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An Adventure At The Mailbox


Today I went out to put mail in our mailbox. This may seem a strange practice. "Aren't you supposed to take mail out of your mailbox?" you ask. Well, yeah, unless you live in a house previously inhabited by hundreds of UCB students. And your mailman can't seem to get it through his head that none of them still live at your address.

Anyway, so I was carrying today's pile of "Not at this address" stuff out to the mailbox. Opened the mailbox and saw another envelope shoved way in the back. Figured Shannon hadn't seen it when he picked up the mail last night, and so reached back to pull it forward. Withdrew my hand ... to find it crawling with dozens of tiny bright yellow spiders. Gah! Okay, I'm not fond of spiders. But I'm very proud of my reaction, which was to brush the spiders off of my hand while still holding the envelope, then investigate the mailbox.

Result of mailbox investigation: dozens of tiny yellow spiders crawling all over the place, running around, gossiping with each other, swinging from threads attached to the ceiling of the box, just generally throwing a big ol' spider party in our mailbox.

Okay, now, I sometimes see spiders in our mailbox, but I don't bother them as long as they don't bother me. Of course, Shannon once brought one into the house, certain that it was a plastic joke spider because it was so big and motionless, sitting there on our mail. I pointed out that it was a real spider, but Shannon did not believe me until it began to run. Heh. Poor Shannon. He can shriek like a girl when he puts real emotion into it.

So the spiders in our mailbox usually don't motivate me to wreak my wrath upon them. In fact, when they make Shannon scream they are actually kind of funny. But when they start experiencing the miracle of birth ... right there in our mailbox ... well, that's a little much for me. So today I declared a holy jihad against The Spiders Of The Mailbox. I would make up a deck of cards with all their little faces on it, but that probably wouldn't be very interesting, since they mostly looked pretty much identical unless you know a freakishly large amount about spiders.

First, I used the mail itself -- and later a baseball cap -- to whack at the spiders. Not especially trying to kill them, just trying to get them off the damned mailbox. They can go live their little arachnid lives elsewhere, fine by me, but I want them away from the dark hole into which I reach my hand daily to pick up our mail. So I'm just sort of randomly swatting at the webs, one of which extends from the mailbox down to the quite frighteningly out-of-control weeds of our front yard area. After a while, I'm pretty sure I've gotten most of them. There's only a few hardy stragglers. I then said, "Fuck this," and decided that Shannon could deal with the rest.

Went to the grocery store (which was my original errand, before I got distracted by the arachnid invasion), came back, found Shannon now at home, and asked him to deal with the stragglers. He bravely complied. When he went to take the mail out of the mailbox to clear his path of destruction, a gigantic spider went racing toward the back and hid in a crevice. I can only imagine that this was Mama Spider, who had come to the fore to bewail the loss of most of her babies. At this point, we decided that a different methodology was required.

Anyone passing our house an hour or so ago would probably have been quite mystified to see a man pointing a hose into a mailbox that was emitting a river of water which he was dodging. Occasionally, Shannon pointed the hose directly at a flat surface of the mailbox, causing a spray of water that nearly drenched both of us and caused me to squeal and hop around in my socks. After several minutes of determined mailbox-flooding, we decided that the spiders were most likely evicted.

Shannon then decided to dry out the inside of the mailbox with some paper towels, so that the mailman will not leave our mail in a giant puddle later this evening. Wipe, wipe, wipe. Agh! A pretty decent-sized spider starts running toward Shannon, screaming in spider language, "My name is Arachno Montoya! You killed my father! Prepare to die!" Squish! Shannon and I then marveled, of course, that anything had managed to survive the Holy Flood of Spider Eradication.

And so, gentle readers, we come to the end of our story.

For my skin, however, the adventure continues. It is convinced that tiny yellow spiders are still crawling all over me. And I keep trying to remember what I've read about the brown recluse. Are its babies bright yellow? Are the babies as venomous as the adults?

Well, if y'all never hear from me again, consider this a lesson about reaching a hand into the mailbox without looking first. My purpose here is done.

*Kimberly rides off into the sunset*

Who was that masked woman covered with spiders?

Comments

( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
meallanmouse
Apr. 28th, 2003 05:37 pm (UTC)
:: avoids reading post and thanks profusely for the LJ-Cut ::

Thank you thank you thank you!!!

:: runs away from the spiders ::
kimberly_a
Apr. 28th, 2003 05:40 pm (UTC)
Re:
You're quite welcome. :)
palmir
Apr. 28th, 2003 05:43 pm (UTC)
Brown Recluse info. Yes, I was bored.
nekogirl
Apr. 28th, 2003 05:58 pm (UTC)
What kind of crazy, huge, nook-and-cranny mailbox do you -have-?! Is it shaped like a duck or something? :D

What you -need- is a new mailbox. Then you can be sure that no spiders inhabit it.
kimberly_a
Apr. 28th, 2003 11:50 pm (UTC)
It looks like this, just your plain ol' normal mailbox, but these things aren't carved out of solid metal, you know. They've got tiny little gaps where the pieces attach. And spiders like to travel in and out through those little gaps. Watch out!
mousme
Apr. 28th, 2003 06:51 pm (UTC)
That is the funniest story I've heard in a long time.

Thanks for the laugh! :D
chantal87
Apr. 28th, 2003 07:54 pm (UTC)
I am so totally in love with you now. You make me giggle.
kimberly_a
Apr. 28th, 2003 11:56 pm (UTC)
Oh my god! Initially I read this comment and just kept going. On my second pass, I noticed the icon and nearly choked. You are so funny!!!
chantal87
Apr. 29th, 2003 02:44 am (UTC)
Thank you, He looks like a sad little spider doesn't he. Much like your mailbox spiders were when you evicted them.
Yep...way too much time on my hands.
tahari
Apr. 28th, 2003 07:56 pm (UTC)
I think baby spiders come complete with venom. Actually, I think many species of spiders spend the first week or so trapped inside the egg sac eating their brothers and sisters until they're strong enough to get out. BUT the fangs of spiders the size you describe will be MUCH too short to penetrate your thick skin. So don't worry.
kimberly_a
Apr. 28th, 2003 11:52 pm (UTC)
BUT the fangs of spiders the size you describe will be MUCH too short to penetrate your thick skin. So don't worry.

But I'm not especially thick-skinned! I'm very easily hurt!

Oh ... you mean that kind of thick-skinned. Okay. That's a comfort, then, actually. I keep checking myself for bites and spiders. I hope they (the spiders, that is) have all gone away to find themselves very comfortable homes elsewhere.
silversliver
Apr. 28th, 2003 10:36 pm (UTC)
"My name is Arachno Montoya! You killed my father! Prepare to die!"

Best. Line. Ever.
mizzkyttie
Apr. 29th, 2003 05:24 am (UTC)
I completely agree!

Thank you, Kimberly, for writing about the spiders with such wit, that my morning is all of a sudden not so crappy. I woke up today with a headache and a foul temper, and you got me to laughing so much that I can now enjoy my coffee and black cherry yogurt. I was tragically unable to love my breakfast this morning, until reading this post and nearly snarfing coffee out my nose.
kimberly_a
Apr. 29th, 2003 11:39 am (UTC)
Re:
I'm so glad that near-nose-snarfing improves your morning. ;)
babycola
Apr. 28th, 2003 10:38 pm (UTC)
yay for big spiders :D I have one down where I shower. SHE LOOKS AT ME WHEN I'M NAKED.. but it's ok.
wolflady26
Apr. 29th, 2003 03:07 am (UTC)
Heeeheehee!! Would it be selfish of me to thank the spiders for moving into your mailbox and resulting in a post that made me laugh out loud so many times?! *grin*
kimberly_a
Apr. 29th, 2003 11:37 am (UTC)
Re:
No, feel free. I went out to the mailbox this morning only to find a gigantic brown spider in there, so I can only imagine that he must be waiting for you.
wolflady26
Apr. 29th, 2003 12:37 pm (UTC)
Re:
Heh, wow, they really like that thing, don't they!

Maybe you should set up a fake mailbox specifically for the spiders. Make it even more comfy for them, so they'll leave your current one alone. Then the spiders will be free to "luv" you, and you won't have to reach past them for mail ;)
kimberly_a
Apr. 29th, 2003 12:49 pm (UTC)
Re:
This one was holding very very still, as if trying to look as non-threatening as possible. Pleeeeeeeease don't whack me with the mail or squirt me with the hose, Big Lady Woman! I'll just sit here, minding my own little spider business! I really don't know what is so attractive about our mailbox.

Ack! I must go get dressed so I can leave to catch the bus! Going to be late! Bye!
wolflady26
Apr. 29th, 2003 03:42 pm (UTC)
Re:
This one was holding very very still, as if trying to look as non-threatening as possible. Pleeeeeeeease don't whack me with the mail or squirt me with the hose, Big Lady Woman! I'll just sit here, minding my own little spider business!

Heehee, you do great spider impersonations! :) I'm starting to like them more already!
allorin
Apr. 29th, 2003 05:20 am (UTC)
Darn it - you had to spoiler-warn, didn't you? If andrewducker had read that, he'd have run a mile.

V. funny story though - although you do know spiders are notoriously difficult to drown, right?
kimberly_a
Apr. 29th, 2003 11:38 am (UTC)
Re:
The purpose was not to drown the poor guys ... it was only to relocate them. :)
allorin
Apr. 29th, 2003 02:51 pm (UTC)
Re:
I'm one of the sad, strange few who actually likes spiders. My dad, I kid you not, has called me before and asked me to drive the 10 miles over to their house just to rescue him from a spider. Which is all very amusing to me, of course - especially when I freak him out by letting them crawl up my arms.

Spiders are cool.
kimberly_a
Apr. 29th, 2003 03:34 pm (UTC)
Re:
Would you be so fond of spiders nesting extensively in your mailbox, though? I mean, spiders are all fine and good, but when they are growling and intimidating the poor mailman I draw the line.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 29th, 2003 07:45 am (UTC)
Slight Correction
"I can only imagine that this was Mama Spider, who had come to the fore to bewail the loss of most of her babies."

Didn't cha ever see Charlotte's Web? Mama spiders rarely (if ever) surive long enough to be around when their offspring are born.

-Renn
kimberly_a
Apr. 29th, 2003 11:36 am (UTC)
Re: Slight Correction
From what I've read (which is, admittedly, not a lot), it depends on the species.

And I wasn't entirely serious, in case you hadn't noticed. ;)
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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