Making A Killing Is Much Harder Than It Looks

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A few nights ago, while over at The Girl’s place, there was some urgent rapping at the door.

It was rather late, and since hers is the only apartment that faces the street without the added buffer of the gate that the rest of us have, our first reaction was a wee bit of alarm.

Before we could scream or react, we heard: “Sorry, it’s me, The Voice!” (No, of course he doesn’t refer to himself as The Voice, but with that amazing voice of his, he really ought to. So I shall take the liberty of calling him that from now on.)

We opened up, only to see him standing there, as white as a sheet and trembling. “I’m SO sorry to disturb,” he said, “But... oh, geez, this is embarrassing… There’s a spider in my room. But it’s HUGE and it’s right above my bed. I need your help! Please?”

The Voice was pleading! With us!  However there was no need for further explanation. We understood. Oh, how well we understood!

After establishing that I was the only person who owned a suitable weapon – no, NOT ten-inch stiletto’s (I am clumsy enough on my bare feet), but insect/arachnid spray very appropriately called “DOOM!” – we went in. Or rather, The Girl and I did. Okay, The Girl did. Because one glance at that monstrous thing – it was SO huge, every individual hair on its loathsome legs and hideous body was visible from the doorway; in fact, I am rather sure that it could probably be seen from the International Space Station – The Voice and I stood at a safe distance, outside the door, giggling hysterically and jumping from one foot to the other.

But really, the main reason why I acted like a complete sissy and didn’t go in there, was because of my other fear. Of heights. Because The Voice’s bed is located on a loft, and the only way one can get up there is by scaling a ladder. And the spider was up there, just below the ceiling above his bed. So since The Girl isn’t afraid of heights but I am, and since she is afraid of spiders and I am too, she had no choice but to assume the nasty business of launching The Attack.

So, DOOM! in hand, she began climbing the ladder, steadily advancing towards the enemy.

In the mean time, The Voice and I offered helpful advice from our safe vantage point outside the door. Like thusly: “You know, when you spray it the first time? You are REALLY going to make it angry. Like, REALLY AAAANGRRRRY.”

 Somehow she didn’t appear to appreciate our input.


I swear she emptied the can on that first spray.

And ooooh, were we ever right, The Voice and I! Remember? Earlier? When we so helpfully advised her?

 Because that spider was FURIOUS. All its legs sprang into motion at once. Those hairy black legs viciously struck the air in an attempt to ward off this toxic white powdery rain enveloping its entire body.

The now-completely-snow-white spider sprinted up towards the ceiling. We waited with baited breaths to see if it would suddenly succumb to the fumes and promptly die, but if anything, it was filled with renewed energy! And if that wasn’t heart-attack inducing enough for us, Spidey was scurrying across that ceiling - heading straight in our direction!!

The Voice nervously clutched his chest and hyper-ventilated. “Ohnoohnoohnoohnopleaseno…” he whimpered and hid behind me.

Meanwhile, The Girl had managed to miraculously squeeze out more DOOM! from the near-empty can. She was hanging from the ladder, spraying wildly at the spider still rushing across the ceiling. Suddenly, we noticed progress: Less and less of its legs began to touch the ceiling… until it dropped onto the floor. The Voice had propelled himself into my arms (okay, not really! But for a split second, he appeared poised to do just that) before Spidey had even made its graceless touchdown. But The Girl was ready. She sprayed and sprayed. She wasn’t going to wait and see if its violent plunge onto the tile floor was enough to finally kill it. Prevention being better than running away and all that.

Good foresight on her part. Because the fall didn’t end the spider’s seemingly endless collection of lives! Of course it didn’t!

After each spraying session, we held our collective breaths, hoping that the bloody spider would at last do the same – forever. Only for it to spring to life again with renewed vigour and fury, making all of us jump six metres into the air. It was like a scene from one of those thrillers in which the murderous villain had just been stabbed by the formerly helpless and so stupid that she walked alone through the deserted alley on her high heels and in her tight short skirt while all of us watching were screaming at her not to be so STUPID  because she knew full well that she had been stalked for weeks by this homicidal maniac but nooo of course she was going to walk alone at night and be all vulnerable and get home and undress in front of the open window and get in the shower with the front door still unlocked. Where was I? Oh, so yes, then, after the villain gets in and almost kills her in the shower, she suddenly turns heroic and stabs the bastard and just as she throws down the knife (within easy reach of his hands of course), she walks closer to investigate and his fingers twitch and then he reaches out with his bloody hand and GRABS her ankle with strength extremely unbefitting of a dying man! In pretty much the same way we were expecting the spider to do the same at any moment. That it would pretend to be dead, only for one of its many legs to shoot out and grab us by our trembling limbs.

