So, yesterday I ordered a pizza, and decided to wait with my front door open to get some fresh air in my house. As I opened the door, I heard a tearing noise, and knew that I was ripping fresh spider webs. I looked down, and sure enough, there was a full-grown female black widow in the doorway of my house! I killed her, but the male got away; hopefully, I got all of the egg sacs. There was much spraying of insecticide in my home!
While I’m sure that this would be traumatic for anyone, some of my readers are aware that I have a history with black widow spiders. The summer of my ninetheenth year, I was working as an Ecology instructor at Camp Thunderbird (a Boy Scout Camp near Moberly, MO). We had actually captured two large female black widows and stuck them in a double-ended salt and pepper shaker to display so that the Scouts we were teaching could see what these dangerous arachnids looked like. Both females laid egg sacs while in captivity.
Weeks later, when we were breaking down the camp at the end of summer, I knocked over the shaker. Both egg sacs had hatched, and two adult and thousands of new-born black widow spiders decided that my right arm was the path to salvation! I spent several minutes dancing and screaming like a wild man and rushed to use staff shower facilities.
Several hours later, while waiting in line for dinner, I felt an itching on the back of my neck. I swatted at it, and, sure enough… a baby black widow! I believe that my distress was understandable, having had deadly poisonous spiders on my body for the better part of day. Some of my friends on the staff decided that, since we had the night off, we should all go to Moberly and watch a movie to help me wind down. And what was playing, you ask, in the Moberly Theater that weekend in the summer of 1990?
I have to wonder, what is it about me and man-killers? The black widow spiders, the ex-wife, the crazy girlfriends… Coincidence? I think not!