Today was a positively magnificent day. MAGNIFICENT. Superb. Stupendous. Roget would have a field day with the last 24 hours, so replete with fantabulous synonyms as it was.
I got a decent night’s sleep. Work is going well. The children behaved. I finished up a bunch of things I’d been putting off. People, MY HAIR LOOKED GOOD. I am so not kidding you about what a good day it was.
In fact, I was even able to get my sitter on short notice for a choir rehearsal I hadn’t known we were having tonight. This was a good thing, because apparently we’re having some sort of Big Thing this summer for which we’re singing approximately ninety pieces of music that I’ve never seen before. Even THAT was perfectly fine. There was iced tea at rehearsal! I love iced tea!
Because we were rehearsing at not-our-regular-location in a different town, a friend came to my house and carpooled with me. Upon our return to my house I begged her to stay for a little while, because as we all know, when I manage to trap another adult in my house I am loathe to let them escape. She considered this while I chatted with the sitter and sent her on her way, and then decided that really she should get home because of [fill in this part with some reasonable explanation of things she needed to do, underscored with the sounds of me weeping].
Naturally, we were chatting, and she walked towards the door, and I walked with her, and I opened the door for her, and she stepped out onto the front porch, and we were STILL chatting, so I stepped out after her and closed the door behind me so as not to let any bugs into the house.
HAHAHAHA. No bugs! (You’ll see why that’s so funny, in a second.)
I think we both saw it at the same moment: Where this morning there had been nothing but empty air—how foolish, just SPACE sitting there out on my porch!—there was now an impressive spiderweb stretching between one of the lights by the side of the door and my windchimes (which hang off the edge of the overhang, maybe six feet away).
Let’s be clear here: I like spiders. Spiders eat other, ickier bugs. I am ALL FOR spiders. Usually. Because, you see, usually spiders AREN’T THE SIZE OF MY FIST.
In the middle of this magnificent web sat what was either a teeny pulsing brain or the biggest spider I have ever seen in my entire life outside of a tarantula.
I know. I KNOW. “That Mir,” you’re thinking. “She likes to make with the hyperbole. Surely it wasn’t that big of a deal. Probably just an overgrown house spider. Now she’s gonna tell this whole story like it was some monster. Sheesh.”
Well… judge for yourself. (I don’t suggest clicking on that link if you have a weak heart or small children in the vicinity.)
My friend and I stood on the porch and SCREAMED LIKE LITTLE GIRLS. And then when we were done with that? I ran inside for the essential tools of Bug Slaying.
1) A flashlight. (It was sort of dark. I think I was still hoping that this HERMIT CRAB lodged in the spider web would turn out to be… maybe a pinecone! Or an old shoe!)
2) My camera. (I needed photographic evidence even though I was completely squicked out. Perhaps even BECAUSE I was completely squicked out.)
3) Ant spray. (Well I wasn’t going to TOUCH IT, and clearly it NEEDED TO DIE.)
The flashlight confirmed that this creature was, indeed, spider-like. Do spiders dislike light? What about mutant alien spiders with pulsing brains on their backs? This one scuttled up the web to the light fixture as soon as we started our investigation. I snapped a few photos and asked my friend if she was ready for the slaying. She confirmed that she was.
I let loose with the industrial ant spray. I sprayed and sprayed and sprayed and sprayed.
For my trouble, I received: A very wet, pissed off mutant spider thing. Who is clearly NOT AN ANT.
My trespasser expressed its outrage by climbing ever higher in an effort to escape the stupid humans who thought ant spray might defeat it. Really, all the spray did was cause it to flick its many hairy leg-tentacles all around in INDIGNATION, and we stood on the edge of the porch and twitched and cringed and shrieked a little.
Alright. So ant spray wasn’t going to do the job. My friend suggested getting a broom and beating it to death. I countered that I had two issues with that plan: First, that actually TOUCHING it—even with an implement—would surely cause me to burst into flames, convulse, and die. And second, that that would be useful, because she could then use the associated fire to BURN THE BROOM afterwards. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
But! I had some wasp and hornet spray! So I figured I would try that, because, um, it also involved my favorite method of Not Touching That Thing At All And Also Standing Kind Of Far From It. I went and got the wasp spray.
When I returned, it had reached the top of the finial on the light fixture and I feared it would now start leaping around or clone itself or emit a keening cry that would summon the rest of the Alien Bug Army, so I just open fired.
I think it might’ve been a wasp. It twisted and writhed and fell and flopped and FINALLY died. We stood over it, waiting for a million smaller versions to burst forth from its carcass and eat the flesh off of our faces, but nothing happened. It was sort of anticlimactic.
But, um, I may need to sleep with the light on tonight.