It's Official -- I'm a Nut Job

>> Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A while ago I introduced you to the giant spidery-looking creepy hoppers that visit my house that apparently are called camel crickets. Facebook even has THREE PAGES about them here, here, and here (Facebook account required to view). Well, in that post I tried rather timidly to declare that I wasn't exactly afraid of spiders.

Apparently I lied.

We've been having a real problem with all sorts of little insect-y like critters since we canceled the pest control contract, and I am killing spiders routinely, but these are all the thin, whispy looking kind.

Today, a monster with magic powers assaulted me while I was driving Toddler to a doctor's appointment. I'm on my way to the nearby four lane highway, when out of some crack in the dashboard, or maybe the heating duct, crawls an ugly, black, spotted spider about the size of a nickel. Back and forth it crawled, up next to the front window, looking for a way out. I was wondering if perhaps I saw fur on the legs? Was this wicked thing related to the nasty black widow spider my friends found on their porch?

I had just finished listening to a local DJ talk about someone rear-ending them because they were texting and driving, and I kept chanting to myself, inside my head, "Must keep eyes on road. Must not crash car." Sadly, there was no good place to pull over before I had to pull onto the highway on ramp. At the traffic light before the last turn, I rolled down the window in a vain attempt to coax the spider to climb outside and jump down, but the beastie had other ideas. By this point, the little stinker had crawled the whole way to the passenger side, where I couldn't possibly reach it without physically leaving my seat. So, I decided not to stop in the middle of the road and to proceed onto the highway. Surely it would stay reasonably far away, right?

Sure. Right. That's why I'm writing this blog ... because the spider stayed far away.

As I'm watching the spider begin to pace back and forth across the windshield, I start to think. What will I do if it comes toward me? What if it crawls off the windshield and down the dash to the steering column, or (gasp, moan) my leg? I thought about trying to flip it out the window with an old parking sticker from the game last week, but I thought, "What if it lands on me while I'm driving? Will I be able to restrain the frantic urge to lift my feet, kick wildly, and brush frantically at myself? And if it falls on the floor, then what? What if it crawls up the inside of my jeans, or into my shoe?"

I decided that I would be able to restrain the frantic urge to slap wildly at myself and huddle into a quivering ball only because Toddler was in the backseat. While I might not mind being known as the woman to die from losing control of an automobile on the highway while viciously attacking a spider the size of a nickel ... I just didn't want Toddler to go out that way. Somehow, that didn't seem fair. So, I kept telling myself, "Keep calm. You must keep calm."

And then he came for me.

He crawled deliberately and maliciously away from the windshield, onto the dashboard, and toward the driver side window, all, I am certain, in anticipation of jumping from the window straight onto my hair.

Now what. I'm driving down a four lane highway at some unspecified speed over 65 MPH at precisely the speed limit, with a kamikaze spider crawling menacingly toward me. "Keep calm. You must keep calm." In an act of sheer and unadulterated bravery, I grabbed the aforementioned parking sticker, aimed, and smashed the little sucker against the dashboard, between the vent and the door. Just to be sure, I even smooshed and held it a little. He was not going to come after me anymore. When I was certain the little sucker couldn't even twitch anymore, I lifted the parking tag.

He was gone.

There were no spider guts on my blue parking tag.

The little beast had vanished.


"Keep calm. You must keep calm." I tried not to think too hard about all the funny sensations I now felt inside my jeans and outside my socks. Surely it was my imagination. I tried not to lift my leg up so high that I ran us off the road.

I seriously contemplated whether the sign that said, "Emergency pull off 500 feet" was a sign from God that I should get the heck off the road and find the little bastard. Then I thought that perhaps the Virginia police might not consider a spider on the floor of my car an actual emergency, even if I did.

With great bravery and dignity, and with tremendous powers of concentration, I convinved myself that the spider did not fall to the floor. No, instead he crawled back into whatever crevice on the dashboard he came from, and with any luck, he was now twisting aimlessly in the breeze inside the car's ventilation system. Woops. Poor choice. Now I was wondering if he would come blasting out of the heater vent and into my face. No ... no. He's gone. Gone back to the netherworld from whence he came.

I so thoroughly convinced myself of this that when I got out of the car, I even forgot to look for him, although I was still fighting off images of the nasty thing crawling inside my jeans.

He better not come near me again. Next time I really will get him -- magical powers or not!


Rene November 24, 2009 at 9:06 AM  

My sister is terrified of spiders. She would have stopped in traffic to get out of the car and strip naked until she found it, LOL.

Karin December 8, 2009 at 5:59 PM  

Believe me, Rene -- I really considered it! He was creepy!

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