I hate spiders. I know they play their role in the food chain, eating mosquitoes. That is all they are good for. I hate them.
They are sneaky little arachnids, creeping out when they know I am defenseless. As I walk into the bathroom, one has dropped down from the ceiling in front of me. Another scurried out from under my chair one morning, where I sat, coffee cup in hand, journal in the other, bedroom slippers on the floor with my bare feet tucked under me. Lamar had taken the dogs out and it was just hitting sunrise.
This monstrosity of a spider scurried out and jumped when I looked at it. I cursed it. I called it bad things. Really bad things.
It looked at me, as if it knew I was barefoot and scared.
I slowly got out of my chair and tried to grab one of Lamar's boots on the hearth. None of my shoes would be big enough to squish it - hey, the skinniest thing about me is my feet - and my fuzzy baby blue bedroom slippers did not need to be sullied with spider gut juice.
I tried to throw the boot at the spider but the boot was heavier than I anticipated and the spider hopped closer towards me. I grabbed the other boot and then realized as I was lifting it off the floor that I was pretty defenseless - I was barefoot and the huge spider was on the floor and I have lousy aim.
Somehow, the spider decided to retreat and squeezed out the crack of the door to the back deck. I curled back in my chair, waiting on Lamar and the girls. I heard a solid stomp a few moments later, thinking Lamar was just knocking mud off his shoes.
"There was a huge, like world's biggest spider in here," I announced. "It may come back in. Make sure the door is closed all the way."
"No, it won't. I just squished it."
Usually, if a spider was outside, Lamar let it live. He tried to be respectful of all critters. But this was one angry looking spider that had a vendetta. I feel like if God wanted us to love them he would have put fur and four legs on it. If it has more than four legs and slithers, it's straight from some evil underworld and should die.
But it was some sort of influx of spider apocalypse because the next day, Cole saw another monster spider hanging outside of the bedroom window.
"Kill it!" he screamed, running to me. "You have to kill it - it can come inside and kill us all!"
I told him bugs were his Dad's territory. Lamar didn't believe him.
"I'm telling you, this is the Megatron spider - it's bigger than my head. It's a spider take-over."
Lamar tried to assure him if it was on the outside of the window it was fine, but Cole wouldn't take no for an answer.
"It can get in. It can get inside here while we sleep and put us all in his web."
Lamar finally gave in and went to look. A split second passed and Lamar came flying out of the bedroom.
"I need some hairspray, where's your hairspray?"
I told him to check the bathroom. He came out, holding a can.
"Not that one," I said. "That's the one that keeps me from getting frizzy - think of the humidity here, for crying out loud. Get that cheap can that has extra hold and volume!"
He grabbed the can and his torch lighter and off on the porch he went, Cole in hot pursuit, giggling like a mad man.
"We gonna torch this sucker up!"
It scared me the delight my child took at pyrotechnics.
Minutes later, my house was still standing, but the spider had been barbecued.
"That spider won't be coming in tonight," Cole said, quite proud of his father's flame torching skills.
A few nights later, I went in the bathroom to get ready for bed, Cole telling me he didn't know why he couldn't stay up a little bit later. I screamed.
"OK, OK, I will go to bed ... I just think since I am homeschooled now, I should be able to stay up and watch some stuff."
I grabbed his arm. "Go get Daddy, now."
I pointed towards the bathmat, where a scorpion pulled up his arms as if it was waving.
"Daddy! Get your torch lighter!"
He ran to get Lamar while I kept an eye on the scorpion. I had already sprayed it - the VO5 did nothing to it, but I bet if it had hair it could withstand gale force winds from the amount I sprayed. It crawled towards me.
I jumped and squealed. Again, fuzzy baby blue bedroom slippers were not going to withstand scorpion gut juice.
Lamar pushed me aside, and took the hairspray from me, lighter in hand.
"Stand aside," he said.
"The bathmat!" I screamed. Oh, dear Lord. He was going to set the bathroom on fire.
He gave it one blast. The bathmat was apparently flame resistant. Not even a scorch. The scorpion was too. It was still alive.
"It's a mutant!" Cole screamed.
Lamar pushed us both out of the bathroom and blasted it again. I ran in the bedroom to hide with the ferocious pit who was shaking at all the screaming, wild carrying on and fire. She was nervously tearing up a tissue to hide under my pillow.
"It's dead, it took five times to torch it, but it's dead," he announced. Cole cheered.
I just wanted to move. When you get to the point you have to start fires to kill the bugs, it's just time to move.
The next week's fire-death tally brought three more spiders. I think by this point, Cole was trying to find spiders to set on fire. He is so scared of them, he's turned into Al Capone when it comes to spiders, putting out a hit on all of them.
I hate them too, but my husband and child were enjoying sending them to a fiery purgatory of arachnid judgment just a tad too much. And I live in a wood house. The only flame resistant thing in here is the bathmats.
As we rode to dinner with Lamar's sister and brother-in-law one evening, Cole was giving the death tally to his aunt and uncle.
"And you wanna know how we killed them? We used hairspray," he paused for dramatic effect, "And fire. That was the only thing that would kill them."
A moment of silence. Then his uncle Chuck summed it up. "Sounds about right."
I hope the spiders don't ever set up home in one of those bath mats.
Sudie Crouch is an award winning humor columnist and author of the recently e-published novel, "The Dahlman Files: A Tony Dahlman Paranormal Mystery."