spiders! Unless, of course, they are big enough so you can hear them moving, and they are climbing in my hair or down my neck. So yeah, I'm not a *total* wiener. As for my wife, it's just spiders. I don't know why. She'll grab a mouse by the tail and toss him outside, no problem. But spiders give her the heebie jeebies.

  32. That is truly disgusting. I had a scare from a similar animal a few years ago when a girl noticed one sitting in a web in a nook in my bed's headboard. Totally killed any semblance of impending romance.

  33. omg - that's one freaky looking spider! I'm all itchy now.

    Love the note ... hahaha

  34. wow. it looks like... seriously, it looks like Charlie Brown gone bad! LOL

  35. I am absolutely deathly afraid of spiders. That one was huge and I would have freaked completely out if it came after me. No! I don't step on them either, I won't get close enough.

  36. you people up north....

    check this.

  37. Dude I SO would not have stepped on that bastard either! GAG it would have made a mess! Time for a new can of Raid btw - you don't want to run out when fighing the legion of killer baby spiders.

  38. the bradford blog6:57 PM

    I am fairly sure I can see the face of Satan on that spider's body.

  39. Ray, what size are the individual arachnids? That's what counts.

  40. Gross. Spiders creep me out. Growing up, our laundry room was in an unfinished part of our basement next to the crawlspace. I was digging around in a pile of laundry on the floor in there and something bit me. I never found the spider, but I got a big brown leathery blister around the two little bite marks. It was gross and eventually fell off, but I'm still creeped out by spiders today.

    I actually just cleared a few spider webs from my front porch today. At first I was happy to cut back on the number of annoying flying bugs trying to sneak in my front yard, but I noticed 3 rapidly growing spiders and their webs were eerily getting closer to areas of the porch I frequent. It was starting to remind me of the Gary Larson cartoon with the spiders who'd spun a web at the bottom of a slide.

  41. I'm with your wife on that one! If that thing landed one me I'd be sleeping under a mosquito net forever. As for Daddy-Os - what town is it in? My in-laws have a house in Barnegat Light and I go to LBI all the time. Is it new? I've never been, I don't recall anyway.

  42. maybe you should have mentioned clicking on the weird ad prior to your fantastic story. ButtElves...OMG!

  43. Several mentions of "wolf spiders" made me think: are they real? I just always thought that's what my kids called any hairy spider with long legs. I looked it up on Google, and OMG - I hope to God I never see a real one of these things!!!

  44. well written. in my case, its the cockroaches!

  45. Bonnie4:12 PM

    From the title to the spider's comment to the end, this made me HOWL!

    That's no Charlotte in your yard.....geeeesh! Speaking of - if you haven't already read his collections of essays, I can't help but think a writer like you would enjoy and appreciate those of the late, great E.B. White.

  46. Anonymous4:55 PM

    I read an article today that girls are genetically predisposed to being scared of spiders. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17697-girls-are-primed-to-fear-spiders.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=life

  47. I laughed so hard my face hurts. I had to read your post to Himself because I'm also deathly afraid of spiders. See? See? I yelled at him, I'm not the only one!

  48. Yuck...barn spiders are nasty. I've captured a few that size in my deck in the past few day and had my hubby dispose of them over the back fence. Apparently they puff up when threatened. *shiver*

  49. *hitting head in the wall*

    why why whyyyy did I have to read it all? As hilarious as it was, just a second ago I yelped at a stray piece of string off my duvet that touched my leg and I thought it was a 'charlotte'
    Oh dear God, I'm scarred for life, you know that, right?

    LOVE love LOOOOOVE the way you write. Keep it goin'!

  50. lol! Very amusing post.
    Never move to Australia- that spider is tiny compared to huntsmen spiders. Google it if you dare.

  51. I read this last night… so thank you for the spidey nightmares I had afterwards. But I agree with Travis' statement that you are a hero.

    I once battled what I named the Ninja Zombie Spider-- not only did it jump around my bathroom wall, hiding amongst towels and the like [hence ninja], I had to spray it at least a dozen times before the poison affected it. When I finally thought it was dead, I just stood there staring at it in horrific relief… 'til it started thrashing around violently, at which point I screamed aloud and sprayed it several more times [hence zombie]. Just to make absolutely sure it was dead, I both squished it between a LOT of tissue and flushed it down the toilet; yet the next morning, I woke up with two new spider bites. Either I pissed off its ninja team, or it was a true zombie.

  52. spiders freak me out too..and the pic of the one you killed is nasty.. I got goose bumps just looking at it...ewww

  53. Dee Rum9:13 PM

    is it me, does your spider's body look like charlie brown's face??

  54. I think a flamethrower might be the best way to go regarding the orphaned baby spiders. Keep in mind that you were the last person they saw and that probably makes you their mommy. Soon they'll be sleeping in your bed, crawling around everywhere and putting things in their mouth that shouldn't be there - most likely any part of your body they can reach.

