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Black Widow…..My Arch Nemesis!

As some of you know, Chris and I have our own place together. We love it. We have a nice amount of space plus it came with washer and dryer hook-ups which means no laundry room! The washer we got from my Mom, that was kept outside for who knows how long, and Chris found the dryer from a nice lady on Craigslist. On the day that we moved, Chris and a friend of his took the moving truck over to the two locations and picked them up before we started to load the boxes. It had rained prior to the move so when they got the washer it was about a quarter of the way filled with water, leaves, and other assorted fun items. Before putting them into the apartment we cleaned off the sides and then ran the washer a few times with some bleach to clean it out and to drain the water. That was back in the middle of December.

Fast forward to earlier this week. On Monday I was sitting on the couch, doing nothing spectacular, and I looked at the wall right next to me. At first there was nothing too out of the ordinary. I had the blinds open and was letting in the natural light, I saw some dudes on the roof across the way clipping off tree branches, and I was talking to Chris over AIM. Then I looked at the little section of the wall closest to me and I saw something rather horrific.

A black widow.

When I was a child, I was almost bitten by a black widow. The story goes like this: My Mom, former step-father and I were living in this new house. One day we were all outside, doing something that I can’t remember, when all of a sudden I had to use the restroom. I went into the house from the garage and used the bathroom that was right next to the garage door and my bedroom. Everything was just fine when I saw a large spider on the floor. It wasn’t the black widow but it was a giant wood spider. Very ugly creature I might add. It started to walk towards me and as a child, around 8 at the time, you get really scared by such things. As it was making it’s way towards me I was still on the toilet. I could do nothing so I put both of my legs up on the side of the tub and just hoped that it would turn around and leave me alone. Just when I thought that things would be ok the black widow entered.

It started to walk towards the wood spider and me, creeping along doing it’s little spider walk with it’s slender glossy black legs, but it kept coming closer to me. I was cornered by two ugly ass spiders and I couldn’t do a damn thing. I tell ya; if it wasn’t for the fact that I was already on a toilet I probably would have pissed myself. I was the only person inside the house so nobody could hear me. I did yell out for help but it was really useless. So there I sat as the black widow was right near me, and could have easily bitten me had I put my feet down on the floor, when I heard the squeek of a door hinge. Somebody came in through the garage door! I remember letting out a blood curdling yell that had my Mom flying through the door to see just what in the hell was wrong with me. It took like a nanosecond for her to see my new friends on the floor and she then got her husband Lenny, and no he wasn’t from Of Mice and Men.

I don’t remember exactly what he used in killing the creatures but shortly after he started to move them away from me the wood spider and the black widow started going at each other. I can tell you this much, it was a rather epic battle. As if they were fighting to the death - no pun intended. Neither of the arachnids won because both of them were killed in a wonderful blaze of glory. To this day I am still terrified of large spiders, especially black widows and other ones that I know could easily do some damage.

Back to my dilemma though. Alone. On the couch. Black widow on the wall. Gripped with fear. Chris was in a meeting at that time, or so he said he was, so I really had no help. I did send him a text message though to his work cell hoping that he would get it and have at least some advice on how to deal with my lovely roommate. I picked up a shoe and was going to smoosh it but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. What if the spider jumped? What if I missed? I even put the whole shoe on my hand and crawled up on the couch, hiding behind the side of it, thinking that it was a good angle and that the couch was providing me with a “shield” of some sort. Of course, me being neurotic, my mind then starts thinking on how my arm is completely exposed. I could easily be bitten there and then what would I do?

After a half hour of being freaked out, I remembered about the tree trimming dudes. One of them was back down on the ground so I ran out there to get him. I was in all of my glory. Picture this if you will: my hair was a mess, I was in a baggy MLG (Major League Gaming) t-shirt, and to complete my sexy look I was wearing a pair of Chris’s pajama pants - light blue fleece Paul Frank ones that were covered with monkeys. Such a sexy sight, I really can’t even put it into words. So there I go, this mess of a woman, out to the tree dude. As soon as I get to him I ask if he can come in my apartment and kill my spider. The guy probably thought I was joking but I was dead serious.

He killed the spider so fast that if I would have blinked I would have missed it. All he did was walk right up to it and smoosh it with his big boot. As he was leaving I thanked him and tried to play it all cool by saying how “it’s a girl thing.” The guy probably thought I was a nut. A few minutes later my phone rang and it was Chris asking if I was ok and I told him everything that had happened. I felt awful because the “meeting” was something really short and he had left work early to surprise me but as soon as he saw the text he called me to make sure I was fine, thus ruining the surprise.

After that incident we began to wonder as to where these little bastards could possibly be coming from and I immediately thought of the washer. My Mom does have some black widows around the outside of her house, and since the washer had been left outside there is no reason as to why they couldn’t have gotten inside. Realizing that I got this sick feeling in my stomach because where there is 1, there are more.

Boy was I right.

Thursday I was on the couch and had gotten off of the phone. It was about 10 in the morning and I glanced over to the cables to the left of our t.v. console. There was a bit of black cables forming a loop and there I saw it.

(Post smoosh)

Black widow v2.

Two encounters with a black widow in one week. Not good. Since it was early in the day, it wasn’t like Chris would be coming home anytime soon so I would be left to my own devices for many hours. There were no guys trimming trees outside, and when looking through my blinds there really wasn’t anybody outside. I called my Mom and thanked her for my washer-o-death and called my Grandma to see if she had any suggestions on killing them but all I got was the answering machine. I told Chris on AIM about the spider and he asked if I wanted him to come home for lunch and kill it. Like a baby, I said yes.

Him, being a smart ass, told me to keep my eye on it and that he was on his way. What did I do? I sat there on the couch staring at the bane of my existence making sure that it didn’t try and sneak off. When he got here, he walked right in and “SMOOSH!” Problem solved. It was awesome because he got to spend the rest of the day with me but then he got a big laugh. I did get a bit weepy because they really do scare the bejesus out of me and he thought it was amusing at how girly I am sometimes. He said that it’s funny because I burp, fart, and swear like a sailor but then I become some damsel in distress at the silliest things like spiders.

We all have our things, OK?

To make sure that I don’t have to see anymore of my 8 legged friends, I called the rental office and asked if they spray for spiders since they do for roaches. I was told that they do and that they would be coming next Wednesday. I felt like tap dancing throughout the apartment but I refrained. I’ve turned down the thermostat so that the heater won’t run since the spiders hate the cold and gravitate towards the heat. I’ve been shaking my shoes before I put them on and other neurotic things.

So now I wait for Wednesday to come. Oh glorious Wednesday.

Muerte a todos!

- She Who Has The Last Word

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Lindsey is a co-founder of Marooners' Rock. She is now a Community Representative for BioWare on Star Wars: The Old Republic.

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