Thursday, September 24, 2009

I heart the Racquet of Death

I'm very fond of my house. But, this morning, for a few horrible seconds, I thought that I might have to move. Seriously. There I was, just after 5 a.m., standing half asleep in front of the coffee maker, wondering if I could psychically will it to brew faster, when I noticed that Max was staring intently at something. Something on the drapes that cover the sliding glass doors that lead out to the deck.

Famed comedian Paula Poundstone once said, "The problem with cats is that they get the exact same look on their face whether they see a moth or an axe murderer." On the bright side, Max wasn't looking at an axe-murderer. But I wasn't lucky enough for it to be a moth, either. No. What was crawling up the curtains, being stared at intently by the Evil Ninja Assassin Cat, were two GIANT FREAKING SPIDERS. And I mean giant. They were black and chitinous and were dripping blood and venom from their oversized scimitar-like fangs. (I don't think it's a secret how I really feel about spiders.)

As soon as my heart started beating again, I threw a handful of teabags at Max to distract him (they were the only thing within reach that wasn't breakable). He was trying to bat at the monsters, and the last thing I wanted was for them to drop to the floor and skitter off somewhere. I would God's honest truth have to sell the house and move rather than live there not knowing where the spiders went. Max stalked off, feelings hurt, and I crept over to the cupboard under the sink and pulled out the Racquet of Death.

(Insert sound of heavenly choir singing here.)

Let me digress a bit to explain that the Racquet of Death is a battery-operated bug zapper shaped like a tennis racquet. Mine was a gift from the lovely and talented Jen, on the occasion of my visit to Jenworld this past August (note to self: which I should blog, now I have the photos uploaded from the camera). It is an amazing thing, this Racquet of Death (RoD). You can zap flies, wasps, mosquitoes and even fruit flies into bug oblivion. But best of all, you can dispatch spiders into the great beyond.

So, screwing my courage to the sticking place (Shakespeare at 5 a.m. Not bad.) I pressed the power button and lightly pressed the RoD against the first spider on the curtain. There was a pop and a sizzle. I quickly fried the other one just as it was about to get away drop down on me and tear my throat out. Whew, it was close, but in the end I emerged victorious, and the arachnids were reduced to crispy little spider balls on the floor.

Alison 2, spiders 0

And don't give me that crap about how it's going to rain now, because I really don't care.

Artist's rendition of Alison battling the giant,
slavering, evil, bloodthirsty, nasty, awful,
beastly, malevolent, malicious spiders.
(Proportions pretty much to scale.)


  1. Hail the conquering hero!

  2. Well hell, good thing you've never been on my balcony, there's a huge mother of a spider there. But she's been gorging on mosquitoes all summer so I love Bertha dearly.

  3. Reminds me of when my sister and I saw a bat at the cottage last summer and spent the rest of the evening sitting watching the Olympics holding actual tennis racquets. I would have killed for a racquet of death.

  4. I adored this post. You are hilarious.

    I am totally going to call you over next time there is a spider in my house. Bring the racquet.

  5. Shatneralmighty, the goosebumps on my arms are a foot high.


  6. my dad got all cockey with his RoD, angering the wasps even, that were gathered at the picnic table. until he pressed the button and the RoD failed to turn on.....

  7. Alison, you rock!

  8. Anonymous8:09 AM

    O.M.G.! That's 2 spider killing blogs in a row I've read in the past 15 minutes. (Go see Cedarflame for her spider story). And I'll tell you the same thing I told her -- stop killing spiders. They're our friends. They eat other bugs, the mean no harm, they just want a dry place where they can quietly weave a web to rid your home of flies. If he's not welcome, the polite thing to do is to gently scoop him up and take him outside to a spot you deem more appropriate. That way when Giant Spiders from Space invade the earth, you will be spared. Think on!

  9. Like how you used chitinous on your blog! Hannah is deathly afraid of bugs. She needs one of those zappers.

  10. I thought it was friggen...but freakin sounds much better. I have decided in the future to collect all my spiders in a jar with holes in the lid and when it gets full mail them to XUP cause she loves them...

    Going to the next and look up racket of death....because spider blood on the bottom of my books is freakin icky (oh yeah that sounds better thanks).

  11. It's been a good summer for spiders, we have a few here who are gradually trying to wrap up the house in their webs. Silly things can't tell the differnce between a bug and a house. ;o)

  12. LMAO... such adventures with wildlife.

    Now the RoD... I must have one...

  13. We have a Tennis Racaquet of Bug Death too - we don't kill spiders (I am more scared of XUP than spiders) but my Husband does like to use it to piss off wasps. Which I always think is a bit pointless since "pissed off" is a wasp's natural state of being and nothing good can come of annoying it more rather than just killing it, but there you go. (PS: Definitely not staying in the cupboard under your stairs if it is full of spiders with fangs dripping blood. Sorry.)

  14. Jen - Thanks. I did feel a little like a battlefield general.

    Jazz - Spiders outside are fine. That's their territory, and I don't mess with outside spiders. It's the inside ones that I object to. I don't live out in their garden, they shouldn't live in my house.

    Biblio - I don't think the RoD has enough voltage to take down a bat. I kind of like bats, though I do think they belong outside.

    Lynn - Have RoD, will travel!

    Glee - I KNOW. Spiders freak me out. At least the big shiny black ones. But I have no one else to send after them, so I thank God (Shatner) for the RoD.

    Meanie - Ooops. Always check the RoD before going after wasps.

    Strictly - Thanks! I do. (Modesty is not my strong suit.)

    XUP - Um yeah, "the polite thing to do is to gently scoop him up and take him outside"? I don't think you realize that I loathe spiders with the deep abiding hate that some people reserve for snakes or Fox "news" reporters or Rush Limbaugh. I am not going to let one touch me. Ever. Actually, I can live in, if not harmony, at least detente with those semi-transparent European house spiders, but the big black evil ones are non-negotiable.

    Also, giant spiders taking over the world? You've been reading Mayopie again, haven't you?

    Sara - Thanks. Get Hannah an RoD. But don't let her use it on her brother.

    Cedar - I like that plan. Except that you have to get the spiders into the jar in order to mail them. This would be a dealbreaker for me, and it would seem mean-spirited to mail XUP the curled up remains.

    Big Brother - Hi! Thanks for stopping by. Yeah, spiders aren't that smart. One morning one had built a web from my car tire to the ground. Not a stellar choice for location.

    Nat - EVERYONE should have the RoD.

    Loth - I don't actually have a cupboard under the stairs, it's a walk-in closet on the main floor. It's spider-free. The spiders had come up from the basement which is all torn up since the flood. I don't think there are any more left. And, to be fair, that *was* only an artist's interpretation.

  15. Okay, see, this post? Totally worth any extraneous clicking to comment upon! *guffaw*

  16. Dani - thanks! And thanks for braving the evil Blogspot commenting hoops!