M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Monday, September 22, 2008  

Spider Man

My wife and our temporary roommate should not read this.

I've got nothing against spiders. I mean, I've never had one as a pet, like David Sedaris or the recent cast of Big Brother (shout-outs to Penelope and Ted, respectively). But when I see one in the house, my first instinct isn't to step on it. Or even to scream like a girl until someone else comes in and steps on it. Not that anyone reading this would ever do the latter.

For a while I would take a slip of paper off the stack of bills in the kitchen, scoop the arachnid up (or down, as the case may be), and deposit it politely outside, on the front steps. Lately, however, I'm not even bothering to do that.

Trash and Bitter, I told you not to read this.

I think it's because of my new telecommuting lifestyle. I'm here alone for hours almost every day (or effectively so, since Bitter works long, late nights and may be awake for an hour or less every afternoon before heading out), so I've become more attuned to the rhythms of a quiet house. Stuff like Excavator's mandatory extended cuddlefests in my lap at 9:30, 10:45, and 11:30. The muffled clank of the mailbox between 3:20 and 3:40, just as school's letting out across the street. Garbage and recycling on Monday, and the tornado sirens at 1:00 on the dot on the first Wednesday of every month. The spider in the kitchen when I go to get lunch.

He* isn't there every day, by any means. Or even every week. At least not visibly. I don't think. But when I see him during these times, I just ignore him. He generally has the courtesy to stay out of sight when everyone's home in the mornings and evenings and weekends, but I think he's used to having the place to himself during business hours. Or at least the parts of the place that the cat can't reach. Overall, my telecommuting is working out well for everyone else in the household; is it fair of me to make him change his routine?

And when he did show himself on Sunday morning, almost entirely against his will, he made it worth my while. I slid the toaster oven out from under the cabinet, not realizing he'd been napping under it. He broke cover, sprinted for the edge of the counter, and hurled himself over, trailing an invisible length of emergency web behind him like Bruce Willis with a firehose tied around his waist.

Yippee-ki-eye-eye-eye-eye-eye-eye-eye-eye-yay, motherfucker!

Then, while still two drawer-heights from the floor, he cut himself loose and free-fell the rest of the way before scampering under the baseboard. I probably could have gotten him anyway, but why would I want to?

I guess I should admit here that my little coworker has a legspan smaller than half of a shirt button, otherwise lunchtime would obviously be clawhammer time.

Because, really, there are limits. Last week in the bathroom I busted the older brother of the gigapede that Trash and Bitter and I (and what a shame they still aren't reading this) dispatched back to the underworld several years ago. And when I say "busted," I don't mean that I arrested him and booked him. Although I did book him, now that I think of it. It was a Stephen King hardcover, in fact.

Anyway, like I say, it's actually a good thing Trash and Bitter aren't reading this, because otherwise they'd insist that I get rid of the spider next time I see him. They might even try to convince me that there's more than one. Or, if there's not, that there will be soon if I don't take steps. Preferably on the spider. I'd hate for it to come to that. So would he, I suspect.

*Yes, I know it's probably a girl. But referring to it by the proper gender is one step removed from adopting it as a pet, and I'm not ready to go there yet. Give me a few more months.

posted by M. Giant 7:33 PM 5 comments


I was just asked yesterday whether I kill a spider or save a spider. I have no door to the outdoors to which to save spiders from my home. But when a door is available, I save a spider. And I don't really get spiders up here.

Did you know that Great Britain has no venomous spiders? Yeah. That would be nice.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 22, 2008 at 8:20 PM  

I had a spider for a "pet." Normally spiders die in my place, but Frank (the spider) just stayed in his little corner.

I would say goodbye to Frank as I walked out the door to go to work and goodnight when I went to bed.

I had to get stern with Frank when he decided (after about a month of cohabitation) to expand his web. That was a deal breaker. The next day, Frank disappeared.

I should probably get a real pet.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 23, 2008 at 7:02 AM  

Many years ago, my then-roommate and I adopted a spider named Melissa. She hung out in a corner of our apartment for the winter, catching the occasional flying object and not bothering anyone.

Unfortunately, we turned out to be correct in our guess as to gender, because eventually Melissa produced an egg sac. We let her stick around as long as we could, but finally agreed that we did not want to be inundated with little Melissas and sent her and her incipient children out into the cold. I hope at least some of them made it.

I still won't kill a spider if I can help it, and I feel bad for hours if I do mish one. And "Charlotte's Web" makes me sob.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 23, 2008 at 5:54 PM  

There ya go -- just rent "Charlotte's Web." Or better yet, have them read "Anansi Boys." Excellent pro-Arachnid-American propaganda.

By Blogger Febrifuge, at September 23, 2008 at 9:01 PM  

I had a "pet" spider as well. It lived in the corner of my bedroom and really kept to itself. Occasionally, I would chase mosquitos into the web to keep it happy and well fed. Eventually, I set it loose in the world. Good times, though. Good times.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 24, 2008 at 10:59 AM  

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