Around our house, a sure-fire way of telling that summer is coming to a close and fall is just around the corner is the presence of bugs in the house. Without fail, every year at the end of August/beginning of September, once the nights begin to get uncomfortably cool for the insect and arachnid races, I start finding creepy crawlies in areas of the house where they are far from welcome. The garage seems to be particularly popular with spiders of all types. Mind you, I don’t have anything personal against spiders. I even like some of them. Orb weavers, in particular, are always welcome in my yard -- the webs they create are truly impressive and spectacular. However, they are NOT welcome in my house.
My husband and I both grew up reading comic books and graphic novels, and we still read them well into adulthood -- a guilty yet harmless little pleasure, to our minds. Super-heroes are our favorites, and we definitely have character preferences. My husband just happens to be a Spider-Man fan. Not only that, he is uncommonly kind to the creepy crawlies that make their way into the house. If Hubby finds a spider or a beetle crawling on a wall or lurking in the bathtub, he’s likely to scoop up the offending creature in a glass or rolled-up piece of paper and deposit it safely outside, instead of pounding the crawly into juice with a shoe or something (like most people are wont to do).
This August has been particularly bad (or good, depending on your point of view) for spiders. I recently spent a good portion of one Saturday evicting spiders of all sorts from the garage. When my husband entered the garage to investigate what I was doing, I told him, “This is all your fault, you know.”
“MY fault?” he asked.
“It’s because you’re a Spider-Man fan, and you’re too much of a softie,” I said. “You’ve rescued so many spiders from the house that word has gotten out in the arachnid community, and now they’re all trying to shack up in our house. I just know they tell each other, ‘Oh, it’s safe to move in there. The guy who lives there is a Spider-Man fan, and he loves us! He never hurts spiders!’”
“I just don’t see the point of killing a perfectly harmless spider that just happens to end up in the wrong place,” said Hubby defensively.
“Yeah, well, you’d just better hope a spider never ends up in the bed,” I replied.
Me and my big mouth.
The next night, oblivious to any potential dangers lurking in our domicile, Hubby and I settled in for the night. He sat up in bed with his nightstand light on, reading a book until he felt tired enough to turn off his light -- and, yes, he was reading a Spider-Man graphic novel. I had a stack of graphic novels on my nightstand as well, but I wasn’t reading -- I was ready to crash.
I shut off my nightstand light, rolled over ... and found myself face to face with a big ol’ spider. It stood on the edge of the mattress and just stared at me. I even know what kind of spider it was: It was a grass spider, which are pretty common in central Indiana. At that moment, though, I really didn’t care what kind of spider it was. All I comprehended was that it was in MY BED, and it was gonna pay.
Before my husband or the spider could react, I leaped out of the bed, seized the nearest book from my nightstand, and brought it down very hard and very repeatedly on the spider: WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! The poor spider probably never knew what hit it. It was pounded to oblivion in seconds. I then scooped up the remains in a facial tissue and deposited them in the waste basket. The whole time, my husband just stared at me in amazement.
“Your fault!” I told him. “I told you something like this would happen, Mr. Spider-Man Fan, Mr. Hero-of-Spiders-Everywhere!”
I was still holding the book that I’d used to pulverize the spider: Green Lantern Archives Volume 3. Hubby glanced at the book and then looked back at me and said, “Well, you’ll probably never find a spider in the bed again. Word’s gonna get out that spiders should stay out of the house because a Green Lantern fan lives here!”