Saturday, July 19, 2008

not my idea of southern hospitality

There's been another spider incident.

We came home from a fantastic dinner date with a couple of friends (mango curry with lime couscous), and I'd just finished putting away the leftovers when I noticed the orange one biting at something in the hallway. I thought it was a beetle because it was brown and about the size of a thumbnail. I made Charrow come look at it and she erupted with "Ew! is that a roach?!" (her personal nightmare) and I said, "No, I think it's a spider." She didn't believe me of course because everything could be a spider in my book. In fact, once I've seen a spider, everything that moves (or doesn't move) is a spider until I look a little harder. For example, the chocolate colored ribbon on the coffee table next to my laptop looks very much like a spider in my peripheral vision.

So the orange one continued to play with the unidentified brown lump while we hypothesized about its species. I don't mind it when cats play with bugs. I find it hilarious to watch Petey (i.e. the orange one) run around the house leaping through the air chasing flies. But then I saw him hunch down and proceed to mouth the lump. The only thing worse than smashing a spider and hearing it crunch is watching a cat eat a spider and think about how it probably wiggles as it goes down. When he lunged in for what looked like the prize winning mouthful, I screamed, the cat jumped 3 feet, and a second later I saw the brown lump with 8 freshly extended legs crawling along the baseboard. The unidentified cat toy was in fact a spider playing dead. Apparently that's what Southern House Spiders do when they're threatened, and it happened again when Charrow caught it in a mason jar covered by the July 7 & 14 issue of the New Yorker (great article about a carbon emissions makeover on the Danish island of Samso).

I know it's silly. I read with my own two eyes (as I covered the picture with an envelope) that this spider is practically blind, isn't aggressive, and can't really bite humans, but it's just too big. I'm sorry, but the phrase "tendency to crawl across anything in their path regardless of whether it is alive" completely negates the part about it probably never biting me. If I see another one while Charrow's not home, I'll be forced to introduce it to my orange and brown reebok hi-tops. Forgive me.

The spider in today's post is the one from about a week ago. I couldn't get a clear picture because Charrow wasn't interested in standing around long enough. It was somehow traumatic for the beast to paw at the sides of my Peanuts glass for an extra 2 minutes.


Laura said...

And why do websites about "fear of spiders" ALWAYS show pictures of spiders?

eje said...

holy cow, that Southern House Spider website has SO MANY pictures of fat, pulsating spiders.

funny that it has such an innocuous name while looking like a poisonous killer vampire arachnid.

Steve said...

Awww...did you let him go outside, maybe?