Not just any spiders, cannibalistic spiders that are as big as a mouse living in the crawl space under my house.
I suppose I should probably explain a couple of things about me. I’m an Army woman, hard core, tough as nails. I’ve crawled through the mud, trained with men and held my own. But when you strip off all the layers of mud and camo, underneath it is all girl. That being said, I like perfume, dressing up, wearing heels, and along with being female, I have female fears. Have I ever told you the one thing I'm terrified of?
Snakes—no I think they're cute.
Men in net shirts and denim cut-offs—okay you got me there, but that should put the fear of god into any woman. Bonus terror points for back hair.
NO, my greatest fear by far and with gooooood reason—spiders. You get one near me and I'll have a heart attack. You see, it started as a child when I got one of those great big white, marshmallow-bodied, barn spiders caught in my hair. It escalated when I was in the Army, on a training exercise and was bitten all over my face by a spider. My eyes swelled shut, I couldn’t open them and I could barely breathe. They had to rush me back to post before my throat closed up. So no, I don’t like them.
Guess who was in the crawl space laying down ant poison? Yeah. All was going fine. I’d sucked it up and braved the underside of the house. I mean, how bad could it be? My husband, kids, even his 80 year old grandfather had been under there all week. So when my husband told me he really could use my help putting the ant poison down, I figured, why not. Nobody has said anything about stuff crawling around under there. I donned a pair of jeans, leather work gloves and a cap. Looking like a true house-flipping professional, I sucked in a deep breath and crawled into the darkness. Flashlight in hand, I worked my way along the foundation until I was about three quarters of the way back, about 80 feet, when I shined my flashlight on this support beam connected to the sill, looking for ants, something scurried along it. Of course I think it's a mouse. I follow the critter’s path with my ray of light. To my horror I discover it’s not a mouse, a rat, or anything of the mammal persuasion. Oh, no it would have to be the one thing that makes the blood in my veins run cold and it was staring at me.
A great big hairy brown spider. Of course like an idiot, I sat there on my hands and knees, paralyzed with fear, watching it. Soon it was joined by a friend, not quite as big as a silver dollar. Then another about the size of a quarter. The smaller spider crawled over to the biggest one and when it touched its hairy brown legs, the gianourmous spider sprang, bit it and started to wrap it in silk. What came next was the makings of a horror movie, it started to eat it. Barely able to keep breakfast down, I decided I couldn’t allow it to remain under my house. After all, it might find a way to enter the domain above and that was not acceptable. So like a moron, I took this board and squashed it. Green goo squirted out its back end, and then the damn thing proceeded to crawl away. One more time, but with greater force. I smacked it as hard as I could, vibrating the beam.
In that moment, I learned a valuable lesson. Spiders travel in packs. Really, really, big packs. I’m not kidding. Great big and hairy wasn't alone. Two hundred of his friends took that moment to jump from the beam like living popcorn.
How fast do you think one woman can crawl on her hands and knees from under a house? I think I set a record and I'm sure my scream loosened a few floorboards. Never, never again. I'm tossing an insecticide bomb under there. I'm traumatized, scarred for life. And that bastard of a husband knew they were under there when he sent me. “Oh let’s send the wife under there, ought to be good for a couple of chuckles. Har, har.” We’ll see how he likes it when I take the scissors to all his underwear. See, I’m a girl, I like lacy clothes, looking pretty, I’m scared of spiders and among other things, I can be vindictive. Real vindictive.