Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Entry 146: Man VS. Nature, But Man Gets To Use Starting Fluid

I think that the spiders of my house are abusing my live-and-let-live policy.  I've felt recently that the number of random spider sightings at the Caleb estate has gone up, and this culminated (or so I thought) last month when I saw the biggest spider yet in my basement while doing laundry.  It was ::pauses, thinks of a way to not make this dirty:: um, it was thick, black, and hairy.  (Shit!)  Anyway.  I reacted like any normal adult male and shrieked while rushing to smash it with a half-used bottle of detergent.  The battle was over before it even began.

I told a few people about this spider, but I didn't tell LJ because I still had hopes that I could one day convince her to venture into my basement and do some laundry.  I know, I'm an optimist.  She's already scared of... something in the basement so I figured that telling her about a silver-dollar sized spider wouldn't help my case.

Literally- that's exactly what she said.

Last night I was heading out my front door to haz a smig* and I saw something that stopped me dead in my tracks.   Let me try and re-create it for you.

Damn I'm good.

If you slowed time to a standstill, you could have identified four separate thoughts in my head.

1. That's strange.
2. Those look like insect legs.
3. More specifically, spider legs.
4. Wow- if those 2 legs are that big, then the spider must be

Okay, 5.

I collected myself for LJ's sake, took stock of the monster (holy shit, holy shit, holy shit, stay calm, holy shit), then assessed the situation.  I had to show somebody this monster, but if LJ was terrified of spiders and saw this thing then she might just run off in her nightgown, get in her car, and never step foot in my house again.  I decided to play it cool.

I think my "cool" looks more like tango dancing.  But what's the difference, really?

Me: "Hey there, LJ.  Question.  If you were to rank, say, bugs and animals and stuff on a freak-you-out scale, where would you put things?  Like, for instance-"

LJ: (slightly alarmed) "Did you see a snake?  Was there a snake?  Did you see a snake outside?"

Me: "No, no... but that's good.  So you'd put snakes at the top of the list?"

LJ: "I don't like anything."

Me: "Okay... but snakes are ahead of say... spiders?  Or bees?"

LJ: "There's a spider out there, isn't there."

Me: "Well there might... okay. Yeah.  It's fucking huge.  You have to come see it."

The die was cast.  We remained remarkably calm as we put on shoes and then side-stepped quickly through the doorway to get outside and take a look at the monster.  Oh, and while distracted, guess who decided to escape?  Yup- Worms.   Ungrateful cat.

It's hard to zoom in with an iPhone, but I tried to give a sense of perspective by using a lit cigarette.  Check it out.

Okay, that wasn't working.  For one, I was afraid of getting much closer to what I was sure was a wolf spider (they can jump).  PS THEY FUCKING JUMP.  So yeah, getting much closer wasn't an option.  But look at this picture- he barely looks as big as the doorknob.  In fact, he was bigger.  I had to take another picture.

Here's whats crazy.  I had to use my iPhone as a flashlight to see the thing.  But when I took a picture, I had to turn off the light in order to use the camera.  Leaving a brief period where I was IN THE DARK NEXT TO A MONSTER.  But I did this, for you.

That's a little better.

It was battle time.  The spider was endowed with fangs, venom, and agility, so I evened the score by scouring my house for the most dangerous chemicals I could find.

I passed up on Pledge (too lemon-y), decided against a carpet cleaner, and figured throwing dishwasher detergent cubes at it was going to be ineffective at best.  Unless I could actually get it into the dishwasher, in which case it would obviously be the best weapon.

So I went for a concentrated cleaning agent (like, you're supposed to dilute it or something dumb) and a bottle of starting fluid.  A fair match, I'd say.

As I sprayed it with Simply Green (turns out it was pet-safe and biodegradable- despite LJ's claims otherwise) it started jumping and running towards me, it's little fangs up in the air.  I grudgingly gave ground and added a good dose of starting fluid to mix with the cleaner.  It was trying to come at me, but was getting weighed down by all the shit I was spraying.  Finally, we reached a standstill.

