crevette: (Gay Demon)
Ah, spring. Spring in Florida is a wonderful time--those few weeks between shivering in what passes for winter down here and sweltering in the crushing, metallic-smelling heat and humidity that bakes the asphalt and melts the soles of your shoes.

Of course, spring also brings out my dreaded nemisis--spiders. Yes, the eight-legged harbingers of doom are out again. I know I've talked about them before on here but I'm terrified of spiders. Can't stand them. And, of course, since I park under the trees and leave the vents in the van open, I get the occasional visitor.

See, the oak leaves fall down into the area under the hood and they pile up under there. That makes a lovely area for conjugal visits for creatures of the eight legged variety. And since it's spring, I leave the vents open in the van and they can just kinda just wander on in and set up housekeeping.

They like to wander around on the windshield whilst I drive.

This, of course, makes my deep seated issues of the arachinid kind come to the surface. Usually at 60 MPH or more.

So... I had an "issue" arise the other night on the way home from Alpha night. There I was, minding my own business, driving home and suddenly DUN DUN DUN a spider emerges from the defroster vents and starts be-bopping its way across my windshield.

I should note, as I have in the past, that these are not necessarily big spiders. I mean, to me, they're big enough to go off and rampage the Japanese countryside while spewing radioactive flames and stomping on slow villagers. To everyone else they range from about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch. If that. But to me they are BIG. And SCARY. So there.

Usually what I do during these times is whimper and cry and white-knuckle it till I get home so I can roll out of the vehicle in the driveway--much like an action movie star being blown out mid-explosion.

This time I took a new tack. I decided I would be assertive.


I had near at hand a brochure for Liv's summer camp. I rolled that up tightly and struck the windshield in an assertive manner.

Of course, being the total wimp that I am, I struck the windshield assertively a good foot away from the spider.

The spider, being a predator that uses vibration to find prey, interpreted my aggressive windshield strike as a potential lunch date and decided to move towards the source to investigate it.

This, of course, freaked my shit out beyond words. I decided to get more aggressive and THWAP THWAP THWAP THWAPED the windshield--again, about a foot away--in a rapid fire staccato that I hoped was arachnic morse code for "psychotic bitch here--armed and dangerous--run for your life".

Obviously I got the translation off because the spider interpreted it as "Prey in distress, struggling. Open Bar." He came running at me.

I squealed and started thwapping the windshield in spastic panic motions, not sure what I was hitting and not caring.

It should be noted that I was driving approximately 40 MPH at the time. In the dark. On heavily traveled urban streets. This, it should also be noted, is not a Good Idea (tm).

The spider, however, seemed to get the hint that something was Not Quite Right(tm) and decided to beat a hasty retreat to my defroster vents. I breathed a sigh of relief and then realized my windshield was fogging up.

What does one do when one has a fogging windshield? Duh. One turns on the defroster fan. On high. Without thinking that there's a little harbinger of DOOM hiding in there, waiting to come out and as [ profile] stoney321 says so eloquently, eat out your eyeballs and lay eggs in your brainmeat.

The spider came catapulting out of the vent at high velocity, tethered by a single strand of silk. He was like a reverse bungee jumper. And he was pissed. He came at me again and I took the rolled up catalog, bit my lip, said a prayer and aimed at him. THWAK.

Where did he go? Did I get him? Did I run that red light? Where did the little bastard go?

I held up the rolled up catalog to the light to make sure he wasn't cannonballing up the inside to eat my face off. Not there. Checked the dash for his corpus delecti. Not there.

Suddenly, he pops out of the side molding. "BOOGA!" (I am almost certain he said this. Or maybe, "Die bitch, die." Or "Allah Akbar!" Or something scary. I'm quite sure of it.)

I literally shrieked and laid about willy-nilly with my weapon of DEATH (which strangely enough was covered with pictures of beautiful, smiling children--quite a contrast, no?) and beat the inside of my windshield as hard as I could while screaming random obscenities. (Picture Ralphie beating up the bully in A Christmas Story.)

I finally stopped, exhausted (after once again checking the inside of the rolled up catalog to make sure there was no sneak attack forthcoming). (as an aside, I asked the Y for a new catalog because I couldn't bring myself to handle something that might have had contact with spider innards)

Do you know what is worse than having a spider dancing the Marcarena on your windshield to taunt you?

Not being able to find said spider after an Grand Mal epileptic fit of flailing killing strikes at the windshield with a blunt instrument. Especially given the spider's already demonstrated ability to attach a silk to things and bungee off of them into space, possibly to backflip into your hair. Yep. Not so priceless.

