You know how they say you eat some insane number of spiders each year in your sleep? Eight is the number I generally hear (*shudder*). How these disgusting creatures end up in one’s mouth, being chewed up, swallowed and digested, is generally not something I care to spend much time thinking about in my daily life. But, honestly, at this point I think that I’d be at least a little bit okay with the idea (provided I can still go on living in ignorant bliss that it ever occurred) if it means that the Hanks are finally extinguished from my abode for good.
If you don’t remember the “original” Hank, he was a giant, furry, nearly tarantula-esque type spider I found (like I find all evil things that take up residence in our home) one day while GAR was away … well over a year and a half ago. And then I lost him. Then found him again dead, weeks later (after many fearful, don’t touch anything before inspecting it for giant spiders first, moments), squished in the sliding door track. And then I found two of his buddies dead in our unused spare, spare bedroom – proving that he was not a one-time-only freak-of-nature occurrence. And, despite learning that they are actually not poisonous, I got an exterminator … who kindly also pointed out that we had black widows (and their eggs) living around the perimeter of our house (and, as we learned later, also living in our garage) ... and those bad boys are poisonous.
Here’s a photo of a Hank (a.k.a. Wolf Spider) just so you know the source of my nightmares more intimately (no, this is not a photo that we took. We are sane people who do not pick up and hold very scary spiders no matter how seemingly harmless their venom is known to be. However, I would like the man to come live with us since, clearly, he is much less frightened of Hanks than we are).
So, yeah, although I think it would be nearly impossible to chow down on one of those bad boys in my sleep without being aware of it, I would, perhaps, be willing to bite the bullet if I meant I never, ever, EVER had to see one again. But, come on, that would HAVE to count as my sleeping spider eating quotient for the next couple of years at least.
But there’s been no need for all that. We have been living blissfully free of Hank and his offspring for some time now. Oh sure, GAR found this crazy giant spider in the pool and when he tried to fish it out it formed a bubble around its entire body (what the???) and “paddled” away from him. And then another time he found some other spiders on the pool deck whose bodies appeared to be made of spiky, weaponized armor. But there weren’t any IN OUR HOUSE (unless I had accidentally eaten them, of course) and so it was fine … until GAR found a Hank in our master bathroom a few days back. And, yes, he killed him, but how can I ever rest easy again? HOW?
Of course it doesn’t help matters that I’ve been home sick these past few days … which means I’ve spent some significant time alone in the house – which always seems to be prime time for terrifying creatures to make their appearance known to me. So, of course, I wake up this morning in a foggy, congested haze and head into said master bathroom where what to my sleep-caked eyes does appear is some large and possibly eight-legged creature making its way through my in-ground rock garden (I suspect this is why most people do not have rock gardens in the middle of their bathroom floor but, you know, they’re just not as lucky as I am I guess). Of course, I couldn’t be sure what I was seeing since I didn’t have my contacts in, but it was SOMETHING HUGE. But, naturally, by the time I located my glasses it could no longer be found. We even tossed around the rocks a bit in an effort to startle it out of hiding with no success. I crouched on the cold tile for 20 minutes afterwards just staring into the rocks, looking for it (while GAR stumbled back to bed), but it never reappeared. I know from past experience that when you dig down past all the rocks all that you find is dirt, not cement foundation, so it could be lurking somewhere on the earthy bottom of the “garden” (though, despite what my friend Katie believes, no creatures can actually burrow into – or out of - the bathroom through that dirt … this isn’t The Shawshank Redemption and the critter would have quite a long path to dig to freedom), but that means it’s still here … whatever it is … somewhere.
GAR believes it was just my delusion. With my sight impaired, my head in a weird NyQuil coma and visions of Hanks scampering in my head, he believes I dreamt the whole thing. But he is wrong. So very wrong. I know it.
And so it’s decided – from now until the end of the month I am going to devote myself to finally finishing the New Year’s resolution I made on Dec. 31 (2010 … okay, yeah, I am a little late, I know) and get every nook and cranny of this house organized. I need to ensure that there are no little cubbyholes of clutter where critters could be lurking unnoticed. I will smoke Hank out of his hole. I MUST.
Really there are only a few stones (well, actually, there are still LOTS in the rock garden) left unturned. I organized the laundry room and linen closet last weekend … and I would have gotten farther if I hadn’t stubbed my toe so hard I thought it was broken (which it wasn’t … the only thing broken was my spirit … my spirit). So now all that’s left is the aforementioned spare, spare bedroom – which is where I found the dead Hanks before. And, yes, I’ll admit I’ve saved this room for last because I acknowledge that it’s the most likely to be the source of whatever it is I don’t want to uncover. But I’ve got to face my fears and go in there to finish filling the boxes I’ve stored there with stuff to drop off at the Salvation Army. And today I made that pile just a bit bigger when I tossed an old dish towel I don’t want any more on top … and a giant lizard leapt up and darted away. Of course. Sure. Lizards. Why not? Come and join the party.
But I did make GAR perform a “catch and release” with our new green scaly friend. Still, I can’t help but wonder if I made the right decision. After all, lizards are harmless. And from what I know of them they eat bugs … even big hairy spiders. Perhaps Mr. Lizard really was the lesser of two evils.
Dang it – now I’m going to have to be the one to eat Hank after all.