A NIGHTMARE HAPPENED IN REAL LIFE
As I was brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed, feeling quite happy, I heard S calling me from the living room.
"Emma! You need to see this!" So I quickly rinsed, put on my glasses and rushed downstairs to find him standing there, looking repulsed and holding a shoe in each hand. He was leaning over (but not too closely) the largest spider I'd ever seen outside the zoo. Its thorax seemed to fill the room. It was a standoff -- man vs. beast.
"I think it might be pregnant," S said. Indeed, it definitely looked overly round and lethargic -- which I could easily relate to now since entering my 8th month of pregnancy. But I hoped he was wrong.
We debated for a minute about what to do. Vacuum it up? Trap it and let it go? Bug spray? Squish it and hope for the best? We didn't want any more of its terrifying kind hanging around the house, so options one and two were insufficient. Bug spray seemed a little toxic for a home with a baby on the way. So we decided, though we're both squeamish around spiders, that squishing it seemed to be the best option.
"I'm going to need backup in case I miss and it starts to run away!" S said, getting ready to throw one of his shoes at the beast. So I also grabbed two more shoes, cringing and closing one eye as he took aim. His throw missed by so little that the shoe landed on its side just an inch from the spider, who surprisingly barely moved. Again, the fear that it was pregnant washed over us, but neither of us wanted to get close enough for a more thorough examination.
"Maybe you should just tip the shoe over on top of it and squish it gently so it doesn't splat everywhere," I suggested. It seemed cowardly but reasonable--a typical "me" approach--so we got a length of PVC pipe that we had lying around, and S carefully tipped over the shoe...
Then the nightmare really got started. BABY SPIDERS by the MILLION started emerging from underneath the shoe in every direction. Waves of them. Hoards of them! It was a veritable plague of miniature spiders that just kept coming and coming. Apparently the big spider was not pregnant but was actually carrying her babies on her back -- explaining her sluggishness and her enormous hairy-looking hindquarters. S and I looked at each other in terror for one hot second before we both went native and started smashing them with both shoe-bearing hands, all the while screaming and gagging.
We had to get them ALL so that there'd be no chance that any of them would grow up and repeat this dreadful cycle, so we flailed and squashed and gagged for what felt like an eternity. And then, when the shameful massacre was over, we had to clean up all the carcasses, which was almost just as awful as the killing part. The whole ordeal was barbaric and traumatizing. I thought I was going to go into premature labor. S had to take a shower. We inspected every inch of our bedroom that night, making sure that nothing was lurking anywhere, and even though we found nothing we both still had trouble falling asleep.
Even now, days later, I still have that creepy-crawly feeling on my skin as I sit on the couch and type this. I'm really trying to forget that it happened. In fact, let's never talk about it again.
PS - Pardon the Google image... I did not have my wits about me enough to fish out my camera to record the actual events. But this is a picture of a wolf spider with babies on its back -- pretty much exactly what we had.