The Rational Response is To Buy a New Car, Right?

The Rational Response is To Buy a New Car, Right?

As a girl, I prided myself on my reasoned, logical responses to things deemed icky by the rest of my peers. Lizards, snakes, spiders–especially spiders–fascinated me. I knew from nature programs that they were our friends, eating the bad bugs and vermin we hated and generally avoiding humans at all costs.

“Spiderspiderspiderspiderspider!” the other girls would scream, pointing to the arachnid on our woodpile.

“Ho ho ho,” I’d chortle, perching jauntily next to it. “Don’t you know? Spiders are our friends!”

No, spiders outside did not bother me–nature was a thing to admire and lord over your more squeamish friends. So I was completely prepared when, as I was driving down the freeway, I looked down at the steering wheel to see a giant, giant spider staring back at me.

Ah! I thought to myself. Our friend the spider! Eater of bugs and other vermin we don’t like! Sitting on my steering wheel! Right next to my hand! Logical, rational part of my brain, tell me what I should do in this situation!


“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” I screamed as I hit the emergency blinker, alternately swerving to exit the highway and staring at my hand where the spider was inching ever closer. “Spiderspiderspiderspiderspider!”

To be fair, this wasn’t some delightful woodpile spider. This was an albino monster, looking basically like this:

[singlepic id=46 w=320 h=240 float=center]

So this clearly wasn’t going to end well.

I finally made it to a side road where I parked, jumped in the backseat of my car, and began throwing trash at it in a futile attempt to make it leave or die. All that accomplished was to make it crawl into my A/C vent on one side of the car and exit out the A/C vent on the other side. The one closer to me.

Of course.

After a fun half-hour of watching it crawl into the vent, blasting the hot air to make it come out, miss it entirely with my shoe, and watch it crawl back in, I finally succeeded. Springing forward, the battle cry of “spiderspiderspiderspider” on my lips, I managed to smush it flat with a handful of gas receipts. But just as I was about to throw it into the trash, I stopped. My adversary who looked so mutantly large while menacing my hand, now, flattened like a pancake, looked no larger than a pinprick. It was no threat, just a misplaced creature, our friend whose whole existence did nothing but make mine more pleasant and bug-free. In my panic I had reduced it to the two-dimensional monster image I scorned in my youth; in my panic, I had reduced myself to the two-dimensional role, the icked-out girl, that I thought myself above.

I was quiet as I picked up a friend later that night, deep in thought about the matter. Suddenly, my friend pointed at the windshield.

“Oh, cool!” he said.

“What?” I replied.

“There’s a giant spider on the outside of the glass! I think it crawled out of that air vent there! Man, there’s another one! Isn’t that neat?”

The moral of this story is don’t turn on the A/C in my car, because I’ve sprayed as much raid as possible into the vents and it’ll probably poison you if you turn it on. Also, I need a ride.