August 7, 2007

Today the sheet rock is going up in the addition, and if there’s anything that can fuck up your whole house more than sheetrock dust, I don’t know what it is. Oh wait I do know, it’s insulation foam, which was splurted into various places over the weekend and has been occasionally breaking loose and gently drifting down from the exposed kitchen ceiling ever since.

JB’s parents were visiting last weekend, and JB’s mother kept telling me how well I was handling the remodel. “Well, you sure seem serene about all this,” she said, which instantly made me paranoid that she really meant, “Way to not even try and keep things clean, slacker.” Which I don’t think she did. Except . . . well, there was that odd moment when she fingered the coat of dust on a nearby houseplant and . . . ah, fuck it. I’m sure that’s not what she meant.

(?!)

Anyway, what else can a person do when their house is being gutted but succumb to the chaos? I hardly even notice the workers trampling around the kitchen in the morning while I’m hoovering down my increasingly large bowl of Cinnamon Life (hello, and welcome to my craving of the week) anymore. Hell, I make my coffee in the bathroom right now, what’s the use in getting worked up over a little insulation foam in my cereal?

Besides, there are far worse concerns at hand. It’s August, and maybe some of you know what that means. That’s right, it’s Giant House Spider Mating Season. And oh jesus god, I had my first encounter yesterday (after I had just recovered from reading Megan’s G.H.S. entry, too).

There it was, just lurking there on the carpet. I don’t know what made it catch my eye, maybe its sheer girth and audible footsteps. It was so big and horrifying I actually felt my brain trying to shear lose from the confines of my skull, possibly trying to escape to safety through my eyesockets.

I immediately scooped up Riley, not so much out of a fear that he would somehow be bitten but more from the deep and shameful knowledge that if he touched that godawful thing, I could never kiss him again.

I was frozen in indecision for a moment, standing there with a bemused toddler dangling from one arm, but it was apparent that in JB’s absence—he was off in the shop, too far away to hear a terrified squawk—I would have to deal with T. gigantea on my own.

When you’re a person with a bit of a spider phobia to begin with and you’re faced with an arachnid the approximate size of a fucking dinner plate, you don’t just get some paper toweling. You need long-range weaponry. I didn’t really want to squish it into the carpet, but my other options seemed equally unappealing: spray it with oven cleaner, get out a revolver and pump it full of bullets, set the entire house on fire, etc.

I ended up dragging Riley with me into the utility room where I grabbed a broom, deposited Riley on the floor and told him “STAY HERE IF YOU WANT TO LIVE”, and rushed back to the carpet where I summoned every ounce of courage and used the broom to whack frantically at the spider while simultaneously shrieking a cowardly, girly squeal of fright mighty war cry. I swear I felt that broom bounce harmlessly off the thing’s back a few times before he seemed to succumb, legs curling inward.

I used another broom to kind of sweep it onto the first broom (while being occasionally overcome with massive, full-body shudders) and I threw everything out the back door. The spider’s body rolled off the broom and lay there on the concrete. Motionless. Thank god. I went back inside and proceeded to experience the sort of heebie-jeebies that make you scream and recoil from the dark thing on the counter before realizing that ha ha ha, it’s a hairband. Ha ha ha . . . whatthefuckisthat?!?

Of course, about an hour later when JB came in and went to get the brooms, he noticed that the spider was in fact NOT DEAD. No. ALIVE. That thing took about fifty-three smacks with a broom and it was still LIVING. Still slowly, painfully crawling its way along the patio and towards the back door, surely on some dark mission of revenge, despite its many wounds, planning to limp all the way into our house and onto our bedroom ceiling, where in the dead of night, with its very last shred of strength, let itself drop down, down, down, down, into my open and snoring—

Well. Anyway, JB squished it flat. The end. I think.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, now that I’ve written all this down and relived it I have some very important activities to engage in, mainly involving batting wildly at random, invisible things nearby and lunging at various body parts in order to scratch at myself like a cracked-out baboon.

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Telegirl
Telegirl
14 years ago

Oh. My. God. Serious arachnophobe here. I lived in Seattle and don’t miss those f%*&ers at all. Thanks for the reminder of my original horror. A couple nights ago I found a scorpion crawling into my baby’s room and while I was dealing with that (scorpion in a jar, Insta-Hot water, then a little visit with Mr. Garbage Disposal for a few minutes) we found what’s called a camel spider (aka Wind Scorpion) on the wall. S/He met with the same demise. May they boil in Hell together.

Leah
14 years ago

My skin in crawling. Thanks for that.

Brooke
14 years ago

My 7 year old spotted two spiders in the shower she was about to step into, blithely grabbed a Kleenex and squished them both! Atta girl! Ours are way smaller, though.

Josh
Josh
14 years ago

Yeah. Um, I am all man and what not, but spiders freak me the fuck out. they just do. And anything called a giant house spider is obviously evil. We have wolf spiders here that get pretty big, but they don’t mess with people or houses much. And occasionally we get those big ass spiders you find a lot down in Florida. The ones that string up a huge web between orange trees and sit right in the fucking middle of it, about face height. But the worst is when you get suprised by a black widow. Those are common here, and prefer dark quiet places. Like, I don’t know, maybe an old job site trailer that has been stored in the back of a gravel lot for a few years. The kind I have to rip apart and fix every day. Not cool. And you can’t squish the egg sacks either, you have to burn them with a torch or the babies will spew out by the hundreds. Live little baby spiders! Blah! Why would you blog on this Sundry? For the love of all things good and pure, whyyyyyyyyyy? Now I am seriously creeped out.

