Spiders
1998

I nearly got scared to death today on the drive to work.  I was
cruising along in the 101 passing lane and something on the barrier
wall caught my eye as I approached it.

As best as I could tell, it was a giant spider. At first, I thought it
was just some trash blowing around that looked like a giant spider.
But as I rapidly approached it, it still looked like a giant spider,
and it was crawling on the barrier.

It had really long legs.  It took up the whole height of the barrier,
which is, I guess, 4 feet?  It was reaching out with one of it's legs.
Just before I was passing it, the leg reached out towards me and I
nearly totally freaked out.  Luckily, when I panic, I'm not sure what
to do, so I usually don't do anything.  So I did not wildly drive into
the other lanes.  But if I had my wits about me, I'm sure yanking the
wheel to the right was the proper thing to do (at 70 mph).

Luckily for me, as I passed it I realized the leg was not coming after
me as I originally thought, but it was reaching over the barrier to
the other side.  Apparently the giant spider was crawling over to the
other side.

Lucky for me I guess.  And I could go back to concentrating on driving
and getting my heart started again.  I guess this was particularly
scary for me because I had a minor problem with spiders last night.
My cousin called real early in the morning over the weekend, and while
I was talking to him, I realized there was this big spider that webbed
in my portable TV next to my futon where I sleep.  The spider looked
pretty mean.  Apparently there were a number of spiders in my house
lately, and I decided to vacuum them up.

So I got out my carpet vacuum which has a number of attachments and a
special setting to enact vacuuming out of the alternate hose.  I have
swept up a zillion spiders with it, and I'm scared to change the bag.
I wonder how long they last?  I've never changed it before, and I
bought it about 3 years ago I think.

The problem was, the spider was cleverly hiding on the other side of
my futon, and there was no room to set the vacuum on the ground
nearby, at least not anywhere where the cord would reach.  I didn't
want to set the dirty vacuum on top of my bed, so I decided I'd have
to hold the floor vacuum up in one hand and use the attachments with
the other while standing on my futon.

As it turns out, I would have to lean over my dresser too.  I was
losing my balance, and I was standing on that odd part of the futon
that makes it want to change into a couch.  That's when I had the
brilliant idea of setting the vacuum on my end table.  Well, that was
not a good idea.  Apparently, although the vacuum was set in vacuum
thru the attachment mode, it still seems to suck air from the bottom
part.  I sort of noticed my table cloth move a little, but I did not
realize it had got sucked into the vacuum.  Worse yet, while leaning
over I managed to bump my lamp, which was the only light in my room.
So now I could not see where the spider was, and I lost my balance and
fell against the wall as my futon thought I wanted it to change into a
couch.  Then the vacuum started making an odd noise, and there was a
bad burning odor.  Falling against the wall stopped my attack against
the spider, and it quickly ran around the corner behind the dresser.
I managed to turn off the vacuum.

I pulled the table cloth out, which apparently locked up the motor or
something.  Either that, or the cloth was heating up, or both.  I got
a little better at my next attempt, after moving the table cloth out
of the way.  I think I managed to get the spider...  Then I let the
vacuum run for a while to make sure if the spider was hanging on
inside, he would eventually tire out and fall deep inside the vacuum
bag.  It is always a little dangerous taking the attachments apart,
because you have no way of knowing if the spider made it all the way
down the pipes.  They should make them transparent.

Anyhow, this giant spider was particulars scary on the way to work.
As I passed it and it made it's way across the barrier, just for a
moment, it sort of looked like the insides of a cassette or video
tape.  But I know better.  I think the only rational explanation is
that it is crawling to my house.  It was going in the correct
direction.  I hear there are large spiders on mount Diablo.  Just a
coincidence that I saw this spider exactly between my house and Mount
Diablo?  Just a coincidence that I vacuumed spiders yesterday, and
just about the same time went by as would take a giant spider to crawl
from Mount Diablo to 101????  I don't know.  How do spiders talk
anyhow?  Perhaps I have massed enough spiders in my vacuum, that they
can call to a giant spider on Mount Diablo?  Some radios work on line
of site, so it might make sense that the spiders would only be able to
call to other spiders on a high mountain.  Great, just my luck.  I
just hope it gets run over trying to merge over 3 lanes at my exit.
If I don't see a big dead spider there, I'm going to stay somewhere
else tonight...