Well, here it is, another Tuesday, another story. I am listening to some way 80s-tastic music right now (Madonna and Paula Abdul, to be exact. Don’t judge.) so I considered writing a nostalgic 80s story in the same vein as the groovy 70s story from a few weeks back. Then I realized I don’t feel like it. Instead I plan to write something inspired by the red and yucky spider-bite I am dealing with on my arm right now (and for the past few days). Red and yucky and IRONIC when you consider I’m the only person I know who actually likes spiders. You’d think the little buggers would cut me a break. Oh well. At least I looked up symptoms of a black widow bite and am certain that’s not what bit me. Huzzah and good cheer all around. No abdominal cramps or nausea here. Just an angry red arm. Good Lord, I’m just talking about my day. I better start writing the story; this starting to look like an actual blog.
THE STORY OF THE SPIDER WHO WOULDN’T HURT A FLY
Once there was a spider named Terrance. He was a pretty fierce-looking wolf spider (commonly found in Virginia, like every time I used to mow the lawn and they’d scatter up the walls of the house) and he knew it. He even intimidated other wolf spiders. “Grr,” he would growl when other spiders would come near him. For those of you who don’t know, spiders don’t usually make noise and they certainly don’t growl. Yeah, that’s just how much of a badass Terrance was. Too bad about his name, but, hey, his mom had to name 150 other kids at the same time when he hatched. She did her best.
So, one day, Terrance’s sister, Port-o-potty, came up and said, “hey, bro, wanna go hunting?”
“Nah,” said Terrance. “I’m just gonna sit here and look like a badass. Bring me back something if you can.”
“Listen, T,” Port-o-potty said, “I don’t mind bringing you flies and stuff, but, seriously. It’s been like, two months since you went hunting. We’re all kind of worried about you. I was just talking to Fartypepper this morning and he agreed; you need to get out more.”
“Look,” I’m fine,” Terrance replied. “I just don’t feel like hunting.”
“But you’re the biggest badass in the whole state of Virginia,” his sister said.
“I know,” Terrance said and grinned an evil grin. That’s how much of a badass he was; he could grin even though he didn’t have lips or teeth.
Just then, one of Terrance’s other brothers came creeping up (not that he was trying to be creepy, it’s just kind of what happens when you have 8 legs; you creep everywhere). “Hey, sis. Hey, bro,” he said.
“Hey, Tikitorch,” Terrance said.
“Hey, Teek,” said Port-o-potty, “don’t you think Terrance should get out more often?”
“Oh, sure,” said Tikitorch. “I was just talking to Old-blind-joe this morning about how we miss hunting with this big badass right here.”
“Aw, you’re sweet to say that,” said Terrance. “I mean, um, Grr.”
“So, you’re going hunting, P?” said Tikitorch.
“Yeah,” she replied, “but I want Terrance to come. He said no. Again.”
“Hey, man,” said Tikitorch (and by “man,” he meant “spider”), “why don’t you tell us what’s going on. We’re family.”
“Nothing’s going on!” Terrance shouted defensively. “I just don’t wanna go hunting! Isn’t it enough that I’m the biggest badass in the state?”
“It used to be,” said Port-o-potty. “I don’t know what to think anymore.” With that, she started crying.
“Aw, sis,” said Terrance, “don’t cry.”
The noise brought dozens of Terrance’s other family members (who, for some reason had not spread out all over the state upon being born like spiders are supposed to. What are you gonna do? Science doesn’t know everything, and these spiders were way into family ties. Not the TV show), who all gathered around in a big, scary circle. All of you out there who are afraid of spiders would have totally peed your pants at this many spiders hanging out together in one place.
Art by Josh Judd
“Hey!” said a spider named Kaboodle, “who made our sister cry?”
“Well…” said Tikitorch, who was worried about starting a fight.
“You better tell me,” said Kaboodle. “I’m two and a half seconds older than you.”
“Okay,” said Tikitorch. “It was Terrance.”
