Announcing the Great Chicken Arachnid Armistice of 2021

The other day I was cleaning the mantle. Actually, I was taking down the Christmas decorations. Covid has made me less…timely. Why take it down today when you can take it down next month? Why write a blog post today when you can blog next year? See how it works? It affects us all differently, I guess. But I digress.

As I was saying, I was clearing the mantle, a little too aggressively as it turns out, and a large glass vase was knocked to the hearth and smashed to smithereens, thereby disturbing the spider population that lives behind the firewood pail. Naturally, they came out to protest and shake their creepy legs at me because spiders are always feeling persecuted, always playing the victim. Sure, they can drop down from out of nowhere right in front of your face, sometimes while you are driving, but drop something near them and they take it all personally. Normally, I don’t entertain that type of behavior. I just relocate them to the neighbor’s yard in hopes they’ll find a new home that’s not my home. However, we were in the middle of a nor’easter that night and it didn’t feel right, you know? I mean, sure I’ve gotten much lazier with Covid, but I’ve also gotten nicer. As proof, I offer my most recent Myers-Briggs test result, which placed me firmly in the F for Feeling range, for the first time in my life. That means I’m nice now.

Next, I thought about relocating it to the garage where it at least had a chance of surviving but I’ve already done that twice this winter during snow storms and now I’m going to have to deal with those little creepers in my kayaks next spring. If you’ve ever been out in the middle of a lake and looked down to see a fat, ugly 8-legged varmit nosing around your bare foot area you know exactly what I’m talking about. There’s nothing recreational about that. I could just kill him, I thought, rather coldly, I’ll admit, or get BigB to do it for me-he likes killing things. But then I’d lose that imagined veneer of niceness I was admiring on myself.

I sighed. I was just going to have to negotiate my way out of this. I hate negotiating with Arachnids. They are fearless and sly.

I decided on aggression. “Listen”, I said. “I can dump you out in the snow, squish you with a shoe, or we can work this out. Which is it going to be?”

It laughed and the hair on the back of my neck took note. It stopped laughing and my blood froze. Eight beady little eyes squinted up at me. “No, you listen, Karen”, it snarled back. “I’ve seen your moves. You’ll never catch me. So I can leave an egg sack in your ear tonight, involve my friends in the attic, or you can forget you saw me, how about dat?”

I really didn’t want to meet his friends in the attic and, I try not to think about this, but I think I already have an egg sac in one ear. I didn’t need a set.

Maybe aggression was the wrong tactic, I thought. Maybe I could reason with it.

“Let’s be reasonable. We can work this out. You know what we need? We need some ground rules. We need an agreement for peaceful coexistence. Can you get on board with that, friend?”

“I’m not your friend”, it snarled, “But I’m a reasonable being. What do you have in mind? And it better not include the word ‘garage’.”

God, he was scary.

Anyways, that’s how the 2021 Chicken Arachnid Armistice came to be. They get the hearth, I get everywhere else. The firewood pail must remain undisturbed at all times. If I kneel on the hearth to light a fire, I’m fair game. If I catch them anywhere near my ear they will feel the fury of 10,000 arachnophobes. It won’t be nice for them.

  5 comments for “Announcing the Great Chicken Arachnid Armistice of 2021

  1. Doug in Sugar Pine
    February 18, 2021 at 8:00 am

    Yay! The Chicken posted again! Briana found a frozen spider outside while she was clearing the walk and stairs off so I could make it down to the car. I don’t know what happened to it, but knowing her it was quick and decisive.
    The spiders here are sometimes large-ish. Like not tarantula large, but bigger around than a quarter. And they show up in waves. (No Doug, do not suggest waves of spiders to people who might get creeped out by them) What I mean is that they must hatch and grow up together and thus show up where I run into them all at once.
    Like the time a month or so ago when I found one in the toilet in the middle of the night, and thought, no, kill it before Briana finds it and does what Briana would do if she found a spider in the damn toilet.
    So I did, then turned around and found another, larger one in the sink. That one was large and scary enough to go for the fly swatter. After I had disposed of its corpse, I thought: “Should I even tell Briana about this?” And then: “Of course, you fool, if you don’t tell her and she finds another one in the toilet or sink, your head will explode with guilt while she’s screaming.”
    On the other hand, there’s a little black one that hides behind the toilet tank and I see it sometimes, and just let it crawl back there and catch bugs or whatever a thing that tiny does to make a living.
    Zsuzs is usually more chill about them, but just before she left for Oakland she had one charge at her and make her yell at it: “You’re not supposed to be charging at me! I’m way bigger than you!”
    So after I told Briana, she was like, “Oh great, they’re coming in through the plumbing now.”
    The cat just came back from the under-the-house storage area with streams of spider webs clinging to his head, so hopefully he hasn’t started a war with them under there, as they are just behind a square swinging door in the wall above this table and I don’t fancy being snuck up on by an angry army of them…

    Like

    • February 19, 2021 at 12:28 am

      Yeah, Doug, the whole wave thing was a mistake. Now I’m picturing a tsunami of spiders and egg sacs coming my way over the Atlantic. A double siting of large-ish spiders would have me sleeping in the car. Briana is brave. If one charged at me, I’d move. You know what’s the most unnerving things about spiders, though? They are everywhere. There’s no escaping them. Tonight, I saw a post that that someone has landed on Mars and a kindred spirit asked if there were spiders. That’s what I want to know. Maybe there IS a place where they don’t exist. Also, I dreamed about huge boa constrictors twice last night. Two separate dreams. What does that mean?

      Like

  2. Doug in Sugar Pine
    February 19, 2021 at 10:07 pm

    It means you heard Jim Stafford on the radio in the seventies:

    Like

    • February 20, 2021 at 12:19 am

      Wait-what? I remember that name. Wasn’t he Gomer Pyle or something? But what did he say about Boa Constrictors? I just looked on dream dictionary. It wasn’t good. I was like, no way, that can’t be right but dream dictionary is never wrong

      Like

  3. Doug in Sugar Pine
    February 20, 2021 at 5:28 am

    His hit song was called “Spiders and Snakes”…

    Like

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