So The Girl sprayed and sprayed… until the can was truly empty.

And that spider was still VERY MUCH ALIVE and crawling at great speed towards us. (Of course, I still maintain that all those legs gave it an unfair advantage over those of us who merely have two legs.) Suddenly, The Voice could take it no more. I think he temporarily lost his mind. Because in an amazing display of masculine agility, he jumped from outside his bedroom, OVER the spider, and landed right in front of his chest of drawers in the far corner of his room. Without ONCE touching the ground. He grabbed two things: a can of deodorant and a lighter.

“I’m gonna set this sucker on fire,” he said. The Girl and I stared at him, mouths agape with awe and wonder.

Axe effect people? Do I have a brilliant idea for your next ad! It’s all based on the truth, you see. Because the next minute, The Voice doused Spidey with his Axe deodorant. And then he flicked the lighter…

I could already envision the headlines: Talented Students And Their Strange, Elderly Neighbour Die In Freak Yet Pleasant Smelling Explosion. Spider Is Sole Survivor.

The wet trail of deodorant instantly caught fire across the tile floor and went WOOOOOOSH as it reached the spider.

Still, the spider DID NOT DIE! The only thing the fire seemed to have done to it was 1) Make it even angrier 2) More determined to live and fight, and 3) Blacker than it was before.

Luckily The Voice did not give up either. His fear had truly made him demented. And crazy people, for better or for worse, seem to be completely unafraid. He sprayed and flicked the lighter. Sprayed and flicked… until the spider FINALLY went up in a cloud of smoke.

From now on, whenever I walk by his window at night, I can’t resist the urge to sing: “Incy Wincy Spiiiiiider…” in a spooky voice.

By the way, we have since established that The Voice and The Girl’s victim was one of these...

Next time I'll tell you what our new neighbour (Mr. Sport Science) is keeping as a pet!



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Deeleea Author Profile Page said:

OMG I'm here, a million miles away just wetting myself both with laughter and sympathetic fear... As you know, the spiders in Australia are pretty fierce and some of them I can actually handle (yes, physically) but there's no way on God's Green earth (or in this Brown Land) that I'd get close enough to one of those suckers to find out if I could handle it...

Red, the writing of this post is fantastic. I totally felt like I was there!! (and wished I was, of course!)

Catz said:

I've just choked on my soup laughing! There is only one spider that I've seen that's worse than that - I don't know the name (Red Roman, maybe?), but you get them in the Karoo. They are HUGE (as in much bigger than your hand) and when they see you, they rush towards you in a zig-zag manner. They are actually trying to get to your shadow (to cool down in the shade), but it looks as though they are attacking you. And, because they zig-zag, you don't know which way to dart. And, anyway, they'll get you all the same since they just follow your shadow! My solution? I jumped onto the car's roof!

Redsaid Author Profile Page said:

Dee: YOU PHYSICALLY HANDLE SPIDERS?!? With like, your BARE HANDS?!?! (Or even if your hands are gloved. Or wrapped in toilet paper... or whatever else you choose to get between your precious digits and the horror of the spider.) Woman, I bow to you. I worry for your mental health now, yes, but I truly am in awe of you. I've also heard that the Aussie Arachnids can be real nasties. Is there not a spiderless land out there? Antarctica maybe? (But those resident scientists and biologists probably use rodents for experiments... and I'd really like to escape those too.)

Catz: Okay, I hereby scratch the Karoo as a potential travel destination as well. (Been there before, yes, but thank goodness I never EVER encountered my almost namesake Arachnid!) Girl, I don't care if it's after my shadow... if anything with more legs than me chases me, I'm going to try and outrun it. I will NOT casually hang about so that it can 'cool off' in my shadow! The AUDACITY of it! Besides, who can tell me that once I'm standing still, benevolently casting my shadow over it, that it will simply stand there and soak up the shade and not try to feast on my flesh and have a little picnic while it's at it?!?

What's wrong with finding the shadow of an immobile tree? Or is it the thrill of the chase that turns them on? Granted, trees in the Karoo are rather scarce, I realise, but come on. What about the Windpomp's shade then?!?

I would have been right there on that car's roof with you!!

Po said:

EEEEEEEEEKKKK! That picture is just disgusting! I feel sorry for spidey though, see what I do is I get someone who is not afraid to remove the spider for me. But I see you did not have that luxury. IF I am alone I try and put a bowl or a tupperware over it and leave it there. For ever more. I can't get near enough to it to see if it is dead, and they never die, do they? And then I await rescue.

