Friday, September 11, 2009


It was a dark and stormy night.

Really, it was. It was Wednesday night and storms were rolling through the area. Not that the weather has anything to do with this incident, but it sets the tone, don't you think?

I was up late, having stayed up past my bedtime to watch Top Chef. Everyone else was asleep. After the "please pack your knives and go" I went upstairs to get ready for bed.

That's when it happened.

I, innocently, walked into the bathroom to wash my face, brush my teeth.

It was there. Lying in wait.

An enormous spider. Fist sized (okay, maybe a small fist, but a fist nonetheless). The biggest spider I've ever seen up close.

And he was looking at me.

I kind of did the little shimmy shiver of fear. Because I knew it had to go.

And I knew I had to be the one to make it go.

I considered trapping him under a cup, letting him go outside. But I just couldn't bring myself to do it. What if he escaped from under the cup? In the house? And I knew he was in here. Roaming around. Lying in wait. Waiting for me to innocently, oh I don't know, brush my teeth.

No, he had to go.

As in, go to the big web in the sky.

So I unrolled toilet paper until I had a wad big enough to a) cover all parts of my hand b) ensure that I would not feel any squishing at all and c) would all but guarantee a three inch separation between me and the arachnid in question at all times.

Then I stealthily approached where he was perched on the wall. He looked smug. I think he could tell how scared I was.

I made a jab for him. He saw me coming and dropped to the ground.

I did a jiggity dance backward, squealing softly (as to not wake anyone). He landed on the floor and charged toward me.

Okay. I never realized how fast spiders can run. He was FAST. Land speed records may have been broken. Either by the spider coming after me, or by me retreating. I'm not sure.

I jigged and squealed and failed miserably at jabbing the floor in attempts to catch it off guard. The spider zigged, zagged. I jigged, jabbed.

Finally, the toilet paper made contact and a second later, with the reassuring sound of a flush--he was gone.

Me? I was now wide awake. The hair on my arms stood on end for a good two minutes. I couldn't stop the shivers. It was...ugh. Never, ever want to do that again.

And really, I'm a peace loving kind of girl at heart, but (hello, PETA people) this was self-defense. It really was.

It took awhile to fall asleep that night. Thoughts of whether the spider had a family (this wasn't so much about guilt as it was wondering if there were other eight-legged terrors lurking nearby) and how he'd gotten in and whether all that toilet paper was going to clog the toilet...

Two days later, I'm still kind of worried, but I'm trying to live in denial. Denial is a good place. I like it.

Have you had any crittery run-ins lately? Are you in denial too?



Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I occasionally see a spider, but as long as I'm not surprised by him (like you were!) then I'm usually okay. I've found that flip flops are perfect spider-killers.

I loved your wondering if he had a family..of dependent creepy-crawlies that might be lurking nearby!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Ann H. said...

This is too funny! Isn't it strange how the women in the family usually end up to be the bug killers:) My husband is a mutilate the bug kind of guy - squish, drop, and can't find the bug! My 16 year old son is following in his footsteps!!! I always tell them those bugs will come looking for them in their sleep! You should put your blog entry in a book - really funny. Great way to start my day.

Donna Lea Simpson said...

Oh, man! This happened to me just the other day... a huge spider on my kitchen window sill. He looked at me, I looked at him, and I could hear the Clint Eastwood 'stranger' music from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (you know the music) as we stared each other down.

I didn't kill it. Someone else had to while I shrieked and hopped around the kitchen like an idiot. Not my proudest moment as a woman.

Theo Epstein said...


Before the spider died, I'm pretty sure it laid some eggs under your pillow.

Melissa said...

That's too funny. I've found the best way to kill a spider is to take my shoe off and slam it on the little offender. You don't feel a thing that way.

Dru said...

Heather, sorry but I had to laugh at this. Never mind that I've done the same thing as you with the eewww, the screaming, the staring down, protecting myself before eventually squishing the little bugger.

I've had the same thoughts that there were other little buggers laying in wait.

Jan said...

Killed two tiny spiders at my desk last night, but anything larger yields a call for the "Great White Hunter", he who kills the bugs.

I don't like to feel the squishy either. I'd use the shoe method, but that leaves marks on the wall!

Melissa said...

The shoe method leaves a mark but I'd rather clean the goo off with toilet paper than accidentally touch the spider.
Poor little joking about their demise like this LOL

Heather Webber said...

Donna, LOL on the music. It was exactly like that.

Why is it that we're so scared of spiders? We're so much bigger than they are and most of them are pretty harmless!

And we don't wear shoes in the house, so the shoe method of removal is out (because I'm surely not going to use my slippers), though it would make things so much easier. And wouldn't make me worry about clogging the toilet!

shelley shepard gray said...

Thanks for the smile today, H.I'm impressed! All I can say is that you're a much more considerate mother and wife than I am. Husbands and children exist so I don't have to hunt spiders! Seriously, I would have gotten my husband in there so fast he wouldn't have known what hit him.

There's no amount of toilet paper that would be a big enough barrier between me and that bug.

PS...ick and ick! on that spider pic on your personal blog today!!


Barb said...

Very often if you are afraid to squish spiders, you can spray them with hair spray if you are in a place that won't get ruined by the spray. This tactic also works on bees and wasps. Somehow, it clogs their bodies and they die. And then you can wait for someone else to clean them up. Hahaha.

Heather Webber said...

Barb, I love the hair spray idea! I'll definitely be using that next time.

Maggie Sefton said...

Hair spray also works on flies. it slows them down long enough for you to smash them with a rolled up newspaper (or a shoe).