kj
kj
14 years ago

Heebie Jeebie Trump Card = these dudes: Wind Scorpions (aka sunscorpions) (aka whadefffukizzat?)
The Colorado ones are thumb-sized and more horrible than the horriblest horrible that ever horribled. at least, once you’ve seen one in person, they’ll trump every single other thing you’ve ever smooshed or sprayed or stabbed or stamped.
I found one in my garage a few days before I was supposed to move in to the new house. Now I chant “they eat the spiders, they eat the spiders” every time I think I glimpse one of the ultra sneaky, ultra speedy little bastards.
http://bugguide.net/node/view/8049
They only bite when cornered.
They have no scorpion sting and no venom.
They are not, in fact, from space.
They have yet to come inside the living space though. THANK THE GODS!
besides… they eat the spiders. *chanting*

Melissa H
14 years ago

We’re maybe 3 days ahead of you on the kitchen remodel FUN! and sheetrock dust is bad but wait until they SAND the sheetrock mud and then texture the walls. The smell of the texture is making me sick. I can’t complain because hubby is doing all the work and I don’t want him to take it the wrong way (and quit!!)

Belle
Belle
14 years ago

This whole thing was a riot to read. Funny that hubby and I were just talking about why people are afraid of spiders, ’cause I ain’t. I’m deathly afraid of snakes and closed spaces, but spiders? Bring ’em on! As long as they don’t go “crunch” when I smoosh them, I’m ready! (Which means I am more likely to whack a spider than a cockroach….ugh.)

Belle
Belle
14 years ago

Oh, sorry, meant to also say that we lived through a remodel many years ago and I’ve hated that damn wallboard dust ever since. It gets everywhere and it seemed like it took months before it was finally all cleaned up. Sorry!

MotherGooseAmy
MotherGooseAmy
14 years ago

Linda-

You need “The Executioner” http://www.bugzapfun.com. It looks like a small tennis racquet, but it is electrically charged. It would be a great compliment to any home during GHS season. Here in Michigan, the problem is wasps. We love zapping those buggers and watching them smoke!

superblondgirl
14 years ago

We have had house centipedes in previous years (somehow, thankfully, not this year). Spiders I can handle, but house centipedes look like they will suck out your brains.

Sarah
Sarah
14 years ago

blech, I’ve got the creeps just reading that.
The other day, I went to pick up a patio chair cushion that I had put on the patio table to dry off, and there was this huge spider under it (ok, probably about the size of a nickel, but it was thick!). I took Windex, Lysol, and hornet killer to it, drowned it and then put a tupperware over him so I could show it to my husband. By that time, the spider had sort of oozed goop out of itself and it wasn’t so hot looking. Definitely dead. When I went back inside, I dried my hands on a towel and there was a teeny tiny flying thing on it – I about vomited right there, thinking it was the spider come back to kill me.
In England, spiders used to come up the bath drain – that always freaked me out too.

Anais
Anais
14 years ago

Waving hello from Florida here. I just moved into a new apartment and the bathroom is the spider hotspot. Yesterday morning, I pulled open the cabinet underneath my sink for a new roll of tp and promptly released a scream that sent my boyfriend stampeding toward the bathroom, pale as a ghost.

“Are you ok?” he asked. He checked me for injuries.

All I could do was point to the cabinet and squeal, “Spider!!!”

A HUGE f-ing spider was sitting atop the toilet paper package. ICK!!!

My boyfriend, who is not afraid of anything (except clowns) GRABBED the spider WITH HIS HAND!! I screamed and ran out of the apartment.

What a wonderful way to start the morning. Wouldn’t you agree?

Caren CFO (Cheif Family Officer)

OMG!! I just peed my pants a little. I am not sure if it was out of fear or laughter. I think it was Giggle Fear. I now too have the heebie-jeebies. I am with you on the “spiders are evil”. Thanks for the terrified giggle fest this morning.

Jenny J.
14 years ago

Oh, Sundry.

I read this post yesterday, followed the link to wikipedia, and thought to myself, “Oh! That is the spider we have sometimes! Sure glad I haven’t seen any of them around this year…”

Then, yesterday, I saw three of them. THREE OF THEM! Two met a quick death, but the biggest one went under the entertainment center where I couldn’t get it.

I don’t know how it’s possible, but I blame you.

Becky
Becky
14 years ago

Ok, not I am itchy and scratchy all over…..I am a huge fan of hairspray…actually have a special can just for GHS…..I picked it up at Sally Beauty Supply for like 99 cents…I am sure it will kill me slowly from inhaling the fumes over time..but it sure does crisp those little fuckers up right away!

Sara
Sara
14 years ago

honestly I didn’t read all the comments but did anyone suggest buying the insect and spider vacuum. it sucks them up, gives them a jolt, and kills them. according to some it looks like the giant vibrator from sex and the city but whatever.

kali
kali
14 years ago

so before i even read through this, i clicked the wiki link in megan’s entry and actually screamed when i saw the picture. screamed. one of those inward gasping “ahhh-haa-haa-ahhh”s of pure fear, and almost couldn’t deal with closing the window, it freaked me out so badly.
and then. then! i’m reading through the comments, thinking, my, i’m glad i don’t have GHSs here, when i start thinking about the house centipedes that occasionally – oh god, i can’t even describe them, the mere idea makes me gag.
pardon, i need to go douse my entire house in rubbing alcohol.

Amy
Amy
14 years ago

Okay. Just so you know- I’ve lived here for four years and never seen one. Until today. Sitting on the couch, doing work, when one comes traipsing across the floor.

Once I climbed back down from the back of the couch where I had jumped without realizing it, I smooshed it with a flip-flop. I still needed 10 minutes or so before I could sweep it out the door.

As someone previously blissfully unaware of these, when the hell does the season end?!

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