I’ve recently been added as a writer on Humor Outcasts.com and here is my most recent post.
Check it out and check out the other writers – some very funny stuff!
My Tarantula Terror
Driving back to my house in the foothills above Los Angeles the other night, I marveled at how fortunate I was to live so close to nature. The day had started with a doe and her two fawns greeting me as I fetched the morning paper. I knew they were the culprits who had been eating my roses, but I didn’t mind. Surely they appreciated them more than I.
As I rounded the corner onto my street that evening, a skunk dashed in front of my car. I slammed on the brakes, but laughed it off. “That was a close one, buddy!” Then, as I pulled into my driveway, a frog jumped across my path. Wow! It’s like an Animal Planet show here!
But my warm fuzzy feeling quickly vanished when I approached my front door and came face to face with a giant, hairy, tarantula. It was right there on the wall, inches from actually being inside my home – where I sleep, where I felt safe – until now.
I ran inside through a side door and alerted my family of his terrifying presence. I used hushed tones so the tarantula would not know we were “on to him.” I quickly grabbed my tarantula fighting tools – a rake and a broom – and mentally prepared myself to do battle.
My husband remained on the couch savoring his chocolate-chip cookie dough ice cream, refusing to lend a hand. “I’m not going out there. It’s your turn.”
“I hardly think your squashing an ant in the bathroom counts as a turn.” I scoffed.
His lack of compassion and assistance did not surprise me. I knew when we married that I would be the resident spider assassin – it was in our vows – but this was ridiculous. I didn’t sign on for tarantulas.
This was too much nature for me. Living near the Angeles National Forest, I expected to see deer, raccoons, and coyotes, and I know that the rattlesnakes and mountain lions are lurking out there…somewhere. But, tarantulas. Really? And why do I have to suffer their repeated visits – what did I do to deserve their constant torment?
Then, I remembered. It was about ten years back, shortly after moving in, that I had my first tarantula encounter. As I left the house with my two young daughters, (and pregnant with our third), my youngest matter-of-factly announced, “Mom, there’s a tarantula on the door.”
“Oh, right. Sure.” I said in disbelief. Knowing that kids can be prone to exaggeration, I assumed it was just a big spider, but when I looked back I was horrified to find that she was right. There on the front door of my new house, was indeed a big, horrible tarantula.
I was as scared as if it had been Bengal tiger.
“Quick! Girls! Get in the car and lock the doors!” I shouted.
I ran to the garage to search for, I don’t know what, some kind of tarantula removing device. I came out with a very large broom.
My heart pounding, I somehow knocked the tarantula to the ground then used the broom to brush it down our very long driveway. With each brush, the tarantula would jump back up, turn, and start to come towards me. Apparently, tarantulas pursue their prey. Finally, somehow, I was able to sweep it down to the street.
Pumped up on adrenaline and a desire to protect my children, I started my car and set off to finish the job. Convinced it was him or us, I aimed for the injured tarantula. I could not take a chance that he would crawl back to my house, my home.
When the deed was done, I pulled forward and looked out my window to see if it was still moving. I might have seen a flinch. I threw the car back in reverse and ran over him again, just to make sure. Really sure.
In hindsight, it is possible I over-reacted.
Looking for support, I recounted my tale to local friends. Instead, they scolded me and told me that tarantulas aren’t even dangerous. Black widows are much worse. Blah, blah blah. They didn’t see him – the look in his eyes. At least I think those were eyes.
Funny, after hearing about the tarantula’s fate, I noticed that my husband treated me a little bit nicer. He said something about never crossing me. Sometimes it pays to be a loose cannon.
Since this initial tarantula incident, we have had five or six more visits from these horror-film castoffs and I have begun to suspect that my initial response years ago created some sort of bad Karma. Much like the tiki idol incident on the Brady Bunch, it seems my actions actually caused this bad luck. It’s as if the tarantulas issued a type of arachnid fatwa against me.
And so, on this recent evening, I decided it was time for restraint. I had to undo the damage done. While my girls cheered me on (and my husband watched TV) I oh, so, gently urged the tarantula to leave the front door of our house. I scooted him softly down the driveway and back towards the wilderness where he belonged.
“Tell your friends!” I yelled after him. And, please, please don’t come back.