Often people ask me how I like it "out here" and they comment on how peaceful and serene it is. "Oh, you must just love living out there! It's so calm and quiet." Apparently they have not spent actual TIME in the country. It may be quiet, but you can NEVER let your guard down.
I am hesitant to go out after dark, particularly in open shoes, because I KNOW something is going to crawl on my foot. It is nothing to think that there is a twig hanging from under your car, only to find that it is a petrified frog. They get in the house, dragging their sticky selves along the floor and leaving slime residue on whatever they have touched. They end up in mouse traps or - the grossest thing of all--under foot! Deer thunder past us on their way to escape the hunters. Strange cries emerge from the woods from some previously undiscovered species, I am sure. On occasion birds (blackbirds, sparrows, hawks) crash into our house, sometimes getting trapped in our back porch. Often, nature takes care of itself in its own "circle of life." The skinks eat the bugs, the snakes eat the skinks, and the hawks take care of everything else. Except this morning.
I was waving 'bye to my husband (think June Cleaver, no pearls, in PJs) and I opened the front door, coffee in hand. I was suddenly ambushed by the biggest, blackest, hairiest spider I have ever seen in person that was not behind glass in a zoo. I am surprised it didn't just reach up and ring the doorbell with one of its long, creepy, hairy legs. This spider was not a stranger to me; we had met over the weekend as I was assessing the pumpkin arrangement on the porch. I shooed him away then, thinking that I was invading his territory and that we would both live to fight another day. Today was the day.
Coffee went everywhere as I watched him seek immediate refuge under the hall table leg. I have to say, I gave him wide berth-- he was so big he cast a shadow. I stood for seconds in a sort-of crouching position, much like a cagey fighter figuring out my next move. First left, then right, then left...I assessed what I had with me to use against him: no shoes, lukewarm coffee, and, well, that was it. Not nearly enough for Spiderzilla. I ran to the kitchen for a minute to get the fly swatter but it is NEVER WHERE IT NEEDS TO BE WHEN I NEED IT! Besides, this thing would reach up (again with the creepy hairy leg) and snatch it away from me. I needed a Big Shoe or some heavy duty spray. I ran back to the hall and he was still there. I ran up the stairs and got the Wasp and Hornet spray that you have to have when you sign a contract to live "out here" and ran back downstairs. I was armed.
At this time I must interject that, when telling my sister about this today, she suggested that I use hair spray. I have resorted to that weapon in the most dire circumstance, but I am a Southern Christian woman and I try to NEVER waste good hair spray.
Caution: If you are one of those people who think that we should not kill animals, read no further.
So, can in hand, I began to spray the living daylights out of this animal. I mean I sprayed until there was a puddle. He would shake it off and get up and come at me. I sprayed again and again and he would still try to get into the vent. Just when I would think I finally had him, one of those creepy hairy legs would rise up and reach out-- I had to keep repeating "God gave me domain, God gave me domain!" I finally succeeded. He had drowned in the poison.
Now the whole time I was doing this I must have had this contorted, agape, grimace on my face, because I am pretty sure I inhaled some of the spray myself. I have been somewhat loopy for a few hours. Small price.
On to the rest of the day: a trip to City Hall and a subsequent trip to a satellite office for the city (who knew the Parks and Rec office is behind my dentist?) and then to the computer hospital to check out my computer because I have internet issues. While there, the technician, who kept rubbing his dandruffy greasy head and then touching my computer (notice I didn't call him a geek because I am sensitive like that) suggested that I use my old laptop to run a diagnostic on this one. I cringed but agreed, thinking that now I was going to have to go into the closet where the last spider I killed had lived. And I was going to have to wash frog slime off the old computer. It just never ends.