They Shoot Spiders . . . Don’t They?

Liz was a real beauty of a woman to look at and she had a figure to match. She never had a hair out of place and she dressed to assure that image, wearing only the finest, most chic clothing, Liz was a woman secretly coveted by men and openly envied by women. Even when it came to her marriage and her child, only the best and the most beautiful would do.
 
Her husband Mark was a real looker, a hot knock-out and the entire package with the kiss-worthy lips, the slim Elvis hips, just all of it in perfect ‘we could be models’ compliment to Liz’s beauty.
 
Mark and Liz had a child who was just as pretty as they were, and so like a lovely little princess. Her name was Caroline and she was one and a half years old. Not Caroline as in Carol-in, but rather it was pronounced Caro-line as in fine and mine. Lovely, lovable, sweet Caroline was an amazing mixture of her parents. Great, large, luminous, almond-shaped eyes with long, dark lashes that could have been mistaken for very rare, very feathery-violet, ghostly-gray bird’s wings made of goddess gossamer and rattail-comb ratted, black floss.  
 
As is sometimes the case with very special, very lovely people, Liz had some quirky personal ideas about certain things, things like spiders even being allowed to exist on earth, and how one ought to deal with them if one came upon the unlucky creatures inside the home.
 
Living as we all did during this time (I was about 13 years old) at the edge of a small town in the foothills of Northern California, we often found the lost and odd creature crawling or creepily creeping around inside our homes, they having somehow misplaced themselves from the outside into the inside. Huge, such a huge mistake for a spider if it happened to be the oomph-a-loomping lad-about-town on a gad-about inside Liz’s home.
 
As I was visiting a home where Liz and her sisters were staying, it would just have to happen that this would be the day in which a poor, forlorn and lost spider had found himself in the lurk, and without a lick of a shred of luck that he would get out alive. It was a spider, for Pete’s sake, and it was Liz. It was a GIGANTIC HAIRY WOOD SPIDER . . . and it was LIZ!
 
Liz had never moved so quickly in her entire coddled and model-perfect life as she did when she tore down the hallway and into the bathroom to get a super-sized bottle of hairspray in order that she might neutralize the threat. Liz had a plan on how to deal with this interloping bitey-type being, and it was obvious that she had indulged in this practice on more than one occasion, for she moved with purpose, practice and skill. It was almost thrilling to see her in such Panther-flashing-past action, if had not been for the fact that I knew how this story was going to end.
 
Liz screamed in off and on mode the entire time she was saturating the hapless, hopeless pestilence. With the hairspray nozzle set on full blast, it became apparent that this great beast wasn’t going to be feasting on any bugs or flies or anything ever again after Liz got through with it. When it finally stopped moving at long last, plastered to the glass table top in a watershed sheeting of sticky ick, Liz made off back down the hallway to go and fetch some paper towels in order that she might remove the offending monstrosity from her presence, and away from the probing eyes and curiosity of her young toddler daughter.
 
Curious and lovely little Caroline was mesmerized by the movements of her mother, and the lack of movement from the tidbit beasty bite lying on the tabletop corner. Liz had no sooner turned her back to go and get the paper towels than Caroline dashed past us all and made a bee-line, a bug-line over to the obviously (to all of us anyway) dead Spider lying on the coffee table top, now all goo and gore and deplorability. What she did next caused all of us (except the spider-phobic Liz whose back was turned to us) to shriek out loud, screaming out in utter and total horror, “No, Caroline, no!”
 
Liz turned around just in time to see Caroline toss the arachnid back and begin gumming down on the giant spider with all her tiny will and might! Huge, dangly spider legs protruded from the side of her pert, pinkly chomping little mouth, completely creeping everyone out beyond the most creeping out thing you’ve ever been experienced in witnessing, ever.
 
As Caroline munched down on that hairy-legged spider with all she was worth, her mother literally nearly fainted away. I saw shock on her face, and I kid you not, but Liz paled to a Madonna Lily white ghostliness at the sight of her sweet baby girl snacking on the spider, munch-a-crunch lunching as if she only had a cookie, and it was high tea.
 
You would have thought that at least the nasty tasting hairspray would have halted the eight-legged happy meal, not to mention all our voices squealing out, No! Even now, I can still see with utter clarity those ridiculously large spider legs hanging out of the side of her darling child’s mouth as she gummed down on it with total concentration, total determination . . . and childlike innocence. Maybe it was simply to defy her mother, even at one and half years old. You never know, eh. True story, folks.
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