There is something you should know about me.
I grew up in the country. (Cue Alan Jackson’s Gone Country.) This upbringin’ has equipped me with odd word choices, a fond affection for casseroles and fried chicken, fun memories and a few life skills. Now it wasn’t a Dolly Parton childhood or anything, but just as an urban kid develops street smarts, a country girl learns a few things runnin’ ’round the woods.
One of those skills is how to handle critters, along with the occasional vermin. This unique skill set of death and fatal entrapment, combined with general critter knowledge always astounds Somanna. I know it definitely surprised his family on our recent trip. They all kind of gave me that special, blank stare that says “Exactly who ARE you?”
To be clear, I love me some Nature. But Nature and I do not co-habitate as a general rule. So should Nature choose to enter my domain without seeking prior consent, my hippie ways tend to rapidly recede calmly abate and my true Darwinian nature emerges. It is a bit of Jekyll and Hyde I suppose. One minute I’m cooing over goats and cows in the street and the next I’m on a murderous war path with a Spider.
Somanna’s parent’s have a love shack, err guest house located about ten feet from their main house.
This is where we stayed.
It is also where this fine fellow had taken up residence.
I discovered our multi-legged roommate about a week into our visit. Now, you should know that Somanna is deathly afraid of spiders. So while he ran screaming from the room, in a fashion that clearly crossed the metro-sexual line, I faced off with my grisly opponent, henceforth known as Aragog.
And Aragog was MASSIVE. Easily, the biggest spider I have ever seen. And I think only his mama could ever really love him because he is one ugly a$$ spider.
First, we first held a staring contest to see who blinked first.
I won. His 6th eye blinked about 45 seconds in. Suck on that Spidy.
But when it comes to cohabitation, I don’t play games and so I informed my new roomie that his time had come to an end. I then asked Somanna to quit being a girly man and hand me a shoe.
He proceeded to throw a sandal across the room. It may or may not have hit me in the head, which
a.) is very annoying
b.) makes Aragog laugh at us for our ogre foolishness.
As for the sandal, I mean C’mon! I’m brave but every Girl Scout needs a proper tool set. A sandal leaves far too much skin exposed for Aragog to run his hairy legs across. And frankly, my sandal is far too pretty to muss up with spider guts.
So I threw the sandal back at Somanna, who had managed to quit squealing but continued to breathe louder than is humanly necessary. He then timidly brought me a proper weapon shoe.
Aragog held his ground. I assumed my stance, with my shoe at my hip, fingering the laces. I narrowed my eyes in on Aragog watching his every (lack) of movement. Somanna whistled in that low, Western way while a wayward dust bunny lazily tumbled across the bathroom floor. (It really added to the moment.)
It had come down to this. It was either me or Aragog.
But only one of us would leave the bathroom alive.
I made the first move.
Swearing to Somanna that they may take our lives, but never our freedom, I rather clumsily heaved my 5’9 self at Aragog, wailing my shoe about madly trying to pin him to his death.
But that strategy it turns out is not the best one as Aragog kind of saw me coming.
And so Aragog scurried away with lightning fast reflexes. First up the wall, where I followed him with a rousing banshee battle cry and then underneath the sink. The chase ensued in a semi-circular motion around the bathroom.
Winded, we both paused. My opponent locked (many) eyes with me. Then sensing opportunity, Aragog made a break for the ceiling, where I suspect he had hoped to fling himself on my face. Instinctively, I grabbed the bucket of water in front of me and flung the water onto Aragog hoping to melt him.
That theory worked out for Dorothy, but not for me. It at least brought Aragog down from face-planting height though. The water tripped him up, but like any worthy opponent (and animals who experience rain) he recovered quickly.
Having found all of his footing(s?), Aragog next shot across the floor back towards the door, causing Somanna “the nature photographer” to suffer from a brief, but highly animated episode of Tourrette’s. I chased after Aragog, bucket in hand. Unfortunately, I had wasted all my water on the previous sloshing and I now began to desperately clang my bucket near Aragog, as to entrap my foe.
Friends, at long last, Victory was mine. I had pinned Aragog with the rim of the bucket and he no longer could escape.
And then the more somber moment came: Aragog’s execution. I did it quickly so as to ease his pain. (Can’t say I eased his suffering. Umm I had been hunting him for a harrowing 20 minutes by this point.)
C’est La Vie.
Thus, Aragog’s Tyrranny and co-residency came a tragic, but necessary end.
And all was well with the world.