I backed up, slowly, not wanting to lose sight of it, and searched for something to smash it with.  I found the discarded end of an old 10 pound dumbbell and held it several feet over Spiderzilla.  Then I dropped it.  Direct hit!  I picked it up and dropped it over and over again, until the spider was naught but a pile of legs and goo (in a puddle of starting fluid and simply green cleaner).  I wiped the sweat off my face and looked up to where I expected to see LJ, swooning over my bravery. 

Instead, I found her updating Facebook.  Seriously, Mark Zuckerberg- what have you done to us?

Caleb "1, spider: 0" Shreves

*"smig" is a new word for cigarette, coined by my brother Arby


  1. You know what I got out of this whole thing? LJ voluntarily, seemingly without coercion, admitted on the internet, (which makes it truer than real life) that she loves you. That made me smile.

    Oh. And that's a big fucking spider.

  2. while reading this, i felt a slight tickle on the underside of my wrist and nearly shit myself at the thought of your cyberspider jumping through the computer and eating me.

    luckily, it was just the tie on my sweatpants. fhew. that was close.

  3. Vapid- First, she was talking about the spider. Second, my theory is that girls are like little kids. They keep pushing for whatever they can get away with until they get yelled at. One day LJ will do something like try and replace my shower curtain with some pink nightmare and she'll promptly find that I've moved to Vegas. It's a cat and mouse game, you see.

    YLIDHaG- (super acronym, btdubs) You have no idea the state of fear I've been living in ever since this battle. Spiders come in 3's you know... and "wolfy" was only the second. Hopefully the 3rd one is at your house? Probably eating your dog as we speak.

  4. The wolf spiders in BC, they can move small cars, and cats won't even go near! ;)

    The last time I ran into one, I got the vaccum out, and I swear to gawd, tht sucker was spread eagle against the nozzle.. "I'm not going in... I'm not going in....."

    Just saying


  5. Dear Vapid - I do love him. And I hate pink. So, love Caleb, hate the insinuation that I would EVER, EVEEEEEEEEER put up a pink shower curtain. For shame, Shreves. And whilst the epic 10 lb weight droppage was happening, I was curled up in his chair, looking at the door with his 2 cats, and we were all thinking..."One of them is coming back in. Alive. I hope it's Caleb."

    The cats had doubts. I did not. ;)

    "You're Lucky" ~ I did the SAME paranoid dance all night long. It doesn't help that his cats (plural), black cats (not racist), shed ALL OVER. So I was covered in cat hair and waking up every 10 minutes thinking that Wolf-Spider-zilla was feasting on my flesh.

    Caleb. A+ for the killage. That is all.

  6. Holy!! At first I was going to comment something along the lines of ya'll being wimps about the spider, but that thing is massive!! SHeesh. We used to have wild TARANTULAS by our house in San Antonio. Sometimes you could spot them in the middle of the road and when you ran them over they would make a big squish. Most satisfying sound ever. The car is deffo my weapon of choice. You should have just ran into the house with your wheels. NBD.

  7. LJ- You've just confirmed what we've known about Caleb since blog entry #1. He is full of shit.
    And well done on 86ing anything pink and as for the cats...no loyalty there.

    You and Caleb are silly. I like it. I like it a lot.

  8. LJ - you were waking up at the feeling of cat hair and thinking it was a spider? lol- i like it.

  9. Vapid - Shit, maybe, but at least it's entertaining shit. :) No pink, and my cats are better than his

    Dear Caleb - Please write a blog about how my cats are better than yours. Go.

    You're Lucky - Yes: big, thick, black, cat hair ALL OVER - arms, face (I have taken to putting a t-shirt OVER the pillowcase so I'm not laying in cat hair), legs, mouth, nose....cat hair. everywhere. Massive spider being + lots of car hair + LJ paranoia/having to wake up at 5:30 for work = LJ waking up all the time for fear of imminent spider death.

    Both of you are fun. If I start a secret (no-Caleb's allowed) blog...I'll let ya know. ;)

  10. Spiders don't bother me in general, but I just don't like how many legs they have & how they crawl so fast! The things I can't stand are roaches.

    But even worse? Wasps. I am petrified by them (which I mentioned in the post on here about them).

