May 15, 2006
I just picked up Dog from the kennel and right now she is out in the backyard going criZAZY. They groomed her this morning and must have used a volumizing Dog Shampoo or something because she is a giant flufferpotamus, her coat of fur seems to have tripled in pelt-width and she’s shedding massive tufts all over the yard while she propels herself across the lawn on her back.
Later, the tiny brown birds will come and meticulously pick up all the hairs in their beaks, then fly away to line hidden nests. Aw.
Dog is also very busy snorfling every square inch of the yard because while we were gone this weekend a new hole appeared under the fence, evidence that the sleek bright-eyed rat I saw a few weeks ago has returned, unable to keep away from the birdfeeder Shangri-La hanging from the side of our house. I named this rat Frank, because it sounds nicer than “the rat”, or “the carrier of filth and pestilence”.
JB is not happy about the rat. “Your Frank is back,” JB said with disgust yesterday, kicking at Frank’s tunnel. “Don’t be a hater,” I told him. “Rats. Are. GROSS,” he said, rolling his eyes and getting a shovel.
We disagree on Frank but JB and I are on the exact same page when it comes to other household pests. We were watching the Survivor finale last night (BO-ring; I wanted Cerie to win) when out of the corner of my eye I saw movement on the living room carpet, which I dismissed as being the cat slinking by, until I remembered I had just put her out. I took a closer look and my skin prickled from head to toe; my mouth tried to form the word spider but got sidetracked by the job of gaping open in slackjawed horror.
Here in the Northwest we occasionally encounter something called the Giant House Spider, which is definitely calling a spade a fucking spade. These things are indeed giant, in that they are approximately thirty feet long and have massive hairy legs designed for stepping lightly over large furniture items. Even if you aren’t normally scared of spiders, I guarantee the Giant House variety will put jelly in your knees. These aren’t bugs, they’re genetic mutations coughed up from some unspeakable dark corner of hell, and seeing one on our living room floor threw both JB and I into a full-tilt panic.
“GAH,” I brayed, pointing a shaking finger at the spider, which had frozen into a crouch, probably plotting how many of our eyeballs it could suction out with one fang-thrust. “BUH,” JB responded, leaping to his feet. We dared not take our eyes from it, because the only thing worse than a visible Giant House Spider is one that just ran off to who the fuck knows where, and JB hissed to give him something to kill it with, now. “Like what,” I blubbered, feeling around blindly for a weapon, hopefully a .357 Magnum, “like WHAT, we need to BLOW IT OUT THE AIRLOCK.”
Thank god for JB, because I couldn’t have gotten near enough to the G.H.S. to kill it, even if I had a nice long pole with a flamethrower attached to the end. JB managed to whack it with a rolled-up copy of Popular Science, bellowing forth a
horrified squeak manly battle cry as he did so. I tried to photograph the remains, but even adjusting the lens to zoom in on it was too psychologically damaging and what the hell, anyway, am I going to post that godawful shit on Flickr?
I hope this arachnid was an anomaly, possibly on the run from Frank, because the idea that there’s a Mrs. G.H.S. sitting around somewhere, tapping her eight creepy-ass legs, wondering where the Mr. is and who’s going to help take care of all these eggs…
Okay! Now that I’ve gone and worked myself into a pretty nice case of the heebs, I think I’ll take the boy and join Dog outside. Would you like to come visit? It’s a lovely afternoon, and I could make iced tea, and there’s really only a few rats and spiders.
Wait, where are you going?