I wrote this short story on Mastodon on July 8, 2018. It is a true story of what happened when a large, and incredibly dumb spider, decided to come in for a visit. The Mastodon post was a “first draft”, and the story appears here after editing.
I read “Spider is Recalculating” on Episode 060 of Words of Jen.
I have just evicted the dumbest spider in all of the land.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see something move on the wall across the room from me. I look up to see a big spider crawling from the open window. It heads for the ceiling.
I tell the spider, “Go back outside!”
Spider shuffles around a bit. Moves across the ceiling. Stops. It decides to go back to the wall above the window.
Suddenly, the spider jumps off the wall. It quickly realizes that it has miscalculated. A spool of spider thread is deployed and I watch the spider try to catch himself before he splats. All eight legs wiggling around in the air as the spider tries to stick himself to the thread.
Can spiders have panic attacks?
After successfully getting itself back to the wall above the curtain, the spider decides to run. It uses the edge where the wall meets the ceiling as a guide, and tries to smoosh itself into every little hole between the ceiling panels.
Spider figures out that it is too big to fit into the first little hole. It moves quickly to the next one, and the next, and the one after that, gaining speed. Doesn’t fit in any. Spider freaks out some more.
Cue “Yackety Sax”.
The spider continues heading to the corner of the room, near a light fixture. It stands in what is now the brightest part of the room.
Spider takes a moment to collect itself. After a pause, and I assume whatever kind of meditation spiders do to calm themselves down, it comes up with a new plan. Yeah, it would be better to just try and go back outside.
Spider crawls across the wall towards the window. Passes right by the window. Spider stops. Thinks.
The spider turns around and moves toward the window again. It decides to use the space where the wall and window meet as a road. Dark brown spider tries to blend in with the pastel green wall, and fails miserably.
It scoots along, very carefully, after realizing that it is too big to fit. Four spider legs dangle off the side of the ridge with every step the spider takes. Clumsy spider falls down onto the top of the curtain rod.
Spider makes a new plan. It is going to try and climb down the curtain. The front of the curtain (that faces the room) has some texture.
The spider, of course… chooses to use the back side of curtain (that part that faces the window). It picked the side that is covered with a slick “blackout” coating. I peek around the curtain and watch the spider start to slide down, legs flailing.
Spider determines that it has severely miscalculated. It flings itself at the window glass, and tries to smush itself into it. Spider fail.
How did a creature this dumb live long enough to grow so big?
Spider sits still, recalculating.
It decides that the best thing to do now is to crawl away from the window and go back up to the wall. Spider wanders aimlessly, yet anxiously.
When it gets low enough to reach, I slam a glass over him, and push a piece of thin cardboard between spider and wall. These are the tools I use to evict spiders. Most of the spiders pause, unsure of what just happened to them. Some poke at the glass, and others try and turn around in hopes if finding the way out.
This spider repeatedly slams itself against the glass with all of its might, over and over again. This is NOT normal behavior.
Out of concern that this spider is actually going to wind up killing itself, I rush to the back door. I flip the glass upside down, holding the cardboard against it, as I set it on the porch railing. Lifting the glass usually results in having the captured spider run away to safety.
This spider, however, can’t figure out how to get out of the glass. It tries to stay inside, and I resort to gently shaking him out. It pauses and sits on the piece of cardboard. Spider recalculates, then carefully crawls along the porch railing and goes on his way.
Good luck to you, dumbest spider in all of the land!
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