Let's just say I was a little tense the rest of the way home. And then went in and showered with hot, hot, hot water. Repeatedly. (Liv found the corpse the next day with much EW and EEK and ICK) (Mommy-1, Spider-0) (If I'd gotten into an accident, I'd have at least taken the little bastard down with me.) (Pyrrhic victory though it may be)
crevette: (magicalmuscularcrotch!)
Given that there's a big hurricane sideswiping the state right now and because I'm 3 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, I've pretty much decided that I'm going to be a homebody and just putter around the house. You know, do laundry, pray my power doesn't go out, pay the bills I've been avoiding looking at for the last week while I was on vacation. Stuff like that.

So here I am, sitting here and avoiding doing anything of any substance (especially the bills). "Let's update LJ!" I said. "Yay! Yes, yes! Let's!” I eagerly replied.

Yes, I often have complete conversations with myself. Quite often. Because we're slightly schizophrenic, we suppose. But I digress...

For once today's deep, meaningful question has nothing to do with Orlando Bloom. (Shocker, I know). I mean, he's still HAWT and all, and I'd still gladly jump him in a kiddy pool full of sugar-free lime jello. I'd still be happy to drizzle maple syrup all over his chest and lick it off before the frolicking ferrets get stuck to him. I'd still be ecstatic to have him duct tape my ankles to my thighs and so much more. But I've just been 'meh' on him lately. Or about as 'meh' as someone with my OCDs (Obsessive Compulsive Disorders) can get.

Mind you, my state of meh-ness didn't keep me from licking the Elizabethtown standee at the movie theater last night (after a viewing of Howl's Moving Castle. Great movie. Loved it. Up there with Spirited Away.) But I only did it in passing and more out of force of habit and to make my pre-teen daughter even more embarrassed to be seen in public with me. Those parental humiliation moments are rich and deserve to be savored as much as possible, you know.

No, today's deep, meaningful question doesn't involve Mr. Bloom at all. Today it involves the deep, meaningful question, "If someone says something never happened, does that mean that it really never happened or did it really happen? If someone refuses to admit something happened, does that make it a non-happening?" It's like the tree in the forest question, really. Noise or no noise?

Let's speak about this in completely hypothetical terms, because as [ profile] telaryn said so loudly that it echoed off the nearby buildings and made complete strangers across six lanes of traffic stare at us, "THIS NEVER HAPPENED." The volume of that statement obviously made it even truer. Really.

It is a well known fact that I am a raging arachnophobe. I know I've talked about it on this LJ many times before. Spiders make me cringe and weep. I don't like them, can't stand them, don't want to be anywhere near them.

It is also a well known fact that at any given time you are within three feet of a spider. Doesn't matter where you are, unless you work in an industrial clean room. You are being watched by one of the spawn of Ungoliant as you read this.

Finally, it is also a very well known fact that spiders are fully aware of my fear of them and therefore like to get into my minivan O'Perimenopause and run around on the inside windshield while I am driving. I am entirely too petrified to try and kill them. I'm afraid that they'll jump on me. If they do, that'll be curtains for me because I'll drive off the road and die in a horrific fireball.

I can't stop driving because I have someplace to be, so what I do instead is the perfect passive-aggressive arachnophobe behavior of stiffening up, white knuckling the steering wheel, and watching the spider dance the Macarena on the windshield. And I cry. Cry meaning whimpering and meeping pathetically, of course.

This is all a given, a fact. A Postulate. An Axiom. It did, in fact, happen.

Another fact is that [ profile] telaryn and I carpool to Alpha Night once a week, and that I was driving us home in aforementioned minivan this past Thursday.

Here's where we get into the hypothetical.

There I would be, pulling away from [ profile] peacockharpy's house, going around the corner and coming up to the intersection with the major road. Imagine that out of the side molding of my windshield a spider comes out and starts walking up and down on the windshield. [ profile] telaryn would see this first and warn me, being the good friend she is.

Of course, I would stiffen and start to whimper, meep, white knuckle and prepare myself for a stressful drive home.

Until said spider would start JUMPING from place to place on the windshield, that is. Leaping gracefully over 3 inch or more spans, over our collective laps. Not good. See previous statement about horrific fireball death.

Mutual heated discussion between myself and [ profile] telaryn would end up with an agreement that I would pull over to the side of the road (still in [ profile] peacockharpy's neighborhood) and she would deal with the spider. Because she is nothing if not a good friend.

This, of course, would consist of me slamming on the brakes so hard that if I wasn't so afraid of the spider on the windshield, I'd be eating said windshield. It would also consist of me bailing out of the van like it was filled with dynamite and [ profile] telaryn was smoking. This would also consist of [ profile] telaryn taking my compact umbrella, trying for several minutes to catch said jumping spider on the end of it while I jumped around on my tiptoes in the middle of the street and made 'icky' noises.

