Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rescuing the Spider

My friend Tracie called me up and asked me to come get the spider in her window sometime during the weekend. She and her brother, Steven, had shown me the spider while I was visiting during the summer. Tracie and Steven are both afraid of spiders. Especially Steven. They said this was a giant spider. When I saw it originally, I said, "yeah, the spider's big, but it's not that big." I started to lift the window to try to get it outside for them, but they would not allow it. They say they'll kill it at some point and I lecture them about it being bad luck to kill spiders (despite my atheism, I consider superstitions to be hard and fast rules).

Fast forward to today and Tracie is cleaning the house and figures that spider must be dead and she wants to get all the midges out of the sill anyway, so she'll just vacuum it all up. Problem is that the spider's still alive. She decides against vacuuming him up because he could live in the vacuum and crawl out of it and eat them all while they're sleeping. So she calls me up. She says that I have to come get the spider if I think that it's bad luck to kill them. It's become my job to rescue the spider. I keep telling people throughout the days leading up to the event that I have to go rescue a spider later on. This gives everyone pause. They all want to know if I literally mean rescue and why exactly one would want to do that. I thought everyone knew it was bad luck to kill spiders. Guess I was wrong.

A couple days later, I pack up a bag and take the boys over to visit. In my bag, I bring scissor clamps, a bug catching cup, cotton balls, and a glass jar. I borrow Tracie's rubbing alcohol and get to work. The bug catching cup looks like a pair of scissors, but with a ball on the end. The spider is crammed into a little nook though, so using them against all the flat surfaces proves difficult. I saturate a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and start chasing him all about the sill, getting him drunk and drowsy. I put the glass jar in the sill and eventually am able to chase him into it. He's really drowsy by then. We seal him up and take him home.

Meanwhile, Aleks and Bastian entertain Steven and Tracie's boyfriend Jeff with video gaming. The next day, all the neighborhood kids are over for some reason and Anna and Jonas and Lavinia stop by as well. Anna and I spy a locust in the garden while trying to catch crickets for the spider to eat, so she has me catch the locust. I make a joke about putting the locust in the jar with the spider and having a gladiator fight. Somehow, we decide this is a good idea though secretly I think we both agreed that it was inhumane and terrible. We put them together in the jar and all the children watched...

Luckily for our moral sense of well-being, nothing happened. The spider and locust seemed mostly terrified of one another and tried very desperately to stay on opposite sides of the jar. Then Jon came home and rescued them both by tossing them in the flower bed.

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