Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Releasing My Inner Slayer

Last night, while letting the dog out before bed, I was thinking over an idea for my blog post. Maybe something about my writing process, except my process seems more like a series of excuses for my procrastination before writing fast and hard to meet a deadline. So I was in the midst of coming up with something else when I grabbed the leash for the dog from the hook next to the door. And then I felt it, or maybe I should say felt them.

Spider legs.

My arm had disturbed a freshly spun web over the leash hook. And when I say disturbed, I mean went right through it and knocked loose the bigass spider sitting there, waiting for its next meal to come along. I think it even had teeth.

I screeched something unintelligible and jumped back, jerking the poor dog with me. As tempting as it was the shove the dog at the spider, who was busy hauling its creepy ass up the wall I'd bumped into when I realized what happened, I didn't think it could be all that healthy for her to eat a spider that big.

Dragging the dog with me (couldn't let her outside loose when I'd just that morning discovered a raccoon had taken up residence next door), I went inside.

A lot of authors say there's a little bit of themselves in every heroine they write. Well, I can tell you what bit of myself is not in any of my heroines. None of them are afraid of bugs. Most of my heroines kick ass and take names every day of the week. They face murderers, assassins, demons and stubborn alpha males on a regular basis. There's no way any of them would freak over a spider.

So damn it, there was no way I was going to let a stupid spider chase me off, no matter how many teeth it had. Not when it might spin its web of death across the door the next night and lay in wait for me.

Instead of getting my husband, which I'm sure he would have just loved, I grabbed his shoe (it's the biggest) and went back outside. I'm not sure how far spiders can jump, but I kept as much distance between us as I could and whacked the spider. Of course, some people might equate whacking as going batshit crazy, but let's not worry about them.

Once I scraped what was left of the spider off the bottom of my husband's shoe, I stood up, basking in the high from my spider slaying. Which is where I went wrong. I got cocky. Planning to head inside and tell my husband how I saved him the effort by killing the spider myself, I whipped around.

And came face to face with the June Bug stuck to the glass. Right at eye-level.

If the light had been on when I went outside the first time, I wouldn't have missed it. Not that knowing that did me a damn bit of good in the moment. The only thing standing between me and my safe, insect-free house, was a clicking, flying beetle that was going to end up stuck on my hair. Because that's what they do.

Stick. In. Your. Hair.

Knowing I had only seconds before the June Bug (who I'm pretty sure had teeth too) noticed I was there, I lifted my arm to whack it with my husband's shoe. Unfortunately, since my door hadn't been shut tight, I knew I had just one chance to deliver a death blow, and I couldn't miss. Otherwise the door was going to fly open and that bug was going to be IN my house and then I'd really be in trouble.

Closing my eyes(okay, I kept one open) I killed it on the first strike. And thank god, because I would have gone to bed with the covers over my head and left the bug slaying to my stubborn, alpha-male husband.

So what about you? Any crazy bug stories or particular creepy crawlies that freak you out?


Meg Benjamin said...

LMAO! Oh man, what a way to start the day. Yeah, one of the things I loved about moving to Colorado was leaving the Texas tree roaches behind. No kidding--those things are the size of rabbits and they just loooove to get into houses.

Erin Nicholas said...

Syd! I had to even read quickly enough to scroll past the icky bug picture you attached!! I. Can't. Stand. Bugs. The more legs, the more horrible, creepy and shouldn't-be-allowed-to-live they are!!
I admire your bravery. Me, on the other hand-- SO worth the teasing I get to have hubby or Ruckus kill the things for me!!

Caroline Clemmons said...

You post made me laugh. I'm not afraid of spiders or bugs--except roaches. When we lived near Orlando, Florida our house was near an orange grove. We had these huge roaches called plametto bugs. Ugh! That's the only place we've ever lived where we--and everyone we knew--had our house sprayed by an exterminator once a month. I hate palmetto bugs! When you hear that at the end of the world only cockroaches will still be around, I'm sure it's the palmetto bug version.

Milinda said...

I am so there with you. I actually called apartment office about spiders on my patio last summer. They were very nice and power hosed (is that a verb) and sprayed--twice. Granted, they were black widows and it was bad for their reputation. I was still a weeny and would not go out there until it froze. I mean, those are spiders! They can lurk anywhere.

PG Forte said...

Oh, Caroline I so hear you with the Florida/exterminator/palmetto bug thing. Ugh. And those damn things will fly right into your face whenever they get the chance! Apparently, they taste bad, too. Even my cat wouldn't hunt them after she tried to eat the first one.

Syd, I'd say you have more of your heroine's in you than you think. You go, slayer! And, Erin, I gotta disagree. Maggots have no legs and they're as nasty as they come.

I don't mind bugs in general although reading Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek taught me that there might be a few bugs I'd really, really hate to meet up with in real life. Oh, and ticks. I seriously despise ticks.

On the other hand, Charlotte's web insured I'd always have a warm place in my heart for spiders and as for bees...well, you just gotta love bees they're so epic. I've actually been batting around an idea for a children's book about bees (think Watership Down only, you know, smaller and more aerodynamic)for quite some time.

But roaches...well, the damn things are smart--I swear they recognize people. They know when to run, they know when they're facing a vegan pacifist and they even seem to be able to recognize it when that vegan pacifist has decided enough is enough and they're all gonna die, even if they are scary sentient.

Skylar Kade said...

My loathing for bugs knows no bounds, and it only got worse when I moved to Los Angeles. Southern California has black widow spiders. Big ones. With freaky red hourglass shapes on their abdomens. And the little creepers can HOLD THEIR BREATH for 24 hours, so if you try to flush them down the toilet, they can crawl back up. And they require a special type of bug spray to kill them.

Yep... and they were spawning in my outdoor closet. *shudder*

Kelly Jamieson said...

Syd the Spider Slayer! You go girl!
I would've called my husband.

I too hate all kind of bugs - except, oddly, ladybugs. I will pick one up and let it crawl on my hand. I have no idea why. If it wasn't orange with black spots, I would scream and run.

My worst nightmare is crickets. They sound all romantic and dreamy outside in the dark but face to face - DISGUSTING!!!

PG Forte said...

Yeah, I tried keeping crickets as pets once 'cause I love the sound (and Berkeley has no crickets--sad) but the damn things kept eating each other a little at a time. I finally got so disgusted I fed them all to my chickens.

so, I guess y'all would be really disturbed to hear about my pet tarantula, huh?