Finally, these actions would climax in [ profile] telaryn successfully catching said spider on the end of my umbrella, NOT squishing it but swinging it outside the van and flicking it off into someone's yard.

This would have worked great if said spider had not fastened a thread of silk to the end of said umbrella and held on for dear life. [ profile] telaryn would then be screaming and trying to flick the extremely tenacious spider off the umbrella while doing something that resembled the chicken dance on one of [ profile] peacockharpy's neighbor’s lawn at 11 PM on a weeknight. Said spider would not only be holding onto the umbrella with everything he had, but would be crawling back up said strand of silk as quickly as possible, right back at [ profile] telaryn.

[ profile] telaryn (Remember, this is hypothetical because THIS NEVER HAPPENED) would be squealing and flinging the spider back down and it would be climbing back up, like a yo-yo with legs. Said spider would also be swinging around wildly, back and forth, closer and closer to [ profile] telaryn's legs, which were now rapidly moving in a Riverdance-like fashion.

Finally the spider would have lost the battle and landed in the lawn--the owner of which surely be calling 911 to have us taken away by now.

"GET IN THE CAR! MOVE! BEFORE HE COMES BACK!", [ profile] telaryn would bellow, diving back into the passenger seat curled up into a ball like an action movie star ducking the flaming fireball of an explosion coming out of the tunnel right behind her. I too would of course dive right back in and peel rubber out of the subdivision.

Imagine our hypothetical relief of getting rid of the spider, our laughter, our 'No shit, there we were' stories we were already writing in our heads.

Then imagine [ profile] telaryn going dead quiet, staring at the windshield and saying, "Shit. He had a friend!"

Yes, because in this purely hypothetical situation, the spider would have a friend. Or a big brother. Or a mommy. Or a Babydaddy. Or something. Also he would be bigger than the last one, and he too would be a jumper. But that’s okay because THIS NEVER HAPPENED, remember?

"Okay", I would say, "I was planning on stopping for gas at the corner anyway. I'll stop there and we'll get rid of him."

There would be silence from the passenger seat, and then [ profile] telaryn would ask softly, "Do you think we can get someone there to kill him? I don't usually get creeped out, but this..."

We would giggle and I would floor the accelerator while I leaned as far back in the driver's seat as I could, and not just due to the G-forces of acceleration.

"You know," [ profile] telaryn would say, "getting a ticket is not going to help this situation at all."

"Yeah," I would reply. "But maybe I can get the police officer to kill the spider before he writes me up...."

"Oh." She would be quiet for a moment and then speak. "Good to know you have a plan."

So then we would come to this hypothetical gas station and I would once again bail from the van doing a duck and cover motion right out of a 50’s nuclear threat educational film strip. She would lean over with the umbrella and start cursing loudly. "He just hid in the molding! I can't get him!"

"Huh?" I'd respond in my usual hyper-intellectual way. I'd then reach over and knock on the aforementioned molding to see if I could scare him out. No dice. I would then sigh and lean over the seat to get my wallet so I could pay at the pump.

"THERE HE IS!" [ profile] telaryn would sound slightly panicked as I’d recoil out of the van like I'd been shot out of a cannon.

Because in this hypothetical situation, it would so happen that as I was bent over the seat the spider would drop down from the molding on a line of silk to dangle over my head.

Over. My. Head.

Luckily, I would not be aware of this at the time because there would have been heavy tranquilizers and a hospital visit involved. Now I can just be squicked in retrospect. By the hypothetical situation. Because THIS NEVER HAPPENED, you realize.

Instead there would be much frantic thrusting of my umbrella by [ profile] telaryn and a half-screamed, "DID I GET HIM????"

To which I would respond, "YES! I see him! THROW THE UMBRELLA!!"

She would then HURL the umbrella out of the driver's side door with such force that it would hit the pavement and bounce a few times before it finally came to a stop. I would then stand on the little raised concrete island next to the gas pumps and watch as the spider pelted away from us at top speed.

"IS IT GONE?? ARE YOU SURE???" would come from the inside of the van.

In the very back of my fear-crazed mind, the thought would form that it would be very humorous to find that [ profile] telaryn was just as freaked out as I was about the arachnid double-header. It would also be slightly amusing to realize that everyone in the filling station had stopped to stare at us go through this ordeal, and were in fact still staring at us.

And then I would look back at [ profile] telaryn and smile. She would smile back and then yell at the top of her lungs, "THIS NEVER HAPPENED!"

Of course, this is just a hypothetical situation.


Especially not at 11 PM on Thursday night.

crevette: (Spank me!)
I love springtime in Florida.

