A BLACK WIDOW IN MY BED!
There was no mistaking it. A black spider with a red hour-glass shape on its back, clear as day!
Oh my god, oh my god, THERE'S A BLACK WIDOW IN MY BED! I screamed to myself. (I would have screamed outloud, but that would have woken up a sleeping Marley, which was even scarier than the wrath of a venomous spider bite.)
They'd been tearing up our driveway out back to install new pavers, and the bulldozers must have disturbed some secret, subterranean, Satanic layer of BLACK WIDOW SPIDERS.
What should I do???
I couldn't run away...it would burrow under the covers and attack Ian and me while we slept. Or, it would make the trek downstairs to Marley's room and kill my firstborn. Or, it would bite our Uncle Andy who was driving down from Orange County for a visit. It could kill our Pekingese Pagoda AND our cat Picasso! IT COULD WIPE US ALL OUT! MY WHOLE WORLD WAS THREATENED BY THIS LITTLE SPIDER, THE SIZE OF MY THUMBNAIL!
My course of action was clear: the spider had to die. And it had to die NOW. Every second I waited I was giving it a chance to escape, to disappear somewhere to hide and give birth to MORE BLACK WIDOWS.
I panicked. I am pregnant, after all. What if it bit me while I tried to kill it? What would happen to me and my unborn child?
Luckily, I had left a tub of Homelife Lemon-Scented Disinfecting Wipes in the upstairs bathroom. I pulled out three wet wipes and folded them together so I could grab the spider with my hands and squash it with the anti-bacterial, flu virus-killing, disinfectant-soaked wipes.
There was no room for mistakes here. No second chances. I had to be SURE.
I quickly grabbed the spider with the wipes and squashed it as best I could, praying that it couldn't bite me through the wipes and send its poisonous venom soaring through my veins. But somehow, the spider jumped out! It fell onto the floor and hobbled sideways towards the stairs, towards Marley's room.
NOOOOO! I screamed, (inwardly, as Marley was napping) and I grabbed it again, threw the spider and wipes in the toilet and flushed.
I flushed one more time for good measure.
I did it. I killed the black widow. I saved my entire family from a certain painful death. I walked downstairs slowly, sweaty and flushed, fresh out of battle. I decided to look up the Black Widow Spider on the Internet.
When I saw the picture of the black widow spider, it looked a little...different. The black widow spider apparently has long legs. My spider had short, furry looking legs. I scanned through some pictures and found the specimen that looked exactly like my spider.
Meet the North American Red-Backed Jumping Spider.
According to Wikipedia, "It is one of the largest and most commonly encountered jumping spiders in North America. While the jumping spider can inflict a painful bite in its defense, its bite does not have serious medical consequences."
Hmm. While I feel bad for killing a non-venomous spider, I don't feel so bad about narrowly avoiding a "painful bite." And I guess that explains the spider's miraculous jump. It is, after all, a "jumping spider."
Sayounara, red backed jumping spider. Rest in Peace. Oh, and if you have any brothers or sisters or cousins lurking around, please tell them to stay the F-CK OUT OF MY HOUSE or they will meet an untimely death with a handful of anti-bacterial wipes.