He was waiting for me at the front door at the stroke of midnight like the addendum to a Cinderella story that was intercepted by R.L. Stein.
This spider hovered on the silver panel that is below the front door. The internet tells me this can be called a threshold, a sill, or a door jamb, semantics that are probably dictated by region, but no matter the region, the whole world over would agree this spider was honking huge. Even by Amazonian standards. BEASTLY. For a fair compare, the spider was the size of my fist. If you don’t know how big that is, my fist is not so big but spiders should not be the size of human fists. Even newborn baby fists. Fists should always be far bigger than spiders.
This octopod fellow at my door was no gentleman. Gentlemen do not wait like lazy predators for Cinderella to stumble home after her carriage turns into pumpkin pie. Gentlemen tip their hats and say, No, please, allow me. Then they offer you a handkerchief and an Altoid (curiously strong). This spider was more like a frat boy who started drinking too early in the day and couldn’t remember whether he puked on his shirt or just left it on a bannister somewhere, so he just bumbled around familiar parts of campus looking for some sympathy or Gatorade, ideally both, but found neither so he just parked like the sorriest case all like HEYY, BAYYBAHHH on my threshold until he sobered up.
I saw him and realized it would be in vain to scream FIST-SIZED ARACHNID because everyone who could help was already asleep and I can never keep track of how many times I’ve already cried wolf re: night crawlers. The fable tells you you to save your cry-wolfs for when you may have to cry, “ACTUAL WOLF THIS TIME!!”, but in the event of a wolf, come on. I will go mute and tinkle myself.
I held my breathe and quickly opened the front door and even left my keys in the door as I swung it shut. This was still long enough for the spider to invite himself inside and ask for the wifi password, proving once again that spiders lack social graces and are of the devil.
The fist-sized spider was now in the inner sanctum which upped the ante. He could see where my children parked their Crocs, the sick jerk. Since I was going to have to tread back to the door and remove the keys from it, I decided this warranted calling for reinforcements. Paging the loverpants of my life, however, was very humbling because it took a few LOUD pleas to wake him from his beauty rest. Had this been a real home invasion…Let’s not even with that.
As is usually my course of action, I gave curt but polite instructions to Loverpants:
“Here, take this yearbook and drop it on that guy.”
“Woah. That’s big,” observed Loverpants, keenly.
He declined the freight of the yearbook in lieu of our daughter’s shoe which is the size of the thimble in Monopoly.
Fist-sized spider must have thought our daughter’s shoe was a mere instrument of flirtation because it scampered into a whole closet full of shoes. Heehee. You like to play footsie with me? I’ll just go galavanting among the shoewear in your home!
Husbands, listen to your wives when they give you a yearbook next time.
I spent the next 2 hours doing yoga in our son’s room, breathing deeply and getting little rest.
The next morning, our daughter pulled her uniform skirt out from a rumpled pile of clothes only to meet the morning acquaintance of Spidey Himself who somehow had moved into a whole different chamber of the house.
I was sorry to tell our daughter that she would be wearing pajamas to school that day because What Choice did she have? Going back into her room was completely out of the question. We would sooner burn the house down.
All throughout the day, I twitched while slapping the back of my neck. By evening, I decided to muster the courage of Kevin McAllister. That’s right. It was my house and I had to defend it. While the children showered, I started the excavation of Daughter’s room.
To my amazement, the first uniform skirt I pulled from the pile must have served as a velvet curtain for Spidee who came busting onto the carpeted stage. He was bigger than I remembered and oh-so-nimble. The children were toweling off and heard me scream. Son grabbed a flashlight and joined me in Daughter’s top bunk where we both bravely held the flashlight on Spidee like this was a prison break. Soon all three of us were on Daughter’s top bunk: I, still holding the flashlight; Son, providing ample commentary; Daughter, squealing incessantly. I asked Son to grab the Swiffer because Spidee was going down.
From the perch of the top bunk, I held the flashlight while Son held me and Daughter persisted in squealing and with my other hand I poked the Swiffer handle against Spidee. He wove his way through doll clothes and paperback books. It took a few pokes of the Swiffer end to nab Spidee and to compromise his strength enough to really make him vulnerable. The last time I had legitimately sweat this hard was when I was in labor.
I flipped the Swiffer over and held Spidee under the flat end for a good while. When we lifted it, it was like a large ball of dark brown yarn had become mangled on the carpet.
I don’t know where the crowd came from that was cheering me on but I know now what it’s like to win American Ninja Warrior.
P.S. Do not google wolf spider. Do not, I say.