Let me explain.
Last evening, after a loooong day at work, I was driving home in the loaner car I’ve been using until my Kia is back among the living. As I pulled up to the first stoplight, I happened to notice I had company. On the dash in front of me was, I swear to God, a baby tarantula. But wait, you say. Tarantulas aren’t native to Minnesota. Yeah, that’s what they said about Bigfoot. And yet:
Admittedly, I’ve seen bigger spiders in my time. But I’ve never seen one so hairy and menacing. It glared at me from a dozen or so glittering, hate-filled eyes and then … I kid you not … it reared back on his hind legs and waved its front talons at me with clear intent to maim or KILL. Did you hear me screaming from where you were?
Hastily I pulled off onto a side road and even more hastily bolted from the vehicle. But what to do next? I had no weapon to hand – the only object that might be applied for self defense was a plastic garden shoe I’d recently purchased at the dollar store. Meanwhile, my nemesis had crept into the crevice between the dash and windshield. Inaccessible.
I circled the car warily a few times, no doubt arousing the suspicion of inhabitants of the nearby homes, before deciding there was nothing I could do except get back on the road and hope I survived the 10-mile journey to home. And then douse the entire auto in gasoline and set it ablaze. As you do.
So I resumed the commute … only to have the villain make his reappearance as soon as I hit the highway. During the following, extremely tense 20 minutes, the eight-legged horror dodged and weaved on top of my dash while I dodged and weaved in my lane of traffic. It made several advances and I was sure every moment it was about to leap on my neck and drain my blood with its pointy, pointy fangs.
Miraculously, I made it back to Osakis – alive, but traumatized. As I pulled to a stop in front of my house, the creature made its move. It darted across the dash and onto the driver’s side door, scant inches from my twitching form. I scrambled across the gear stick to the other side of the car and exited the passenger door. Leaving my belongings behind, I fled into the house.
Inexplicably, my mother expressed some skepticism at my tale. Armed with a fly swatter, she went out to vanquish the foe. She returned minutes later, proclaiming there was no spider anywhere in that car.
This morning, filled with trepidation, I returned to the scene of my terrifying encounter. I opened the driver’s side door and …
[cue the Psycho violins]
There.It.Was. Crouching on the armrest of the driver’s side door like a cougar ready to spring upon its hapless prey. A scream of terror – or was it rage? – filled the air. Whether it came from me or the monster, I cannot say. (Actually, I can. It came from me.) Instinctively I swung my new cat purse (adorable, by the way!) and struck a fatal blow. The thing crumpled and dropped onto the road, where I stomped on it for good measure.
I’m not proud of what I’ve done. But in the epic battle of (wo)man versus nature, we sometimes have to use our superior intelligence and advanced technology to conquer.
But I don’t think I’m going to get that spider gut stain off my new purse. And so you win in the end after all, mutant spider. Well played.