10/18 -- Arachnid Championship Wrestling.
actual spider on our actual ceiling

I'm not arachnophobic. Not generally. When I first caught sight of a Daddy Longlegs or two on our bathroom ceiling a while ago, I had a definite "live and let live" attitude. It worked out just fine for a time. The spiders were all webbed up in the highest part of our bathroom ceiling where they weren't bothering me or anyone else. And they did a halfway decent job of helping to eliminate any other insects venturing into that territory.

(After reading that, do you want to come have dinner at my place? You know you do. "Um, what's this little brown thing on my plate?" "Wild rice!" "But you said we were having spaghet--oh my GOD, NOOOO!")

I thought it seemed like a decent arrangement -- you leave us alone, we'll leave you alone -- but as some creatures are known to do, the spiders took advantage of our generous nature. While I was showering this morning, I turned to face the back wall and found that two spiders had ventured down into the shower with me. Oh, no. Wrong. No, no, no. Way up high on the bathroom ceiling is fine. Down next to me while I'm naked and wet? Not okay. Not okay at all. Too much intimacy.

I tried to shriek in horror as quietly as I could because the still-vacationing Bill had come in late from a Mike Watt show the night before and he was still snug and warm in our dry, spider-free bed. (Grrrr.) I hopped out as fast as I could and toweled off. When I turned around again to check where the spiders were before fetching my broom, a/k/a the Long-Distance Spider Smacker, they'd scurried up to the ceiling again. And they'd started wrestling.

I don't know what they were fighting over. Me? "You get the wet dumpy chick!" "No, you get her!" I'm guessing it was probably a territorial thing. Whatever their issues were, this little match was the strangest thing I've seen in a while. First they faced each other and waved their little spidery legs at each other as if they were shit-talking in some kind of Spider Sign Language.

"Hey! That's my web! Get out!"

"I don't see your name on it."

"It's MINE. You think I don't know my own thread when it came right out of my ass?"

"Oh yeah? Come here and try to take it, ass clown."

And then they charged each other. They locked up and started struggling back and forth. They repeated this pattern about three times -- shit-talk, lock up, and struggle. Maybe I was just sleep-deprived, and maybe I was just trying to procrastinate, but I found this way too damn fascinating. I think Vince McMahon should definitely have a look at these guys some day.

Finally, one spider got the upper hand (or upper leg? legs?) and knocked the other spider down ... down ... down until it was within a couple of feet of me, at which point I went AIEEEEEEEE and scuttled backwards out of the bathroom. (But quietly. Bill was still asleep.)

Tonight I returned to the scene of the match with our broom and Rascal serving as backup. The spiders were unceremoniously removed from the shower area, thank you very much. If it's a territory battle, you better believe I'm winning this one. Especially when the little suckers are getting so feisty.

Forgive me -- I've been in an incredibly silly mood lately. Especially today. I think I've been battered over the head by so much scary and depressing news that I'm downright punchy. The Big Company has done a fairly admirable job of keeping its collective cool over the various traumatizing events of the past month. But today, news of the closing of the House of Representatives building over at Congress swept through my floor like a big, scary storm.

A quiet mousy woman who works in an office behind my cube emerged around noon to sound the first trumpets: "They've shut down the House Building! They found anthrax spores in the vents!"

I have no earthly clue why her comments served to summon every panic-head on the floor, but damned if they didn't all come running. I could almost hear the thundering hooves.

A little balding Oracle of Doom piped up: "Thirty people at Congress have anthrax! Thirty!" No, shit-for-brains: thirty of them tested positive for the presence of the bacteria. I have to tell you that I'm fucking sick and tired of these Oracle of Doom types. Even now, I'm still finding out that things I thought had happened in DC on 9/11 were more bullshit spread by the kinds of people who feel the need to add to an already alarming situation by braying out every unfounded and inaccurate rumor they hear. At the top of their lungs.

I think it should be legal to smash these people over the head with office chairs.

I have not succumbed to Anthrax Panic. I don't flip out any time I see a dust-like substance. I don't tremble in terror in front of the mailbox. But something about the atmosphere today spooked me. I could hear the murmurs from every office: "bzzbzzbzzAnthraxbzzbzzbzzRussia or Iraqbzzbzzbzzwind can carry it for miles!" (We're only a few miles from the Capitol, you see.)

I couldn't take it anymore. I left for a lunchtime jaunt to Georgetown and walked around until I'd settled down again and reconnected with reality.

What surreal times we live in. I've gone beyond being afraid or upset by the news to being almost giddy. If I don't laugh at some of these people, I'm going to cry. I was in L'Occitane looking at the various smelly and expensive creams when some jerkass with a big portable TV camera slung over his shoulder charged in, nearly knocking me over. (If you have a big important camera, it makes you better than anyone else and you can do whatever you like. Remember that.) I wanted to point at the cosmetic display and say "Hey! I saw a strange powdery substance over there! In that compact! Better check it out!"

But I didn't. I imagine that kind of thing could be a prosecutable offense right now.

Post on the forum and I won't put spiders in your food.

The next entry.

Previously, in Insomniaville ...

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