May I just ask WHAT’S UP with the vermin this year!?

Yeah, you know which ones. We’re being freaking OVER RUN with spiders in this fair state. It’s not like we’re in Louisiana. Katrina left NOLA suffering from all of the creatures who are out of place after the levee breakage; they have brown widows right now, which are the mildly-less-toxic cousins of Lady Black. But I just didn’t expect the number of creatures crawling around here. It must have been the late rains — people reported a lot more garden pests and fleas, which is why I let the dill and cosmos go mad — they attract beneficial insects. We had a really bug-free garden this year, in terms of bugs eating plants (and I don’t count the fluffy, feathery quail-bugs). Nobody said they weren’t hanging out in the plants, however more on that later…

Meanwhile, the TV news gleefully reports that it’s tarantula breeding season, so you won’t catch me within five miles of beautiful Mount Diablo where all this is happening — or Texas, or Arizona or the Nevada highlands, or anywhere else where the great furry things just blanket the landscape, running around breeding. They’re so neat, my teacher’s mind tells me… but fuzzy spiders and me? And fuzzy spiders larger than my palm? Um, no can do, sorry…

The number of black widows getting acquainted with me personally is also worrisome. Saturday’s paper carried a column about wrestling dinner from black widows, and it reminded me of a scene I’d effectively blocked from my mind. The weekend we pulled out the garden, I was pulling out a pepper plant, and I saw a fat, black, marble-butted spider — and I was two rows away before I knew how I’d gotten there, leaping like an Olympian. (Fear promotes the most astonishing reflexes.) I recalled this yesterday, and Mac said, “Oh, yeah… I’ve killed about five in the garage. And then there’s the one that was in the kitchen…”

All right. Usually, I get my Zen on, and try to respect all creatures and all, but there’s only going to be one fat, marble-butted lady in my kitchen.

I’m just saying.

3 Replies to “Arachnophobia”

  1. I did okay teaching when the boys brought me looong worms. They stopped bringing me snakes when I brought my own to class (SCORE! Teacher outthinks the Room 5 boys and becomes outrageously popular!). But the spiders… fortunately, they were usually too grossed out to pick them up. But having to not scream so that the kids don’t a.) laugh at you, b.) take off running into the parking lot in panic — it’s hard work. And even after six years of summer camp, I canNOT do the spiders – the more hairy, the more my skin crawls. Erg. Need a shower now.

  2. I found a brown widow in our house once! That was icky. I actually hadn’t heard of them before this incident, but I saw it, and it looked like…a black widow, hourglass and all, only brown. Ugh.

    Our garage seems to attract black widows. I hate it. We used to have this spare tire in there (god knows why) and I looked in once and saw the biggest black widow I’d ever seen. I made Rob take care of it, and he said when he squished it, it barked. AAAUUUGGGHH.

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