    The worst thing though? I have a hard time killing anything.

  11. I wouldn't say your 'cool' looks like tango dancing. Instead it looks like you were hit with Night Fever. x

  12. A vacuum cleaner? Sounds dangerous- I'm not getting that close. Though I like the mental image.

    A car? I thought about, TGN. I also thought about using a lighter and turning my starting fluid into a flamethrower (it works, trust me) but that seemed overly cruel. I was telling my friend at work yesterday that tarantellas aren't quite as scary for some reason. Maybe cuz they don't jump.

    Andrew, I know. Me too. That's why we'd be great roommates- You would happily buy all the Raid we needed and I would happily douse our apartment in it.

    Laura, be reasonable. You know I was born with night fever.

    LJ! The pink shower curtain was an EXAMPLE. Sheesh. How about a thing of flowers on the table? Crumpled clothes on the floor? Women's razor in the shower? Bubble bath stuff in the bathroom? Oh wait- I already have all those.
    And I already covered Leaf in an earlier post- that's all he gets. Besides, if he actually got some attention for once I don't know what he'd do.

  13. Sweet baby JESUS!!! That ain't right. I'd need to move. Let the effer have the house!!!

    I'd be all "Come on LJ, help me get this giant ass TV into the car because it looks like we're gonna be living in there for a while"...

    I pimped you out AGAIN (this time on my FB page). You're welcome and please send booze.

  14. LJ- Please!! For the love! See that you do!

  15. Spiderman, Spiderman does whatever a spider can, spins a web....Yep, that's what came to mind in case Charles (Charlotte's 5th cousin?) got to you before you got to him.

    But damn, that thing WAS fricking huge.

    I'm glad you survived, LJ had your back (yeah, way back.. her back to the chair posting) andyou've shared yet another comical real-life experience.

  16. I feel so fucking crawly right now. That spider is terrifying. Absolutely terrifying. I've seen big spiders before but he's definitely in the top 3. Ick, now I can't put my feet down on the floor.

  17. Starter fluid? Really? I'd expect more from a person that says he should give "man-lessons". But, that is one hell of a spider, I'll give you. In fact I'd say it goes from the insect category to animal due to it's size. I'd have a hard time as well. I have so many spiders in my house they have become my pets. I've started naming them. I'll be sad when the Springer pest solution starts working and they die. I had a baby spider crawling on me yesterday. oh well.

    LJ - thanks for the cat hair comment. I had a hunkering to get a cat after my nieces leave town (though watching cats being tortured by annoyance is one of my favorite things), but you've cured that with thoughts of inhaling cat hair in my sleep.

  18. Hey Fruit Cup. I gave you an award. Stop by and grab it. It's incredibly masculine and burly. Suits you perfectly.

  19. Colie- I love your pimping. You know this.

    Yeah, Carmen. "Had my back." I'll remember how helpful she was next time she sees a snake.

    Cake, don't look now, but I think there's something on your shoulder. Nevermind. What's that on your shoe though? Oh, it's nothing. Wait- is that something in your hair?

    Sharla, what's more manly than starting fluid? Be reasonable.

    Vapid. Fruit cup? I'm coming over, but I'm bring my starter fluid and cleaning spray. Don't make me use them.

  20. If I saw a spider that big? I'd scream like a little girl and be doing the tango just to keep at least one foot off the ground. Oh HELL no. SSpiders, and other creepy-crawlys, are the only reason I want a boyfriend. Kudos for saving LJ...I think it could have carried her off...smart woman stayed back and posted on Facebook instead :)

  21. lol. you're damn funny. :D

  22. OMG. OM fucking G. If I saw a spider like that anywhere near my living quarters, I'd have a full-on panic attack. Actually I feel all the little hairs on the back of my neck standing up just from reading about it. No problem with snakes, mice, bugs in general, but spiders? Hell no.

  23. Where is it you live exactly? Never seen such ginormousness. Big cockroaches and nutrias (giant rats) in New Orleans, but I've always felt glad to live in Massachusetts, where tarantulas, scorpions and other crazy spiders and such don't exist.