Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Spider in Lunchbag: It Was Terrifying, OK?

This is not exactly on the subject of Stamford, but human distaste for spiders is universal.
Last weekend I couldn't sleep. I went into the kitchen at 5am to get a snack. I washed my apple, got a paper towel to rub off any leftover pesticide, then saw a gigantic spider in my lunch bag right beside the paper towels I had just used. (My lunch bag is a foot tall, so do you see how big this spider is?) I leaped back three feet and crouched down a little.

"Oh my god. OK. OK... how am I going to take care of this." I said that out loud, you know, to calm myself and make myself feel like I was not alone.

I'm not ultra-skittish about spiders, but this one was large enough to scare me. Even worse, it was on a soft surface, so I was unsure I could swiftly
a) smash it, or
b) cover it with a glass and use the "glass and paper" method to remove it from the house.
You can't botch the kill/capture of a large spider, because it would be loose, near your hand.

I stood for a couple of seconds, unable to think of a solution. That's rare for me; I'm usually good at spider removal. I ran and got my camera to document the dilemma. I knew I'd want to share and analyze the situation later.

I took the photo, capped my lens, then looked at the spider again. I stuck my head kind of close for a second, just to get a look at him, because he wasn't a type I'd seen before. No dramatic markings. I pulled back to a safer distance.

Here's how I handled it:

1. Gave the lunch bag a tap to assess his jumpiness. If he had moved, of course I would have screamed, but the tap also might have put him in a more capturable or killable position. The spider didn't move at all.
2. I carefully picked up the lunch bag, prepared to throw it far away from me if he budged. That also would have been accompanied by a scream. The spider didn't move.
3. I quickly carried him to the back door, undid the lock, and threw the bag out into the driveway.

Whew. For the next hour, I swore I felt spiders crawling on my neck.

I still don't feel that good about the situation. What scares the crap out of me is, How did that spider get in here? Are there more as big as he is in my house?


Anonymous said...

Chances are, there are probably others in your house... They don't need a lot of space to crawl in, and with the weather getting cooler this is the time they actually seek warmer or enclosed spaces.

Don't quote me on this, but I remember reading a long time ago that people on average swallow 5 spiders in their lifetime, mostly while sleeping. The good news is that's only one spider every 15 years or so, but still...

Anonymous said...

So after my previous post, I had to go do some research to see if my claim about eating spiders was correct.

According to Snapple cap "real facts" (which is where I get most of my knowledge), "the average human eats 8 spiders in his/her lifetime while sleeping". Cap #31.

It has also been posted elsewhere that this is all an urban legend as there is no scientific evidence to support this fact.

So I guess that means you can choose which one you want to believe and stick with that.

Amanda said...

That thing is enormous.

JR said...

Gross. Man, do I hate spiders. If I can't quickly scoop them up into a paper towel and flush them, I bust out the Electrolux and send them to a dusty grave.

Fortex Group said...

I had a similar looking one two years ago outside our house. Here's a nice closeup photo (big, hairy one) -

I would estimate it at about three inches across (tip to tip). I did manage a close up photo. I tried looking it up based on descriptions but couldn't find anything. However, similar, smaller looking ones are common around us so I assume it's native to the area and this particular one is just a big eater.

Julie said...

And where was the spouse during this ruckus? That is one of the benefits of being married....

Stationstops said...

Thats not terrifying - THIS is terrifying: