Ever seen a WOLF SPIDER? No? They deserve their name to be spelled in all caps like that. Because they are that huge. They are that disgusting. And they are … planning an invasion of our house.
I should begin with some background – I’ve never been a huge fan of the spiders, but I’ve been known to deal with them. I can usually muster the courage to squish the thing (or to loudly encourage one of the gutless wonder cats to come over and play with it to death). They aren’t my favorite – but at the same time, I think I can face a moderate house spider before I can drink a jug of milk from someone else’s house (if you haven’t previously been made privvy to my milk phobia – have at it and I’ll discuss this later). Chip, on the other hand, hates the things with the blistering heat of a thousand boiling suns. He can’t STAND even the thought of a spider. He’s a manly man, seriously. But the spiders are his bane, his blockage, his phobia. Early in our marriage, I was at work (Chip was hanging out at home) – and I desperately needed him to retrieve something from the basement storage unit. This was not a mere request, but rather required me to stay on the phone and walk him through the dark spidery basement – the basement that surely the mother of all spiders was lurking. He had phone in one hand, broom handle in another (to more effectively sweep the area of spider webs prior to his walking into some unsuspecting 8-legged domain). This was my first introduction to “that thing with Chip and the spiders” that I would become very familiar with in time. Previously, I had thought that he didn’t like spiders – that they were something he really couldn’t stand. I didn’t quite understand the ABJECT HORROR with which my husband faced spiders. Until I sat on the phone, helplessly talking him through the darkest, dirtiest, most rodent and 8-legged-creature hospitable place I have ever had the pleasure to store various unused household items in. It was awful – and also, just the tiniest bit humorous (I know, am TERRIBLE person).
Since that moment, we have had countless other spider encounters. Many of them end in me being executioner. If Chip can’t get it with a long range missle (read: rubber band), Amy Lynn has to come in with the heavy artillary (read: shoe or other hard, flat object), cats looking on in strange disinterest.
Three weeks ago Chip decided to tackle the jungle that has become our yard. There’s no excuse for it, really, though I could offer you some (intense work schedules, pregnancy, the bird family that had been living in the dryer vent and would consider every lawn mower expedition as an assualt on their Way of Life and would then screech and divebomb the innocent yard worker). After ousting the birds (not an easy task), and installing the Specialty Protective Grate in front of the vent – Chip felt it was time to deal with yardzilla, so out he went. It was decided by yours truly that I would stay inside the house, doing laundry and attempting to get the upstairs in some kind of order (I did do some laundry, but mostly ended up sleeping on the bed – you know, building a baby and all that). Things were trucking along in the great outdoors until I heard the tell-tale sound of the front door opening and Chip, voice atremble, calling for me, “Amy Lynn, you’ve GOT to COME DOWN HERE and SEE THIS.” My lovely husband had cornered what could have been the largest WOLF SPIDER I have ever seen, and was now attempting to assasinate it (when things reach the girth of a good-sized walnut, they are no longer a bug to kill – but rather become a HOSTILE INVADER WHO MUST BE HUNTED DOWN AND ERADICATED. This …thing… was dark greyish brown, with a body the size of a Hershey’s kiss, and leg circumferance reaching an easy 3 inches. As Chip fumbled in the garage for the correct weaponry (really, only a tank would have been appropriate), I helpfully watched the enemy from behind a window and decided it’s name was Fred. As I watched, Fred silently assessed his next move from the corner of our porch. Chip came at the thing with a manly war call, weilding a large purple pool noodle (You know the kind? I’d previously done Noodle Fu on Chip in the grocery store parking lot using the purple noodle, now it was Spider Killer 2000). With one deadly crack the noodle made full contact with the invader – and then bounced off of its offending bulk – like so much popcorn. Spider goes NO WHERE. And that’s when I suggested, from behind the glass, of course, that that there spider – he be dead already. Eventually Chip hosed down the carcus, finding many more of its friends and family along the way – but none with the same girth as Fred. We were left with an uncomfortable feeling that Fred’s death, while fortunate, was more than likely the result of another invading force – yes, another spider – equally hideous and menacing – if not more so.
Fast forward to two nights ago, when I pulled into the garage and found Chip standing there, excitedly (read: nervous wreck) saying I’VE GOT TO SHOW YOU THIS. Yes, my friends, our dear Chip – the one with that thing about spiders – had indeed, found (AND KILLED) Fred’s nemesis. The thing was BLACK, BLACKER THAN BLACK, EBONY BLACK and BIGGER THAN FRED. We will call it Wilma – and lo, Wilma was a Big Girl with Big Girl Bones. Her BODY was the size of the heretofore previously mentioned walnut, A LARGE WALNUT – that’s BODY ALONE, folks. And her legs were nearly 5 inches in circumferance. I do not kid. You also have to understand that this is Wilma’s unsquished size. Chip hadn’t killed her using Noodle Fu or the long range missle. My lovely protector had resorted to chemical warfare, dousing the enemy with enough Raid Spider Killer to drown a large muscrat. Chip, hero of my life, had discovered the hideous beast lurking underneath a large garbage can lid (read: leaf – but I swear I don’t know what leaf would have been BIG ENOUGH FOR THAT MONSTER) on the front porch, biding her time, planning her invasion of The Last Homely House. First she’d wrap Phoebe in webbing, storing her ample and furry body for later sustenance. Then she’d strike Fergus – using his leg bones as toothpicks. The People would be next, she’d find us in our bed – and …. AHHHHHH! I CAN’T EVEN GO ON. IT IS TOO HORRIBLE TO CONSIDER. This thing was huger than huge, black as tar, and thankfully – oh so thankfully, deader than a doornail. On my front porch. Sort of sitting there, on the actual door step. At this point, standing over the still-twitching carcus, Chip announced he had to go to an appointment. Could we deal with the carnage later? I said sure – maybe I’d try to pick it up with a shovel or something. So he left. And then I went inside. And did nothing about the spider remains now decaying on the stoop except to think of them with a large shudder and flee upstairs, to the spiderless bed.
Fast forward now to last night, when I came home to find a hasty pile of Old Navy goods I’d purchased on line, haphazardly clumped on the floor of the entryway. I couldn’t figure out what happened – they must’ve been delivered that day, and Chip opened the pouch for some odd reason (maybe to see how huge the pregnancy pants would be?). When Chip got home later, I asked him about the lack of packaging, and with a grim smile, he said “You don’t want to know.” And THAT’S when I remembered we’d never moved and buried WILMA’S BODY. So I smirked and said – THE SPIDER! And Chip goes – YEAH, GUTS ALL OVER THE BAG. And I go – THE POSTMAN! And Chip goes – YES, MUST’VE COME UP TO THE PORCH AND THEN, THINKING IT WAS STILL ALIVE… And I go – THROWN THE OLD NAVY POUCH AT IT????!!!
I don’t think our postman is ever going to deliver to our porch again.