Everyone looked at Terrance. After a long moment, Terrance went, “Grr.”
As impressed as they all were, they still kept staring at him until, finally, one of his sisters, Peepers Magoo, said, “all right, T. What did you do?”
“Nothing!” Terrance protested. “I just said I didn’t want to go hunting. You know, for food.”
“You haven’t been hunting for months!” Terrance’s brother, Criminy Jones, called from the back of the crowd.
“Yeah, we already established that,” Terrance said.
“Oh, sorry,” said Criminy Jones, “I just got here.”
“Okay,” said Kaboodle, “let’s settle this. Why don’t you go hunting anymore?”
“Aw, Bood, leave me alone,” Terrance said.
“No,” said Kaboodle. “We finish this now. We’re your family. Tell us what’s going on.”
After a breathless silence, Terrance finally said, “it happened about two and a half months ago. I was chasing down this juicy pillbug and he went under this big plastic thing. Turns out it was a child’s stroller. I climbed over the top of it, just looking for the bug and suddenly found myself sitting on a baby human’s arm.”
“Whoa,” said Port-o-potty.
“What did you do?” asked Tikitorch.
“I kind of freaked out,” Terrance admitted sheepishly.
“You?” said Peepers Magoo. “But you’re the biggest badass in the state.”
“I know,” said Terrance. “But I like people. I know most of you think they’re ugly and scary, but I like them. Always have. So I didn’t want to frighten this little kid.”
“I guess that’s nice,” said Fartypepper, who was hanging around (literally) just above everyone’s head.
“I would have bit him,” said Kaboodle.
“That’s cuz you’re a butt,” said Terrance. “I decided I wanted to just get out of there. The kid was asleep, so I thought I’d be safe. But then I heard his mother screaming.”
“His parents were there?” Port-o-potty asked.
“Yep,” said Terrance, “and they got pretty freaked out. I mean, I was bigger than this kid’s whole hand.”
“What did they do?” Tikitorch asked.
“They got a broom,” Terrance said, “and they were gonna sweep me off the kid. But I ran (or creeped, or whatever) out of there as fast as I could.”
“Wait a minute,” said Kaboodle. “What does this have to do with you not hunting anymore?”
“I haven’t hunted since that day,” Terrance replied.
“Okay,” said Kaboodle as though he was talking to a child, “but why?”
“It happened when I jumped off the stroller,” said Terrance.
“What happened?” asked Fartypepper. “You just up and decided not to hunt anymore?”
“Not exactly,” Terrance replied.
“Then what happened?” asked Port-o-potty.
“My tastes changed,” Terrance said.
“What do you mean?” asked Tikitorch. “Like, you don’t wanna eat flies anymore?”
“Nope,” said Terrance.
“Because you got away from some humans?” Kaboodle asked skeptically.
“I never said I got away,” Terrance replied.
“What?” said Peepers Magoo. “You’re saying… What are you saying?”
“They hit me with the broom,” Terrance replied evenly.
His brothers and sisters looked at him, waiting for the rest of the story.
Finally, Terrance said, “and they killed me.”
It took a few moments for this to sink in. Then, from up above them all, Fartypepper shouted “ZOMBIE SPIDER!”
Everyone screamed as Terrance jumped on Kaboodle and ate him right up. When he was done, he looked up at his other brothers and sisters. “Anyone got a problem with that?” he said.
“Naw,” said Port-o-potty. “He was kind of a butt.”
“Word,” said Tikitorch.
“So, now that you’re dead, you only want to eat other spiders?” asked Peepers Magoo.
“Yeah, pretty much,” said Terrance.
“You’re not gonna eat the rest of us, are you?” said Criminy Jones.
“Yeah,” said Terrance. “I probably will.”
“Well,” said Port-o-potty, “looks like it’s time to spread out across the state like we were supposed to upon birth.”
“Word,” said Tikitorch.
“Grr,” said Terrance.
Yeah, that’s right. Zombie Spider. Word.
See you in seven,