The other day, I was taking a shower when I looked over and saw a spider, just hanging out. In my confined shower space. Lurking dangerously close to my mesh shower poof. He wasn't that big, but he was of the big-butted variety that I don't trust. Those ones that just look poisonous.
As a big-butted creature myself, I know this isn't terribly fair of me. He could just have a big butt and be a totally harmless spider. But on this particular occasion I couldn't afford to take chances. He was about to get all tangled in my shower poof!
I knew I had no choice but to kill the poor bastard. I don't like to kill any little critters, really. Especially since spiders are some of the more complex and interesting bugs of the world. Unlike cockroaches, who exist solely to breed and make more of themselves while contributing nothing to the planet (sort of like humans). I have no problem squishing cockroaches into little green-gray goo puddles. Spiders, on the other hand, mean well. They just want to eat flies and mind their own business. I think.
Still, they've always creeped me the fuck out. They just seem so evil. With all of their tip-toeing little legs. And their fangs. And the way they just ease down from the ceiling, suspended on invisible thread and then BAM, they're right in your face.
The last time I saw an uncomfortably large spider I was in my building's laundry room. I was tossing some clothes in the dryer when I peered up to see a monstrous being clinging to the wall. It looked, I was certain, like a black widow.
The worst spider of them all! The one you learn about in playground chit-chat in like 4th grade and then are forever petrified of. I watched this Discovery Channel special about black widows once. There was this woman on it who was bit on her toe when she slipped her foot into one of her shoes, unaware that the wee beast was lurking inside. What the hell!? Since then I often think of that before I put on a pair of shoes I haven't worn in a while. I shake them around, waiting for spiders to fall out. I may sound crazy, but you just wait. You'll be doing it too now.
But back to the laundry room. I finished loading my clothes in the dryer, never taking my eyes off the spider. It didn't move. When I slammed the dryer door shut, it lifted up one of its legs. I gasped. My heart raced. I'm going to die!
I knew I should probably kill it, lest it live forever in the dark, filthy corners of the laundry room, just waiting to crawl into a basket of clean clothes. But I had nothing to kill it with. I was only wearing flip flops, which would be too light-weight to do any damage. I'd just end up smacking it, thereby pissing it off, prompting it to fly from the wall and directly into my eye where it would eat my brain.
So I fled the room and hoped it was just some black widow look-a-like. When I told my friend Ryan about this incident he said it is illegal not to kill it. It's my civic duty to protect other people from its harm. I think that's probably not true.
And yet, I probably endangered myself by leaving it alone. I was determined not to make that mistake again, as I stared face to face with the much smaller, and not entirely frightening spider in my shower. But what would I kill it with? I was certainly not wearing shoes.
Then, from the depths of my brain, I recalled another thing that spider-bitten woman said on the Discovery Channel special. Now that she is completely vengeful towards the critters, whenever she sees one, she sprays it with hairspray. It doesn't immediately kill them, it just makes their legs all sticky and clogs up their air-holes (wherever those are). And so they die a horrible, slow death.
I didn't want this little guy to die a horrible, slow death. I just wanted him away from me and my shower poof. And hairspray was the only accessible weapon in my bathroom. So I hopped out of the shower, grabbed the bottle, and then hopped back in. I squirted maniacally in his direction, waiting for him to react. He fell down and squirmed. I felt awful and began splashing water on him to drown him and speed up his demise. All the while, still squirting the hair spray. "Oh I'm sorry I'm sorry!" Splash splash. "It's not you, it's just...it's just..." Squirt squirt. Splash.
Eventually he got caught in the stream of water heading for the drain. In seconds, he was gone.
I felt safe. But at what cost?