Saturday, August 16, 2008

I'd Take That Action

(Bear in mind, please, that I don't have a vendetta against spiders in general. I know they do much good in the world. But... this is personal, baby.)

If you said, "David, I'll bet you a negihamichi roll that you can't kill ten black widow spiders within the confines of the half acre or so of your house this very evening..."

I'd say, "I'll take that action. Start toasting the maki, my friend."

I'd say, "You're on, baby, and I won't even include the one I smashed in the garage earlier, or the two I squished on the walkway to my back office."

And then I'd say, "Yeah, but those three cheeky buggers hiding in the bushes beside the front steps... they're fair game. Sweetness. They're going down..."

Am I disturbed?... Another August evening in Fresno, CA... Who needs reality TV?

(I'd include pictures, but I've had enough of seeing these things. Honestly... yesterday, I dragged one of our kayaks from the side of the house. Figured I'd plop it in the pool and see if I could still hand roll. How many black widows had made it a home? Four. Four! It was a six foot, bright red plastic spider condo. Two had egg sacks. Planning for the future, I guess.)

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Blogger Joe said...

Oh, that just creeps me out in ways that I cannot possibly express in words. *shudders*

1:06 AM  
Blogger The Real Deal said...

Heh...sounds like a little phobia/angst-inspired story might be written sometime in the future!

1:16 AM  
Blogger Mary Robinette Kowal said...

You know... I remember having a single black widow in our garage in N.C. and everyone sort of panicking. Because they are DEADLY. I worry for you a little.

7:42 AM  
Blogger The Real Deal said...

Maybe not as deadly as people think. We had a plumber doing work under our house once, and he got bitten by two black widows in one day. He said he had been bitten before, and it's just par for the course!

9:26 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

It's pretty creepy. I think we have a heightened capacity for spotting them, though. Some people here in Fresno don't seem to notice them much - including the various people whose homes we've rented and lived in. I don't know, maybe the widows are traveling with us. One of those boxes in the shed - unbeknownst to us - houses the mother widow or something... We're carrying her around from place to place.

As for morbidity... Well, anything with venom can kill you if you're allergic to it. I don't really worry so much about dropping dead. It's just that widows are so absolutely distinctive. I can look at one and KNOW that I'm a few inches away from a nasty bite - and that my kids are. Don't like that much.

All things considered, though, I'm bringing the overwhelming force of my flip flop down on them pretty hard.

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hell. Shelob lives in your backyard shed? That's not good.


2:32 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

The scent of rotting meat has been strong upon the air lately. And there was that scampering sound on the roof the other night, and that voice hissing my name in the dark.

I had chocked it all up to everyday Fresno norms, but now I'm not so sure...

8:27 PM  
Blogger The Real Deal said...

Sounds like you either have vampires or zombies up in the attic. Better call Van Helsing! =P

9:48 PM  
Blogger Scott Oden said...

I found a dead black widow on top of my window-mounted air conditioner. I freaked out a bit, then really started freaking out . . . I didn't kill it, so what did? I'm afraid I have some sort of ninja-wasps outside my window, now . . .

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way, way worse than Black Widows are Brown Recluse spiders. Just google "Brown Recluse Bite Necrosis". *shudder*

Whenever I hear or read "egg sacs" I swear under my breath. I can't help it. Egg sacs are never a good sign.

3:33 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Yeah, but brown recluses are different. I mean, sure, their bites are rather nasty and I'd not want one by any means, but they just don't have the star presence that black widows do. They're brown. They're... reclusive. They've got messy webs. That's about it, though. I've never once identified a spider as a brown recluse. Have I ever seen one? I don't even know.

But black widows... When you see one of those (or four, five, six, etc.) you know exactly who is onstage. It's like spotting Darth Vadar. The theme music comes on. The lighting changes. And when they flash the red belly it's like a lightsaber just burst to life.

I'm just saying...

Scott, ninja-wasps can be your friend. "Enemy of my enemy is my friend", that sort of thing.

Real Deal, let's not even go into vampires and zombies in my neighborhoods. That's a whole different topic. Best left alone, I think. ;)

7:57 PM  

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