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Monday, May 15 2017

Given my career as a cop and a crime scene investigator, one would assume that I've had plenty of opportunities to scream, but apparently dead men and drug dealers are not as frightening as copperheads and skunks because only now, here in my retirement, I am discovering that I have a pretty healthy set of lungs. Screaming is becoming a somewhat frequent occurrence.

I now look more carefully for skunks in the haybarn, and copperheads, well, everywhere. The scream is all about the surprise, and if you're expecting something, it doesn't surprise you. Nevertheless, while I have come to expect these unpleasantries outside my back door, I'd like to say that inside my humble abode I can let my hair down and relax.

Apparently I have been mistaken.

It started with a bottle of furniture polish. The bench in the barn aisle neaded a touch-up and so Other Half dutifully polished and spit-shined it until the wood gleamed. It was a nice gesture which would last all of one day since the bench, an old church pew, is sitting in a dusty barn. As husbands often do, instead of returning the bottle of furniture polish to its assigned spot underneath the kitchen sink, he left it in the barn aisle beside the bench where it would have undoubtedly stayed for another month or so had I not moved it.

I appreciate the words of Gomer Pyle, "A place for everything and everything in its place!"

Gomer Pyle did not live with my husband.

When we moved into this house, my rules were simple. No clutter. None. But Other Half doesn't see clutter, he sees a collection of his 'stuff' in easy to reach places. This has led to more than one marital 'knock down, drag out' fight over property rights. It is a constant battle, one which leads us straight to the kitchen sink.

The cavern underneath the kitchen sink should have a box of trash bags, a couple of cooking pans too large to fit in the cabinets, and one plastic milk crate which holds cleaning supplies. That's it. I should be able to open that cabinet and count the occupants at any given time.

It lasted about two months. Bit by bit Other Half started stashing more and more 'crap' underneath the sink. Egg cartons, old cooking oil, and other miscellaneous stuff began to stack behind closed doors. I complained. I ordered him to clean that shit out. He nodded his head in agreement, watched another episode of Gunsmoke, and never left his recliner.

That's when I drew the line in the sand. This was his mess and by golly, he was gonna clean it! The problem with refusing to do it for him is that he really doesn't care. He 'knows where everything is' and is thus a happy camper.

I was an unhappy camper, but in marriage, you pick and choose your battles, and I had bigger fish to fry. The kitchen sink could wait. So I thought. It was about the time I put the furniture polish back, that I had a change of heart.

Actually, it was a heart attack that I almost had.

Holy crap on a cracker! I reached under the sink to toss the furniture polish back in the milk crate and stuck my hand in a spider web with a black widow! The very moment my fingers got tangled in the web I recognized the texture. I glimpsed the black widow as I jerked my hand back.

Nope. Nope! Nope!

A handgun does not eject a bullet casing faster than my hand was ejected from that cabinet. This set forth a round of screaming and cussing so loud that even the deaf dog could hear me. The new Border Collie puppy learned vocabulary words that he normally wouldn't hear until he watched us work cattle.

While the dogs stared, jaws slack in open-mouthed Os, I danced around the kitchen floor, screaming obscenities and flicking spider webs off my fingers. It was ugly, folks, it was ugly. It was karma.

I have a friend who is afraid of spiders. I regularly dump spider memes on her Facebook page, because, well, I'm a bitch, and an evil friend. And so I thought of Teresa and karma as I danced around the kitchen floor screaming.

Revenge is a dish best served cold. By a black widow.

I had survived my encounter with a tiny beast which Wikipedia informed me was the most dangerous spider in North America with venom 15 times the potency of a rattlesnake. (under my friggin' kitchen sink!) and my next order of business was to get it out.

Without squishing it.

It would have been easy enough to squish her. She was sitting right there, glaring at me with all eight eyes. (Thank you, Google)

How much Farnam Citronella Stable & Fly Spray does it take to kill a black widow?

I don't know either but there is now a half a bottle of it covering everything underneath my kitchen sink.


 
This slowed her down, or pissed her off, to the point where I could use a big spoon and a spatula to get her inside a paper towel and put her in a mason jar. My favorite long spoon and spatula may have to be burned.

Why, you may ask, did I put a black widow in a mason jar?

Evidence. Proof. Proof that she existed. A crime scene must be properly documented. Not only must we have photographic evidence that said suspect was indeed, underneath the kitchen sink, but we must have proof that said suspect was in fact, the very dangerous, (but shy and reclusive, and often misunderstood) black widow spider, otherwise, my husband would have sworn I was making much ado about nothing.

I normally have no qualms with spiders. I don't stomp them. Most of the time, I name them, take a picture of them, and splash them on Teresa's Facebook page like a drive-by shooting. But not a black widow. Not underneath my sink.

"Use your eight eyes to find it and your eight legs to walk yourself to the door, because Sister, you are not welcome here."

The upside to this whole experience is that I found something more unnerving than a copperhead at your door step.

And the kitchen now smells lemony fresh like stable spray.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 12:57 pm   |  Permalink   |  3 Comments  |  Email
Comments:
Relative to ours. The famous red back spider that used to frequent the outback toilet seats. http://alldownunder.com/australian-music-songs/red-back-on-the-toilet-seat.htm
Posted by Liz [Vic Aust] on 05/15/2017 - 06:50 PM
When I was 10, I had one as a "pet".
Posted by Eric on 05/16/2017 - 11:28 PM
Ah yes. Lovely things. I don't go hunting for them, but there is a lot of outside where we live, so I see no reason for black widows to be inside the house or anywhere else that I regularly have to put my hand. I don't live in their house. I don't have a horror of spiders, until they get on me. Then all bets are off. And what is wrong with squishing them? When they invade my space I reckon a good squishing is what they need. Hopefully they no longer resemble a spider when we are done. They can cause some real damage to dogs as well. Lots of neurological issues if the dog is small or the venom is a large amount.
Posted by Kathy on 05/18/2017 - 07:34 PM

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