Saturday, March 8, 2014

Spider Mis-adventures...

[This was originally posted on a previous, now-defunct blog of mine on April 23, 2007. Enjoy!]

Who's married to the moron?

My husband is. 

In case you didn’t already have it, here’s proof that not only am I a moron, I am a special brand of moron.

When I got home tonight, I noticed what looked like a black widow spider near my fireplace. When I went over to it to see if there was a red hourglass on his nasty little black body, he ran away, under the fireplace, where I could no longer see him, nor crush him into oblivion.

For those of you who have not heard of my arachnophobia-esque black widow horror story, and for those who don’t know I’ve previously found 2 black widows in my Central Valley garage, I should probably explain my spider philosophy. I love spiders, I think they are great, they eat all kinds of little pesky bugs, and so I generally leave them alone. However, if the spider is black with a red hourglass or brown with a violin marking, well, then, one of us has to go.

I ran through my options. The aforementioned crushing was out. I couldn’t lift the grill and squash him, because that sort of thing (putting your fingers where a black widow might be) is exactly what gets a black widow pissed off, and guarantees a bite. I couldn’t spray under the fireplace because it uses both electricity and gas (don't ask me to explain, I can't), and I don’t need it exploding and blowing up my house just to take out a black widow (although I did consider this option very seriously for about 5 minutes before rejecting it). So, I came to the conclusion that we’d just have to live in tentative harmony. Black widows usually don’t seek people out anyway, so, live and let live, right?

Yeah, that lasted for about 10 minutes, until I started to have visions of black-widow spiders crawling up my bedspread in the middle of the night and biting my face while mumbling ‘think you’re gonna scare ME into hiding under the fireplace b*tch?!’. These visions of course began to play over and over in my mind, on a seemingly endless loop.

So I called my go-to-guy, and asked him what to do. He told me he had bought some special bug stuff that you spray around the bottoms of walls and such to keep insects from coming in, and I should just spray some around the bottom of the fireplace. 

Genius. Sunshine and happiness reigned over all. *Cue choir of angels.*

Off I skipped...I got out the bug spray, and was impressed by how cute it was—it was a big ol' container, with a hose coming out of the side of it, and a little spray nozzle attached to the end of the hose. I carried it over to the fireplace, pointed, and pulled the trigger. 

Nothing happened.

“What do I do now?” said I. Um...Oh yeah. Probably reading the instructions might be a good idea.

Derp, I forgot to lift the release mechanism, and to twist the nozzle in order to open it up. So I lifted the mechanism, and then looked at the nozzle so that I could see how to turn it. Then I turned it, and it definitely opened up—and sprayed me directly in the face with a full shot of bug pesticide. Right IN THE MOUTH.

Luckily I don’t go around with my mouth hanging open (usually), so the pesticide didn’t go inside, only on the lips and the surrounding area. But still (I’m thinking), that can’t be good.

I went to the bathroom and washed my face 10 times. Now when I opened my mouth I tasted chemicals, but I didn't know if what I was tasting was the pesticide chemicals or the soap chemicals, because I was so panicked that I used the hand-soap to wash my face, and I wasn't familiar with what that tastes like. So I brushed my teeth, and rinsed with Listerine™. Now all I was able to taste was the Listerine™, so I didn't know if the pesticide was gone, or if it was just being covered up with the freakishly strong taste of the Listerine™. Son-of-a-four-legged-prostitute.

As an academic, I place high stock in the written word, so, I went to read the warning label on the bug-spray. The bottle had all kinds of stuff about what to do if you get the chemicals in your eyes, but nothing about what to do if you ingest them. All I could think was, "Wait, huh? There’s ALWAYS at least one warning about ingestion on everything! WTF??"

So, I called the emergency hot-line number listed on the bottle. They were closed for the night: apparently, if you have an emergency after 8pm EST, you’re on your own.

Now I started to feel a panic attack coming on. In my mind, I could feel the chemicals burning my mouth, and I could sense them being absorbed into my bloodstream. How long did I have before my veins started to collapse? How long before my heart shut down? Did I have enough time to send an e-mail to all my loved ones telling them I wish I'd spent more time with them? Would it be a painful death? Or would it come on silently as I slept?

Just as I was about to throw the phone across the room, the phone voice says ‘if you’d like to be connected to the poison control line, press one’. Do I? Do I?? Whoo-hoo! I’m saved!

Luckily, the main poison control line has this cool thing where they can look up the UPC of your product and tell you if you’re going to die in your sleep because you sprayed it in your face. So I gave the guy the number and told him what happened, and to his credit, he didn't really laugh very much at all. In fact, he told me it’s pretty common for people to leave the bottle out and have their dog come along and eat off the nozzle and ingest the pesticide. 

(Wait, did he just tell me I’m about as smart as a dog? Couldn’t he have pretended that some other human has done this?). 

He also told me that I’m not going to go into convulsions at any minute, and all I have to do is wash my face and rinse my mouth. And I’m pretty sure that I only imagined him saying ‘Hey Lou, you gotta come hear this one!’ as he was hanging up the phone.

Crisis averted. What a relief! 

Funny, going through something like that can really make you come close to peeing your pants. Okay, maybe only if you're an anxiety case like me. The point is, I had to visit the ladies room, now that my life had been saved. 

And that’s when I discovered that my toilet was plugging up.

I decided it might be smart to hold off on trying to fix that tonight.


[Addendum: When I first posted this, one of my friends posted a comment in response that said 'Congratulations! Your life is a scene from an episode of the Simpsons!' For your viewing pleasure, I have linked a few seconds of that scene for you here. I've been assured it's much funnier when you haven't lived it. ]

© Michelle M. Chouinard 2007 All rights reserved.