The other evening, Gary and I had just gotten home from a quiet, peaceful dinner, and I was putting my shoes in the closet when I heard him call to me frantically from the living room. It sounded serious. I rushed into the living room to find him standing stiffly, staring in horror down at one arm, and he gasped out, “There’s a spider on my arm.”
One thing you must know about Gary: he hates spiders. Despises them. Will kill them on sight, except I’m a spider-hugging arachnid fanatic who tenderly carries spiders outside and saves them from spider-hating people.
I could tell he was barely controlling the urge to smash the spider to smithereens. Through clenched teeth, he half begged, half commanded, “Get it off me.”
I was trying not to laugh. The spider was about the size of a quarter, but its legs, tensed up like it was ready to jump, made it look huge. “Oh, that’s a big one,” I said without thinking, instantly realizing that is NOT the correct thing to say to someone who hates spiders and currently has one plastered to his body. Gary damn near started vibrating with his overwhelming urge to squish it into oblivion.
“Okay, just walk outside, and I’ll get it out there,” I said quickly, leading Gary to the front door. He walked tensely like his legs couldn’t bend, staring the entire time at the spider perched happily on his shoulder.
All was going well until we got outside, and I cupped my hands around the spider and lifted it off of Gary’s sleeve. Gary immediately backed up like I had just removed an explosive device from his person. Unbeknownst to him, however, the spider had defensively fired off a thread of web as I lifted it from Gary’s shirt, and the spider was now firmly attached to Gary.
As Gary backed up, the spider flew out of my hands and directly at Gary, pulled by the nearly invisible web now connecting them. Gary backed up faster, retreating into the house. The spider slid along the floor right after him, almost like it was flying.
“WHY IS IT FOLLOWING ME?” Gary was nearly hysterical, his desperate attempts to save himself from the ferocious spider seemingly fruitless, as the tireless little eight-legged demon stayed right at his side, no matter what he did, zeroed in on him like a missile.
“Stop! You’re going to hurt him!” I called, rushing into the house to rescue the spider from Gary’s attempts to free himself from its clutches.
Gary shot me a look like I was certifiably crazy. “I’m going to hurt the spider?” he sputtered.
“He attached himself to you with web,” I explained, but I shouldn’t have, because that led to Gary’s eyes widening even further and then rabidly windmilling his arms to get rid of any and all web currently in contact with his body.
Luckily I rescued the spider before Gary stepped on it or slung it into the ceiling fan, and I carried the spider outside and placed him gently on the grass, away from the crazy man still stumbling about in the living room, tugging at his shirt and batting away invisible webs.
Now that the crisis had been averted, and the spider was ambling away in the front yard wondering what the hell our problem was, and Gary was recovering safely in the house, I could now do what I had been dying to do the entire ordeal: I burst out laughing.
Gary was still inspecting himself for any more wayward spiders or web, and he shot me a withering look. It might take some time before he finds it even half as funny as I did, but I couldn’t wait to tell the kids all about it.