I remember as a child when spring rolled around the orange grove down the road would be in bloom and the scent of orange blossoms would just fill the air. The velvety white petals would be every where, but you didn't care because they smelled SO good. Back then, in the 70's, orange groves were everywhere. We weren't as built up as we are now, and you could drive in any direction and find an orange grove, branches heavy with blinding white blossoms, the ground scattered with the petals, almost looking like snow.

And the smell. Lord, the smell. I love the smell.

Obviously, there are enough people around with citrus trees in their yards to keep the scent alive. I was driving home from ABC night and lowered the window and the smell just hit me. I slowed down and took deep breaths, savoring the scent of memory, savoring the feel of days spent as a child running through the trees and climbing the hills that were built up by phosphorous mining. We don't have hills in Florida to speak of, but we lived not only near huge orange groves, but near a phosphous pit. Mining back in the early 70's basically consisted of bigging a big pit and putting up a huge hill of dirt about 40 or 50 feet high, minimum. The old hills got planted on and had trees and stuff... But we didn't care. They were hills.

There was nothing like the game of climbing to the top of this sandy hill, your feet sinking into the sand as you struggled up to the top. You didn't care how tired it made you or how dirty you got. You were a kid. And then you'd get to the top of the hill and survey your kingdom, ie subdivision, and then you and your friends would lay on the hill and roll down, laughing and giggling, smelling the orange blossoms and just being alive.

I miss being a kid sometimes.


I'm a very simple woman. My fears are equally simple, but very intense.

Spiders. I can honestly say that I'm a borderline arachnaphobe. Just seeing the ones on Survivor make me cringe in fear. I'm that bad. Really.

I park the van under the oak trees in the driveway, and sometimes I leave the vents open in the AC system. I think that's how the first spider got into the van

They're small. White little spiders. The biggest I've seen is about 1/4 inch or so. Not big at all. I've only seen one at a time.

What they do is crawl on the inside of the windshield while I'm driving. This terrifies me.

One rather big specimen (being a hair over 1/4 of an inch... I know) decided to do this one day while I was driving to work. He crawled up and down, over to the passenger side, over to the driver side, back and forth the whole way to Tampa.

You might ask why I didn't just smush it. I was afraid of it. Literally terrifed. I actually had a paper towel in my hand, ready to do the deed, and I was frozen. All I could do was drive and watch it as every hair on my arms stood on end.

If I tried to smush it and missed, it might jump on me. And if it jumped on me, I can assure you I'd lose control of the van and die in a fireball on the causeway. If I turned on the defroster to blow it off, it would land on me. Same result.

So I watched it crawl around and I sobbed in fear as it looked at me. And then it started POURING. Could not see the car in front of me in this rain storm, and the spider was mocking me the entire time. I got to work and packed in the garage and leapt out of the van. I left my van to him, but all I could think about was where would he be when I came back? I had no clue....

I get a windshield crawler every few months, and usually I do the same thing. Shake, sob in fear, jump out of the van and wonder where it went.

Tonight I had a small one. Tiny.

I was feeling almost feisty as I was on my way to ABC night, and I decided there was no way that I was going to let this creature ruin my night.

So I picked up a paper towel and waited. Yes. I waited.

He went to the passenger side, but still within reach. That way, if he jumped, he wouldn't land on me. And I pounced.

And I missed.

And he jumped.

And I screamed.

He hung from my windshield by a strand of silk much like an obscenely legged fruit. I hated him. So I carefully grabbed my paper towel and wrapped it around him and squeezed.

Now, my grip in my right hand isn't up to snuff yet, but I'm sure it was enough to kill him. I hoped.

So there I was, driving along with my left hand, holding a wadded up paper towel in my right, unsure what to do with it.

I was afraid to look in the towel. If I opened it up and he was alive, he'd jump on me. See above flaming wreck of death reference. NO.

If I put down the paper towel, if he was alive, he might crawl out and climb up my leg. All the hair on my body stood on end at that concept. A stray hair from my head brushed on my bare leg causing a series of shudders and jumps as I drove with one knee and investigated with my left hand.

I drove all the way down to Largo with my hand full of crumpled paper towel, holding it as tight as I could in my numb fingers. I pulled up in front of [ profile] peacockharpy's house and then proceeded to throw the paper towel onto the floor of the van and hit it repeatedly with the bottle of Febreeze that I keep in there.... Over and over and over.

The paper towel is still there. I'm afraid to touch it. I'm going to have Thom take it out tomorrow.

And I had creepy crawly feelings up and down my legs the whole way home.

Thank God the smell of the orange blossoms distracted me.

For a while.


crevette: (Default)

September 2016

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