The All-New, Totally True Adventures of Spydra, the Spider-Catching Queen of the Amazon!!
It’s 4AM. Yes, Virginia, there’s an AM. My alarm goes off, and I hit snooze, wondering what in the hell possessed me to think that getting up at 4 would be a good idea. I hit snooze a few more times, and finally drag my ass out of bed at 4:45. I stagger into the bathroom still bleary-eyed and sit with my head in my hands, wondering AGAIN why I thought this would be a good idea. As I reach for the toilet paper, for some reason I glance over at the roll. I don’t usually look at it – it’s not like it’s going to be in a different place from before, and I use the restroom often enough to know where the paper is without double-checking the location – but this morning I look. And thank God, because my hand freezes about 3 inches away from A GIANT FUCKING BLACK SPIDER half-hidden under the first sheet of paper on the roll. I half-successfully stifle a scream (I’m staying with my grandparents and I don’t want to wake them at 4:45 in the morning), and immediately lean as far away from the roll as I can without actually getting up from the toilet. I remain in this remarkably uncomfortable position for a minute or two, contemplating my options, none of which are terribly appealing. FINALLY I remember that I had stashed an extra roll behind the toilet the other day for God knows what reason, so I lean around, grab the roll and get the hell away from that spider as fast as I can.
Now I am standing in my bathroom, buck naked, contemplating the GIANT FUCKING BLACK SPIDER that has taken up residence on my toilet paper roll. Squashing is not an alternative: I hate the sound, I hate the mess and as a general rule I really do try not to kill things. I consider letting it live in the bathroom, but I wouldn’t want to step on it barefoot by accident, and frankly, it looks (in the admittedly poor light) like it might possibly be a black widow, which are relatively abundant in sunny SoCal. And there is NO WAY IN HELL I’m sharing space with a black widow. If push comes to shove I will have to kill it, just in case it IS a black widow, but I’d really rather not. I back slowly out of the bathroom, praying it’s not a jumping spider (which are harmless, except for the heart attack they give you when they JUMP AT YOU), and go looking for a “Spider-Catching Kit.”
(A Spider-Catching Kit is a Tupperware, a piece of paper and a thin hard piece of something else; a clipboard for instance, or the back of a notepad. You put the Tupperware over the spider, slide the paper underneath, then the hard piece of whatever, hold it all together really tightly, carry it outside, set it on the ground and remove the hard piece and the paper. When you can see the spider on the ground, you lift the Tupperware off of it and (this part is very important) RUN LIKE HELL.)
I find a wide-mouthed water bottle, and immediately discard it because I am too damn chicken to give myself that little “mess-up space” in case the damn thing runs. I find a slightly larger container, but I’m not sure it will fit on the roll without leaving a gaping space for the GIANT FUCKING BLACK SPIDER to run through – probably toward me. I test it out on the other roll of paper, and sure enough, there’s a good 2 inch gap for that thing to laugh at me right before it eats me. I head back into the bathroom to reconnoiter. Spider’s still there. Hasn’t moved. I really don’t want to kill it, but I really can’t tell if it’s harmless or not. ::::sigh:::: I throw on a pair of pants and a shirt and go looking for the Raid. If I can spray NEAR it, it might run, and then I could catch it. This is NOT what I want to be doing at 5AM.
Of course, it takes me ten minutes to find the Raid, and when I get back, guess what? That’s right. No spider. Fuckety-fuck-fuck. I check the floor, the walls and the ceiling (always my personal terror, that last one), but nothing. This is very bad. I can’t afford to let it live in the bathroom, and I’m now getting later and later for work. I consider the possibility that it is BEHIND the roll, but there doesn’t really seem to be that much space. The thing is, my grandparents live in an old house. It was built in ’29, so it has all kinds of features that you don’t see on houses out here anymore. One of these features is that all the toilet paper rolls are built into the wall. There’s a half-circle-shaped depression in the wall, and the paper is set into that, so that only about half the roll sticks out from the wall. It’s very cool. It’s also a great spider-hiding place. Fuck.
There is no way in hell I’m reaching over to spin the roll and risk having that thing launched through the air at me. I don’t think I could stifle that scream. Suddenly, I remember that my Grandma has 3 or 4 canes in the hall closet, because of her bad knee. I could use one of those to spin the roll! So I trot out to the closet and select the longest one I can find. I sneak back into the bathroom, contemplating the fact that my morning has been reduced to sneaking around a spider, stand as far from the roll as I can, reach waaaaaaaaay out with the cane, and spin the roll. It’s a pathetic attempt, but it’s enough to scare the spider, which runs out from the top of the roll, and down underneath it, back into the bottom half of the hole before I can grab the Raid. Dammit.
I look at the clock. An entire half-hour has elapsed since I got up. Jesus.
But now I know it’s in the roll-hole, and at least that’s something. I use the cane to lift the hand towel off the bar, because it’s RIGHT NEXT to the hole, and I don’t want the spider to run out and onto the towel. Then I spin the roll again. Nothing. Again. Nothing. These are much less pathetic attempts, and now I’m worried that it really ran somewhere else, and I missed it. Spin. Nothing. Spin. JACKPOT!!! Thereitgoesacrossthewall,getit,getit,getit!!!!!! FUCK!!!! I lost it!! I check under the sink, and behind the OTHER towel. Nothing! DAMN! As I stand up, THERE IT IS!!! ON THE WALL! IN A PERFECT PLACE TO CATCH WITH MY TUPPERWARE! WHERE DID I PUT THAT FUCKING TUPPERWARE?!?!?!!?! OO, OO! RIGHT THERE!!! ON THE SINK!!! I grab the Tupperware, and slam it down over the spider, which thankfully is neither a jumping spider nor a very fast runner (as spiders go). Under the Tupperware goes the back of the notepad, and I peel the whole shebang away from the wall. I can see the spider better now, and I’m almost disappointed that it is not, in fact, a black widow. It’s some brown and black thingy, although I don’t think it’s a recluse. I’m not in a desert-y enough area for those.
I carry it outside and let it go, all the while sternly admonishing it for scaring me and warning it just how close it came to a Raid-induced death. I'm sure I made quite an impression and it was probably very sorry. :P Then I race back upstairs to get dressed before I’m really late for work, since it's now almost 5:30, which is when I need to leave.
I did wait till I got to work to use the bathroom again, though. Just in case.