This morning I had a fun little adventure that normally would have required screaming. But, to my everlasting credit, I did NOT scream. I’m not such a girly girl as all that anymore.
But I’m telling the story out of order. Let me back up a bit.
I stayed the night at a rest area along I-135 in Kansas. After I woke up and had breakfast, I went into the rest area to use the restroom and brush my teeth. Nothing surprising or particularly adventurous there.
But! When I was sitting on the toilet, I happened to look down by my feet. Next to my right foot was a VERY large spider of a beautiful milk chocolate color. I would say he was at least the size of a silver dollar or maybe even a little bigger than that. His body alone was nearly the size of a fifty cent piece and the legs all splayed out made him HUGE. If he had crawled onto my foot, which I dearly did NOT want him to do, he would have covered the entire toe area and part of the arch of my shoe.
In fact, the spider looked a lot like this one below, which is a wolf spider. I don’t know if had the same coloration or not, but it had the same kind of build.
My natural instinct was to shriek bloody murder. I used to be horribly phobic of spiders when I was a kid; I would scream and jump around and grab the nearest person and demand that he or she kill it. I would not dare squash a spider myself, but always had to have somebody else do it. I think I was afraid that spiders would use their spidey-sense and telepathically transmit to the other spiders that I was a bad person who squished spiders and therefore it was open season on me. Or some such irrationality. That and I just didn’t want to come within touching distance of the damn things. Ew.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve mellowed out a bit about them and can admire them, albeit from a distance. I still don’t like killing spiders, but can manage okay if they are small enough. Most of the time I leave them alone, though, because I know they get rid of the other bug pests hanging about.
However, the ginormous spider almost touching my foot was not invited into my personal space. It needed to be killed immediately as punishment. There was no way in hell I was going to do it, however, even though my shod foot was so handily near it, because did I mention it was like the size of Godzilla? Who wants Godzilla-sized spider guts stuck to their shoe?
My next instinct is to bolt when an eight legged menace is on me or that close to me. However, since I was on the toilet, I was afraid I would literally piss my pants. This was not an option. Streams of urine going down my leg just so I can escape the mondo spider is not a good way to start the day.
So what do I do? I raise up my legs and squeal, “Shoo! Go away! Shoo!” As if a spider understands English and gives a rats ass about what I want, anyway. I’m sure the lady in the next stall was wondering what the heck was going on.
I quickly finished up my business, but then I had the problem of needing to wipe. Which meant putting my feet down on the ground next to the gargantuan spider, something I was loathe to do. And I’m just not agile enough yet to do the yoga V stance (I forget what you call that pose—the one where your butt is on the ground but your legs and your torso are up off the ground so your body looks like the shape of the letter V) while perched on a toilet, while my legs spread so that I can look like I’m at some sort of weird gynecological appointment while I wipe. So instead, I stretched my legs as far as I could in front of me and, holding the railing (I was in the handicapped stall), I pushed up and out over the spider so that I was standing as far away from it as I could while I was still in the stall. This movement sort of brought me back to the game of “limbo” since that’s sort of the contortions my body took in order to get away from the big brown, hairy arachnid. (Okay, now I’m exaggerating. I don’t recall if it was hairy. But I didn’t stare at it that closely, so maybe it could have had a little hair.) But I didn’t want my torso and butt to go too low, because then it could jump right on my ass. So it was sort of a modified limbo lean like what you would do for a higher bar.
This is a time that I truly, truly wished I had a penis. It would have made this whole bathroom bit soooo much simpler. I could have just aimed a nice stream right at the spider. Death by urine. How cool is that? No more spider guts on the shoe and I don’t have to get close enough to touch it.
Anyway, I hastily wiped and pulled up my shorts and shot out of the bathroom stall like I was a cannonball. I was doing my heebie jeebie dance—you know the one; I’m sure you’ve done it, too—wiggling my arms and shoulders, jumping up and down and saying, “yeeearrghh”. The other woman came out of her stall and I blurted, “There is a ginormous spider in there! A big brown one this big!” I held up my hand with my fingers in a large C formation. “Did he go into your stall?” Her look of alarm at seeing a potentially crazy person instantly turned to a look of understanding and then back into alarm as she displayed a little fear herself.
She turned back toward the stall she just left. “Oh, I don’t like spiders!” she said. My heebie jeebie dance transmitted to her (it’s catching, you know) and we both wiggled and contorted as we washed our hands. Then we bolted out of the bathroom as quick as we could.
I survived and am proud that I didn’t screech and scream. However, I cannot completely rid myself of my phobic programming. Wish I could. Because spiders are kind of cool, in their own way. As long as they aren’t touching me.