Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How Tall Are You?

I am only 5' 2". 

Up until twelve hours ago, I never paid much attention to my height - or lack thereof. True, growing up, my dad reminded me about every other day that I needed to sue the city for building the sidewalk so close to my ass. 

Dad missed his calling as a stand up comic (Dad's in heaven right now, undoubtedly heckling the other short souls just to keep his hand in the game for when I -eventually-show up). 

But last night, somewhere in the wee hours of morning because it feels like I've got a stupid ulcer (can't imagine why?) and couldn't get to sleep and the stray kitty was at the door scratching for his 19th snack of the evening (only a very, very slight exaggeration) ... ONCE AGAIN I opened the front door to another slice of fresh baked hellcake (devil's food). 

Thank God I had the foresight (luck) to turn on the porch light before stepping out onto the deck. 

See, I still glance up to the right and do a *quick check* of the underside of the awning over the front door every now and then. But, the cooler temperatures, torrential rains, and occasional tornadoes have kept the wasps fairly sluggish and inactive. I told you I was waiting for winter to fix the whole bug problem and I wasn't kidding. 

This morning (actually 2 a.m.) I'm stepping over the stray kitty who is spatially challenged, balancing a paper plate of mashed dead fish heads or whatever it is that comes in those little cans, trying to quietly open & close the screen door so I don't wake up my more-productive, day-walking neighbors, checking for slugs lounging around the deck like they pay taxes, glancing up at the wasp nest to make sure nothing's happening there ... 

When some primal and long-forgotten instinct made me turn my head to the left (new direction) and came this close to getting a face full of SPIDER!! I swear to God I almost wet myself. 

This thing WAS THE SIZE OF A FREAKIN' SOCCER BALL and had I been another half-inch taller I would be in heaven right now, dead from a spider-face-heart attack and enduring stale jokes from my father. 

Nature has really been pushing my buttons this year.

Anyway, (and you gotta picture this so I'll type slow) ... it'd been raining and windy and storming all damn day & night, but somehow (do spiders have superpowers?) this Arnold Schwarzenegger of the arachnid family, had managed to spin AND KEEP ATTACHED TO THE AWNING SUPPORTS, this massive, architectural-nightmare of a web during winds capable of toppling small buildings ... and this BLOATED (full of billions of spider eggs omg i'm gonna barf) Godzilla spider was clutching onto the web WAVING IN THE WIND like he was surfing the big one and I came within a hair's breadth of walking right into this trap from the darkest bowels of hell.

I jumped back like I'd been shot (a quick, clean death sounded GREAT at that moment), slamming into the front door and almost stepping on stray kitty who was still circling under my feet waiting for me to drop the damn plate already so he could eat and get on with his busy schedule of impregnating every feline within three counties (there's a job for you)(we don't call him *Big Boy* for nothing). 

Probably me screaming and slamming into aluminum screen doors with cats howling sounded like a dinner bell to the stupid wasps who started stirring up IN THE OTHER CORNER of the awning so I flung the fish heads out into the yard which made kitty happy and carefully ... very ... carefully backed inside, quietly closed the door and chewed a fistful of Tums like they were Pez. 

Okay. The above sounds all funny and exaggerated but let me tell you. I grew up in Fla and there are spiders there that'll take your leg off and also they have cockroaches that FLY AT YOUR FACE. No lie. They are called Palmetto bugs. And if you open your door at night, these bastards will see the light shining and come barreling out of the night STRAIGHT AT YOUR FACE I swear by all I hold dear in life. These things are the size of a baby's fist and their SOLITARY goal in life is to end yours. 

I don't know how many school mornings I stumbled, all sleepy and resentful from being yanked out of my soft, warm bed, cutting through my backyard to walk to school (uphill both ways, in the snow)(not really. This was Fla. It was uphill both ways in the sand) ... and would blunder smack dab face first into some monstrous web that had sprung up over night. And, right in the middle of this web stretched between the palmetto bushes like a tennis net, would be hanging there fast asleep (of COURSE he was, spiders don't have school) some fat, furry, fanged denizen that would stick to your hair, clothes, God-forbid-face while you shrieked and danced around like you had live coals in your underwear as you tried to A) brush it off. And B) look *cool* in case any of your classmates were looking. 

Also, in Florida, my dad found a deadly Coral snake in our yard one afternoon. And it was nothing to find water moccasins in myriad bodies of water, such as: swamps, swimming pools and a puddle in the road directly on the OTHER side of all those stupid spider webs. 

No wonder I stayed in my room reading comic books. 

Stick me with a fork, I'm done. 


  1. Oh my- nature just isn't giving you a break! Thank goodness for your height and the instinct to turn your head. Frankly I am starting to wonder how you will ever be able to calmly leave your house- between the slugs, wasps, and now gigantic spider! You are seeing it all for sure. You have such a great sense of humor and way of telling stories that I feel as if I am right there with you through it all. <3

  2. @Jess - <3 You don't want to be right here with me! lol
    If you even SUSPECT you might be anywhere NEAR me, encase yourself in hazmat/duct tape and run like hell in the opposite direction ;D
    Ps - the only way I'm ever leaving the house again is to (hopefully) pick up new books in the mail ... heh heh

  3. Ick ick ick!!! Giant spiders anywhere near the face are horrible. I give you an internet hug. No one should have to endure that, especially with all the other animal problems you have. Also have an internet five for being short. :)

  4. @Elizabeth - <3 Appreciate the hug & internet 5!! What I am thinking is either *bugs* are really super smart alien creatures bent on taking over the world (starting with my deck), OR they are only moderately smart alien creatures bent on taking over the world (starting with my deck). :P

  5. You should move to the Netherlands. The spiders here aren't so big and there's no poisonous beasties outside of the zoo. *hugs*

  6. Lol.
    "and you gotta picture this so I'll type slow"
    Oh, I am so THERE! and still laughing. I decided a month ago to write a story that involved that sound you hear when you walk into a web along with that heart-throb that demands to know WHERE IS IT?! B/c it could be face-walking. YOU DON'T KNOW!! Otherwise, you wouldn't have heard the unique web-ripping noise in the first place. 'Cause you wouldn't have walked into it!!

    Now I'll make the spider really, really BIG.

    Why do cats beg for fish heads at such odd hours? I say Big Boy is to blame!!

  7. Mary, I'm about half an inch shorter than you, so I can relate. Me on the other hand gripes constantly about being so darn small. In a crowd, all you see are backs of people, which can make you just a little claustrophobic.
    I'm getting the shudders just reading the last few paragraphs. The cockroaches especially!

    "this Arnold Schwarzenegger of the arachnid family" LOL! You have a real gift for words (and a curse from nature, it seems).

  8. See, I know what you mean. In crowds, we're hovering somewhere below shoulder level ... amid this *sea* of gigantic-shoulder-people. And it really does, sometimes, make you feel a wee bit claustrophobic (which I am, anyway lol).
    Ps - I'm only funny when I'm nervous, which is at least 50% of the time O-0