I think I may have mentioned how much I hate spiders. So tonight I'm watching The Biggest Loser on my fat ass, which is conveniently located on my sofa. And I look over and there's a large unidentified object on the ground. And it's vaguely spider-shaped, but it can't be a spider. I mean, it just can't. Because it's huge. Forget a quarter. This thing is the size of half a dollar bill. I dogleg around behind it, and damned if it isn't a spider. Like the kind that come on plastic rings this time of year. Only he isn't on a plastic ring. He's on my carpet. And turns around so that he's watching me.
So I did what I always do in these situations. I called someone who's hundreds of miles away. The last time this happened, a spider effectively treed me on the sofa and I called my friend in Arizona. Yeah--I lived in New Mexico at the time. As the spider bobs up and down trying to figure out just how much silk it's going to need to immobilize me while it sucks my body dry, my friend is like, "Honey, I can't do anything. You know if I lived even 20 miles away, I'd come running, but you have to sleep before I can get there. Hit it with a shoe." It wasn't until hours later when my then-husband arrived and shrieked like a teenager in a horror film that he believed how big the spider was. (My ex-husband killed it with a shoe. He was a good man that way.)
This spider could eat that spider for lunch. And would--because, you know, they're cannibals. And I got divorced, so there's nobody to kill the spider.
I run back to the sofa and call my cousin's husband. "Bill, Bill. There's a spider in my house so big that he casts a shadow. And he's watching me."
"Well, he's probably not watching you, because he's a New York spider. I don't think you have poisonous spiders out there, do you?"
"I didn't think we had giant spiders, but the survey says yes we do."
"Do you have a New York Times?"
"No. I read it online."
"Oh, well then you'll have to get a book and wrap it in paper."
Genius. I wasn't fooling around. I got an encyclopedia so big that when I put it in a Trader Joe's bag, the handles of the bag tore off. The spider, no fool, got under a chair. It took me five minutes of coaxing from thousands of miles away to move the chair and throw the encyclopedia at the spider. And I kid you not, it made him really mad. Instead of his legs being out in creepy-crawly mode, he shooped them up under his body to make himself really tall and threatening like the tripods in War of the Worlds (except an octopod). Not to be deterred, I got the Oxford Guide to the Bible and threw it in another Trader Joe's bag. (He must not have been doing very well for all his big show, because he stood there looking mad as hell while I did this.) I was a little concerned, because it wasn't as big as the encyclopedia, but it turned out that greater maneuverability was an asset.
At least, I think it was. I'm scared to pick up the bag. And all the hair on the back of my neck stands up when I look at it. I'm counting this as my workout for the evening because my heart rate was definitely in the fat-burning zone.