    Actually, you're better off just moving. Now. Get out while you can, take nothing with you.

  55. Okay. Okay, so this spider was like a burglar on PCP?

    And there are more of them? Umm...your wife is going to FREAK.

    Normally, I feel the same as you about spiders. Because they kill more annoying bugs, I like to let them live. That one, however, is clearly a new stage in the evolutionary process and you just let its children infest your home.

  56. UGGH what kind of spider is that? Normally I leave the spiders alone if they're outside or on the ceiling out of my personal bubble (inside my bubble is DADDY GET IT!! mode) but that thing is horrifying.

  57. I hate spiders too, and I remember many occasions when my ex-wife and I would take turns to either keep an eye on the thing in case it disappeared, and find something to whack it with.

    I am a lot braver now (but it depends on the size of the "beast" of course).

    Having spent the last 15 years in the USA, in Indiana and Florida, where I haven't really seen any large beasties, especially in the house (although german roaches are as bad and we had a lot of those to deal with), I am now back in the UK, where we have HOUSE SPIDERS.

    The English house spider is to me rather like a BLOODY GREAT TARANTULA - big hairy legs, and inches across. They like to crawl across the carpet while you watch television, or crawl towards you along the top of the couch, so that you can only see them out of the corner of your eye.

    I am truly S-C-A-R-E-D of these, so is my fiancee, and it's going to be a nasty fall/winter I assume.

    Just writing this comment has me creeping, itching, having to look around to see if there is one in the room. You know the feeling... When I do see one I physically feel nauseous as well.

    Actually as well as insect spray, WD40 does a good job on spiders, and on wasp nests and similar things.

  58. Your poor wife. That note she left you cracked me up! But oh my God did she have a valid point! That thing would eatchya! My reaction would have been nothing different from you wifes!

    What a good hubby you are! (this visual of you killing the sucker was pretty damn funny too!)

  59. Anonymous11:25 PM

    I walked directly into a web 2 weeks ago. It was weaved, or woven, or whatever between my truck and the bushes of the neighbors house. I put my daughter in the truck then went around to the drivers side and walked FULL ON into at face level. It suction cupped around my face and I literally had to peel it off....after flailing around for a minute or so like I was under attack. I was so freaked out, I went around to the passengers side and got in that door and climbed over-then cursed out the window at that damn web.

    I still feel like I have pieces of web on me 2 weeks later.

    Speaking of this topic, you must watch this:


    I think you would get a good laugh (and not just at the kick-ass outfit he's wearing lol)

  60. We just moved on a sailboat in Maryland. Maryland has large, fat, and smug spiders. I must admit, I have the same fear as your wife and yet the same reaction as you..I don't want to kill because of the inevitable karma. What is one to do? And why is it every other bug doesn't bother me (except the millipede). It must be something about the way they walk.

  61. OMG!! And what is the shiny brown thing that doesn't appear to be a leg???

    For your porch, quick & easy (aka not having them fall on you) way to get rid of webs & anything in them high up ..... use a Dyson. Lock & load it, point it upwards and push it on. Also handy when having to eliminate v. large spiders on walls when they're so large you can't go near them to scoop/swat etc!

  62. @SunspotBaby: wolf spiders are the kind of spiders that do not weave webs to catch prey. Instead, they pounce on it or grab it unawares.

  63. I agree it's probably an Orb Weaver. Here's an amusing info blurb from

    Orb-Weaving Spiders ...low risk - non-aggressive

    Venom toxicity - the bite of Orb-Weaving Spiders is of low risk (not toxic) to humans. They are a non-aggressive group of spiders. Seldom bite. Be careful not to walk into their webs at night - the fright of this spider crawling over one's face can be terrifying and may cause a heart attack, particularly to the susceptible over 40 year olds. (!yikes)
    Spider Identification - an adult is about 2/3 to more than 1 inch in body length - has a bulbous abdomen - often colorful - dark to light brown pattern. The common Golden Orb-Weaver Spider has a purplish bulbous abdomen with fine hairs.
    Habitat - often found in summer in garden areas around the home - they spin a large circular web of 6 feet or more, often between buildings and shrubs, to snare flying insects, such as, flies and mosquitoes.

  64. Hey, Johnny. Long time reader, first time commentator.

    This reminds me of when I was a kid and my late uncle, who lived in the foothills in CA, used to find Black Widows and Tarantulas IN THE HOUSE. He used to put one of each in a closed jar, Gladiator style, to see which one would be the victor. As Wesley Snipes once declared, "Always bet on black!", as the Widow was always the victor.

    He also used to go out to my cousins' jungle gym each week and clean out the Widow nests. Now... why were my cousins continuously playing in there? I cannot say.

    I also like to hike around a nearby state park. Last year, I almost walked face first into this:


    I couldn't see it until the light hit it just right. Ugh...

  65. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/3353693/Giant-spider-eating-a-bird-caught-on-camera.html