So I spent a year living in this tiny basement apartment that was adorable and nearly picture perfect except that it wasn’t properly sealed*. Which meant it slowly evolved into the perfect habitat for Hobo spiders. Don’t click that link unless you’re very fucking brave. I have way to many spider stories and I’m sharing them here. I’m sorry.
The Twenty Dollar Pizza Tip
My mom still rolls her eyes every time this story comes up, but it’s mostly because the first time I shared the story on Facebook she was indignant that the vast majority of my peers shared my attitude. So, you know, sorry in advance for making you read this again, Mom. You can skip it if you want, my feelings won’t be hurt.
For this story, we’re back in the House of Spiders. Yeah, that quaint little hellfest. This one might require a visual, since I don’t feel like typing a thousand-word description of my layout when a photo will illustrate the point nicely.
The very bottom of the photo frame is where the foot of my bed is. I had to be sitting on it to get this shot.
So I’m sitting on my bed, my notes spread every which way since homework always managed to feature prominently in unintentional spider-baiting. The next step involves transferring everything I have that’s useful, a mere ten percent, to the desk less than two feet in front of me so I can type them up into something actually useful. I’m a college student, mind you, and this is a very difficult step. Less so for the scholastic strain, and more for the psychological strain of knowing I’m about to actively commit myself to staying in that chair for a couple of hours until it’s done. Clearly this requires pizza. The idea spends less than a second in my brain before I’m dialing my favorite haunt and I know it’s less out of hunger than procrastination but I let myself have this win.
Pizza is ordered. I hang up the phone and prepare to follow through with the less pleasant end of the deal. I’m only halfway through sorting my notes when I see movement under my desk. I panic, freezing like a Cornish pixie in front of Hermione. Danger lurks below. The floor space under my desk is a messy booby trap of cords and dust bunnies and lost buttons so it’s hard to tell at first.
And then it’s not hard to tell. Not hard at all. There’s another hobo spider (and a link of course in case you needed a horrific refresher on these guys) and he’s walking nonchalantly towards my sound system’s bass. I clutch my toes and whimper to myself. I am a coward and I panic, mostly because I know Paul won’t come over to kill a spider twice no matter how nice he is. I know this because he told me after he killed the last one. I need to be brave. It’s time to face my fears. I am an independent woman who has lived on her own for years and I need to be capable of tackling a spider. Damnit, I am capable of handling this spider and I’m almost at the point where I believe that bald faced lie when salvation arrives.
My doorbell rings.
It’s the pizza boy and he’s a white knight bearing not only cheesy saucy goodness but my escape route out of this whole mess.
“Order a pi–”
“Hi, so I know this is really lame and wimpy but there’s a spider in my bedroom and I WILL GIVE YOU A TWENTY DOLLAR TIP TO KILL IT”
I speak in a panicked rush and I’m guessing from his creased forehead that in his stoner confusion he can’t decide if I’m joking or if he’s just walked into the grossest set up for a porno. I sigh. He’s a skeptic, indifferent to the need for timeliness in dealing with my crisis.
“No seriously it’s gross and enormous and please?”
He nods, muttering yeah sure, hands off the pizza box and slowly walks into my living room**.
This next part is the grosses part of any spider story I could possibly ever tell, so feel free to skip it if you’re already queasy with my eight legged topic. This part still grosses me out four years later in the retelling, but I’m also the lady that refuses to use her own shoes to kill spiders. I don’t like dealing with the aftermath, okay?
So I point him toward the bedroom, even though it’s hard to miss since its the only fucking direction he can walk in, and I watch him turn the corner to look at my desk. With the pizza safe and secure on the table, I walk behind him and leap onto my bed, pointing at the invader, its body eerily similar in size to the abandoned Skittle laying next to it. I watch in absolute horror as he grabs a receipt the size of a posit note. Let me repeat that–a post-it note sized paper–and proceeds to lean down, pinch the spider with his thumb and forefinger with ONLY A POST-IT NOTE SIZED PAPER PROTECTING HIM, and grinds the marauding bastard into that tiny, thin receipt. I have no dignity at this point.
“Oh my god. You just killed it with your fingers?? Holy shit. Oh my god.”
He looks at me and shrugged and asks where my trash is and in the retelling of this story I am even more convinced that he must have been high as a kite. I guide him the ten feet to my kitchen and open the cupboard for him. I’m shellshocked. I can’t believe he just did that. I’m so horrified. On one hand, it’s the most masculine, bravest, amazing thing I’ve ever seen but on the other hand ARE TWO FINGERS THAT SHOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED TO TOUCH ANYONE OR ANYTHING EVER AGAIN.
It was horrific. And yet even four years later I’m awed by the brazen audacity of it all. When I told David this story (ten minutes after it happened, over the phone, from my bed, scarfing down slices of greasy garlic filled comfort) he reassured me I was sane. He also reassured me that he would never in a million years perform a similar act for me, which I appreciate. I mean, I like his hands. It would make me sad to never touch them again. It would make me sad to have to chop them off and purge them with fire.
Oh and when I told my mom this story, her first reaction was “Did you seriously give him a twenty dollar tip to kill a spider?!?!?!?!?!?!?!”
Of course I did, mom, and I still stand by that to this day. He deserved every penny, and a gold fucking medal.
*Also the shower flooded no matter how many times they tried to reseal it. Oh and the walls were full of bees. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the greatest apartment.
**/kitchen. /dining room. /art room. Okay, so the apartment was lame. Fine.