Friday, March 14, 2014

Black Widow: The Prequel

The following was originally published on another platform on April 29, 2007. After I posted my other spider story, I had a few requests to elaborate on my previous experience with black widows...so I did. To be clear: yes, this absolutely 100% happened to me.

Enjoy! :)



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Black Widow: The Prequel

I’ve had several requests for me to tell the story of the black widow in my garage that pre-dated the spider in my fireplace…So here goes.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (the California Bay Area; a land normally blissfully free of black widow spiders), Brian decided it was time to buy a new car. After much thought, he picked out the car of his dreams and decided that he wanted the car to be teal. Unfortunately, there was only one of the model he wanted in teal—and it was in a land even farther away: Redding.

So, the dealership drove the car down from Redding, and Brian and I picked it up. It was beautiful beyond words, and we stood staring at it in wonder, holding hands and thinking back to simpler times when life itself was as enchanting. Because it was so beautiful, we parked it inside of the garage; no way were we going to let the elements beat down on its perfect, awe-inspiring body. 

What we didn't realize was...it had a hitch-hiker in it.

We went about our business, doing the things that life demands. A few days later, we went in the garage to load up the car for a trip.

Have you seen the movie ‘Arachnophobia’? In it, there is a scene where a woman finds a huge 20-foot spider web hanging ceiling to floor in her barn. She is stunned by its beauty, and takes pictures of it. Only later does she discover the web was made by a monster-death-spider from hell intent on killing her and her entire family.

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When we went into the garage, we saw that web. From the top of the garage, to each side of the garage, to the floor of the garage, all around the car, touching various parts of the car: a huge, intricate, intense, 20-foot web.  

I looked at the web and said “Holy S***. I don’t EVEN want to KNOW what made THAT web”. Brian, ever the practical one, said “Um… I think I DO want to know what made that web.”. So, we began to trace the web to its most dense point; this turned out to be the passenger-side wheel-well of the car. Brian took a flashlight and looked into the wheel well. He said ‘It’s a black widow’. I said ‘No way, we don’t have those here. Let me see’. I bent down, and he told me to look where the light was. “I only see a white pod-like thing”, I said. “No, he said, to the left of that.”

I don’t remember making a decision to leave the garage. In fact, I don’t even remember actually leaving the garage. All I know is that the next thing I knew, I was standing in farthest end of the backyard, screaming “Kill it!!! KILL IT!!!!!”. (To this day, Brian says that he’s never seen me move that fast, ever. Even when it involved chocolate.)

So, Brian got some bug spray, and gave the black widow a shot directly in the face. It didn't. Even. Phase her. He gave her another shot, and that didn’t phase her, but it broke the web that she was standing on, and she dropped to the ground, and started to crawl away. Her big mistake was crawling out from under the car; as soon as she did, Brian stomped on her, squishing her little poisonous body.

“Yay!”, you’re thinking, “Brian rules all! He has defeated the dreaded monstrous Shelob-like black widow!!”.  And that’s what I thought, too. Until Brian took a second look at that white pod-like thing. It was a nest…and it was broken open: the babies had hatched out of it. With a feeling of intense horror we stood up slowly and started looking around. Sure enough, there were hundreds of little tiny white spiders walking along the never-ending web that had been spun all over our garage.


(Source)
From the backyard, I found myself again yelling. This time it was ‘We have to bomb the garage and the car! We have to bomb the garage and the car!!!”. Brian said he was worried that the bug bomb would ruin the new paint on his new car. I said he had a choice to make—he could stay married to me or he could keep his car bug-bomb free. Thirty minutes later, after he’d made the pro-con list for each option and come to his informed decision, he decided to bomb the garage and the car.

Since then, we have had no black widows in our Bay Area home.

But fate, with her infinitely dark sense of humor, has sent me to the Central Valley, where black widows roam free, and graze upon the angst of lost souls. Son-of-a-B****.



© Michelle M. Chouinard 2007 All rights reserved.

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