With the exception of a small hair burning incident (there is such a thing as getting too close to smell food cooking on a gas burner stove – hello, lesson a 5-year-old could tell you – duh), the week ended well and I added another mushy count to my ‘kill list’.
I was enjoying an in the car musical presentation of the soundtrack to the movie ‘A Knights Tale’ (comments kept quietly to yourself, please, my car is not MP3 ready and there’s only so many old CDs to toss into the player) that I had popped in as I drove past the ‘French Home Depot’, or as it is professionally and locally known, ‘Espace Maison et Jardin’.
“Further on up the road someone’s gonna hurt you like you hurt me,” I sang. I was going to le Caudan to meet a friend, who I had done some contract work with last year, for lunch. “You gotta reap just what you sow,” I belted out as I continued to drive my tiny car into Port Louis from the North.
I was in a wonderful mood and excited to catch up with my friend. I cranked the volume up a bit more as Eric Clapton sang and I joined in, “Further on up the road…hmmm hmmmm hmmm“.
I was stopped in the always constant traffic jam at the Goodyear round-a-bout still enjoying myself and some good old American blues, when the attack began.
I didn’t see him (unlike that giant spider in the Lord of the Rings, my giant spiders are always of the male gender) coming. Heck, I wouldn’t have even thought to prepare for his coming. I was in my car. I was driving. The absolute last thing on my mind was that a giant spider could come out of nowhere and crawl across my windshield and stop right in front of my face.
But, that’s exactly what happened.
A quick spider background for those of you that have never visited Mauritius: There are no deadly spiders here, but they do have some pretty big ones – oh yes, rather large. To someone who has lived on the island for his or her entire life, these spiders are probably as uneventful as the tropical rains which happen practically every day throughout the year.
But, to a little lady that grew up in the cold tundra of Minnesota where no living insect makes it out past the winters alive, these spiders are freaky in the biggest way. Of all the bugs and critters that live here and in our house, these giant spiders are my least favorite to stumble upon. They are fast and they jump and it takes a bit to kill them.
This eight-legged hitch-hiker, who was now firmly planted in front of my face, was a shade of bizarre cream with brownish spots, a color combination I had not yet seen. But what was he doing on my car?!
I mean, it’s one thing to stumble upon a giant spider when you sleepily make your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night and then are suddenly jolted awake by the sight of a giant spider in the hallway, but to find one on my car?! And while I was driving?!
Come on now. Not cool. So not cool.
Giant spiders should only hang out in forests and if they really have to satisfy their curious streaks and need to venture inside a house, then let it be in houses where the inhabitants are at least able to quickly grab toxic sprays and brooms and other such spider destroyer things.
Finding one on your car while driving, well, that’s just dangerous silliness. Ugh. Gone was my happy Clapton blues jamming moment.
I turned on the windshield wipers at super high-speed hoping that the speed of the wipers would either knock him off the windshield and into the median or squash or cripple him in some way.
No go. Attack method fail. The wipers just sent him scurrying over to my driver’s side window (lovely) and then to the back passenger window where he decided to buckle in for the ride (okay, then).
Traffic started to move and after checking and then re-checking again to make sure that all the windows were up and locked, I followed the lines of cars into the city hoping that I would pick up enough speed to hurl him off the car.
But, of course this never happened. Traffic in Port Louis during the lunch hour comes to almost a complete cold stop. While I inched my way towards le Caudan, I kept turning around to check to see if he was still on the window and peeking at him in a nasty way in my rear view mirror.
Ack! Why was he still there?! Uck.
Realizing that he was not going to move and knowing that I would never be able to calmly drive back in the car if I thought he was still on the car or worse yet, IN the car (what is that creepy crawly feeling on my leg? – oh, it’s the giant spider from before), I knew it was time to pull deep and muster up the courage to formulate a plan to kill him.
We (yes, he and I were now officially in couple status) reached our end stop. I parked my car, removed the umbrella from my bag and quickly got out of the car.
There he was. And there I was. A spider to woman showdown.
I stuck and missed. He scooted under the, I don’t know what you call them, visor shield-thing that is on the outside of the side windows on many of the cars here. I tried again and jammed my umbrella in between the shield-thing and the window.
He quickly crawled away from the window, to the top of the car and then down into the crack that separates the back hatch from the car.
The giant spider was in the car. In MY car.
There was only one thing to do. I had to open the hatch and I had to kill him. There were no other options. He had to die. His days of joy-riding and enjoying my somewhat bizarre musical choices were over.
I pressed the button for the back hatch door to open and with a click and a hiss it slowly opened wide towards the sky.
He was sitting in the back upper corner. I took aim and I pounced again with the umbrella. The first hit just kind of dazed him, but the second whack knocked off one of his legs. Right, so, a spider is considered huge in my book when a forceful hit from an umbrella only manages to knock off a leg.
I struck again and again until finally and just when he was starting to crawl over the backseat, his beaten carcass of a body fell out of the car and onto the asphalt in front of me.
The giant spider was dead.
My feelings of relief and sheer joy (yay! I killed you, loser spider!) were short-lived. During the entire spider to umbrella battle, I was, shall we say, providing play-by-play commentary…out loud.
Some people may call this talking to yourself, but in all fairness I was also talking TO the spider saying things such as, “You little loser. Where are you, loser?” and “Will you just die! Die!”
When I turned around and after I closed the hatch and locked the car, there were four or five Mauritian men standing in the parking lot watching me with hugely amused looks on their faces.
“It was a spider,” I said feeling more than slightly embarrassed, “a HUGE spider.”
“Uh-huh,” their looks seemed to say.
I shoved my umbrella (giant spider killing weapon) into my bag and went off to search for my friend, some food and a cool drink.