Redsaid Author Profile Page said:

Po: You're right. In the midst of my panic, I promise you that I felt sorry for it too. I am truly not into torturing any other creature - not even if I happen to loathe and fear it! Even those two spider slayers (Lest anyone forget, I was merely an innocent bystander. The Voice and The Girl did it, Your Honour! Oh, yes, oops... I suppose I did provide the first weapon that was used) wanted its demise to be swift. Due to its initial positions (against the wall and then against the ceiling) capturing it wasn't an option. But to be truthful, I don't think we would have gone for it even if it HAD been an option. Because that would have meant getting close enough to it to put something over it...

I still fear that a Black Widow spider is going to track us down and exact revenge on us for offing her husband, thus denying her the pleasure of doing it herself!

Catz said:

Red, if you want to be REALLY grossed out, go to!!!!! I decided that I should find out what exactly these things were - I thought that they are not strictly spiders and now read they are an arachnid called a Solifugid. Other names are Sun Spiders (running away from the sun, the little devils!) and Camel Spiders.

Read these tid-bits:

"...very aggressive and fast moving and can inflict a painful bite."

"...carniverous Arachnids, that hunt their prey by chasing it. It feeds on ANYTHING. It will eat mice, litte birds, basically, anything it catches. If you feel a hard nip on your shoe at night, you have been zapped. If you are barefoot, you hear a loud yelp and "Something Bit me"..."

"...they cut hair from sleeping people or animals (dogs) at night. It appears that female solifugids find hair to be an ideal nest liner..."

"...with legs included, can measure 160 mm..." (That's more than HALF A RULER!!!)

I'm cringing here in my seat, jumping everytime I see some movement. I think I'll just sit on my desk a bit now...

Oh I tingled with fear at the description and laughed particularly at your newspaper headline...

I am terribly afraid of spiders and yet cannot bring myself to kill them - and we only have the small (ish) non-poisonous kind here.... so your description is utterly terrifying to me... My best friend (and only a best friend would do this) attempted to construct a spider-catcher to my specification when I moved into a place on my own. I specified that it had to be see-through so that I would know where the spider was, and that it should be affixed to a long pole so I would not need to be near the spider... it all fell down at the lid part which required closeness. However it's worked pretty well so far.

My phobia is so pronounced that not only can I not touch spiders, but I can't touch anything that has touched them!!

And yes I think this blogpost should win some prize for sheer entertainment value!

Redsaid Author Profile Page said:

Catz: Girl, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME?!? I'm starting to think that YOU are the reason I am a dogz person! ;-) I am NOT going to click on that link... I'm not. NOO! NOT..! *CLICKS*

Aunty: Now THAT's what I call a best friend! I think you guys should patent that contraption. I'm sure you'd make a KILLING! (No, not in that way, you humane creature!)

Redsaid Author Profile Page said:

Aunty: Also, regarding the "we only have the small (ish) non-poisonous kind here" in your comment: I think I'll be moving to Ireland then! Think I'll be able to get a visa based on my red hair?

Marco said:

Inchy Winchy spider is watching you right now
Plotting to scare you, and make you wet your pants
When you're in the shower or when you're fast asleep
Inchy Winchy spider's revenge will be so sweet

Redsaid Author Profile Page said:

Marco! Boy, you can be VERY glad that you are way out of slapping distance right now!

Marco said:

I'll settle for a spanking instead ;-)

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is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
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The Wish List (Because yes, she really does need more how-to books. Honestly!)


  • Marco : I'll settle for a spanking instead ;-)... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Marco! Boy, you can be VERY glad that you are way out of slapping distance right now! ... [go]
  • Marco : Inchy Winchy spider is watching you right now Plotting to scare you, and make you wet your pants Whe... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Aunty: Also, regarding the "we only have the small (ish) non-poisonous kind here" in your comment: I... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Catz: Girl, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME?!? I'm starting to think that YOU are the reason I am a dogz pe... [go]
  • Aunty Helpful Dictator : Oh I tingled with fear at the description and laughed particularly at your newspaper headline... I... [go]
  • Catz : Red, if you want to be REALLY grossed out, go to!!!!! ... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Po: You're right. In the midst of my panic, I promise you that I felt sorry for it too. I am truly n... [go]
  • Po : EEEEEEEEEKKKK! That picture is just disgusting! I feel sorry for spidey though, see what I do is I g... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Dee: YOU PHYSICALLY HANDLE SPIDERS?!? With like, your BARE HANDS?!?! (Or even if your hands are glov... [go]
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