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?