The Problem with Hippie Spiders


by S.G. Wiley

WITH EACH MINUTE that ticks by past midnight, the stairs leading up to my apartment get longer by one step. This is not a mere hypothesis, it is law, and the consumption of alcohol seems to intensify the effect, ten fold.

To make matters worse, after dredging up this virtual "Everest," I'm greeted by a battalion of moths and beetles. The problem is that the light sits right above my door, thus attracting a wide variety of flying insects who feel the need to dance the night away until I show up to break up their little jamboree. What I find most challenging is opening the door in a manner to keep the least amount of bugs from flying into my place. Now, I seemed to have mastered the art of wading through the tiniest opening in order to deter the intruders but, I've come to accept the fact that it's impossible to pass through the threshold bug free.

I've noticed that although there are several thousand species of flying insects in America, there are really only two types when it comes to annoying you in your home. You have the one that crawls all over your T.V. screen while you're trying to watch a movie. And you have the one that flies around audibly bouncing off the walls and ceilings as you try to fall asleep! The funny thing is, even if I'm by myself, I will complain out loud, "Will you get a load of this guy?! I am trying to watch a movie!"

"Sweet Lord, he is crawling on Clint Eastwood's face! This inconsiderate schmuck is crawling on his face!"

Spiders are the one creepy crawly I never had a problem with, for the most part. I say that because there are stipulations to what makes a spider tolerable in my presence. If the spider is smaller than my pinky nail, he is welcome in my home, but if he makes a web, then he needs to hit the road. This is MY home, and if he's not happy with the shelter I provide, to the extent that he has to build his own abode, then he's on his own. I do, however, appreciate the spider's web in the outdoors, since they capture the list of problem insects as described earlier.

When I was a kid I can even remember throwing little bugs into webs and watching the spiders come out to eat them. They would inject them with venom and wrap them up to snack on at a later time. It was like my own personal, slightly morbid, National Geographic moment. I could never be a spider though, because I have trouble preparing a meal for later. That's the main reason I don't make my lunch the night before work, because I know I will get hungry at around 11:30 right before bed.

One morning I was leaving for work and I was running late as per the norm, but as I walked out the door I noticed an odd looking spider hanging out on the wall. I stopped myself as I walked by and pulled myself back in to get a peek. He had an entirely yellow body and a black head. When I say a yellow body, I mean a bright florescent yellow body, topped off with a black head. He sort of looked like Groucho Marx's head on top of David Lee Roth's body — if David Lee Roth had eight legs, of course. The color stood out in such a manner that I would go as far as to say that this might be the "butterfly" of spiders, No, the Liberace of spiders. Or maybe if Elton John came back as a spider he would look like this one. Regardless, totally worth being late for work!

The first thought that crossed my mind was that I needed to get a picture of this to show someone. The only camera I had access to at the time was the one on my cell phone and it didn't come close to getting the job done. My second option was to keep him in something until I get back from work, so I rummaged through my closets and shelves looking for a jar. I found a small Tupperware container and gently pushed him inside and placed him on the counter for safe keeping until I got home. As I drove to work, I began to think that this might be a new species that I discovered. I might have found something unique. If I discovered new type of spider, there might be money to be made. The question is how much money can be made? Are we talking getting a bigger apartment with premium cable type of money, or are we talking custom motorcycles, giant hot tubs, and having-my-own-swimming-pool-shaped-like-Fred-Flintstone-type money? Ah, who was I kidding, there's no money in it, but nothing was stopping me from spending it all in my head.

When I got home from work that day, the Tupperware container was sitting on the counter just where I left it. I sat there peering into the glass, wondering if he was looking back at me. The more I looked at him the more I thought; maybe this is a black spider wearing tiny yellow pants! Tiny yellow pants with eight legs? Who would sew such a pair of pants? It could have been a tiny lady, which is much more amazing! Wait, that is sort of sexist, because it also could have been a tiny man who created these ”micro- britches”. If this is the case then I have found something truly amazing. Actually is it more amazing that a tiny person made these tiny eight legged, yellow pants for this black spider, or if a full-size person had the skill to make such a pair of pants? Why am I assuming that it was a human who made these pants? Maybe it was this spider's wife who made them as an anniversary gift. If a spider can weave a web, a pair of pants would be easy as pie, right? Well, no matter how the pants got made, one thing is for sure, this is just an ordinary spider wearing flashy pants. The only thing that sets this spider apart from the others is his uncanny fashion sense.

I decided that I was growing bored, and realized I was too lazy to contact biologists about my find, and I certainly couldn't come up with a name. So I figured I would just let him go. I walked him out on the porch and opened the container and let him crawl away down the banister of my deck toward freedom.

"Go enjoy your life, and your awesome yellow pants, man!"

Then the unexpected happened. He turned around and walked back into my house! He was attached to me. Is it possible that somehow in his tiny little mind he grew closer to me? Maybe I was the closest thing to family that he had, which destroys the theory that these tiny pants were made by his wife, unless of course she recently fell victim to a vigilante with a fly swatter.

"Okay, you can stay a little bit longer," I replied, in my sternest of voices. "But just for the night. Because I already let an old wretched banana stay on top of my refrigerator rent free. I will not be taken advantage of!"

Later that night I was watching TV, and noticed the spider crawling on my couch. Totally off limits! Absolutely not allowed! He crossed the line by entering the area where I relax. So I tried to pick him up and escort him outside — this time for GOOD. It seemed like every time I tried to pick him up he would jump back onto the couch. I tried to be nice, but this little jerk is taking advantage of my hospitality. I now wondered if this spider wanted to stay because of our friendship, or because he was looking for a handout. Maybe he was too lazy to make a web in the wild. Between his laziness to work, along with his flashy pants I decided that this was a HIPPIE spider!! Great, so that explains why he came into the living room while I was watching the Crosby, Stills, and Nash documentary.

I looked down at him one last time and shouted, "Listen dude, I know you are pro peace and just looking for a good time and all, but I will not be walked all over."

I reached for a Rolling Stone magazine, rolled it up and threatened to smack him, but he didn't even flinch. He was probably high on weed. So I swung down with a swift forward motion and smashed him into the upholstery of my couch, his tiny spider body forever frozen in what appeared to resemble a peace sign.

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