Killing Charlotte On The Cheap Redux

The Best Of The Zola System

I found another one living on the porch…

Her long black legs caught my attention; initially out of the corner of my left eye but once I saw those gams, graceful, languorous, covered in midnight black, I couldn’t look away. Would she come to me, would I go to her? Would I touch the silken strands her legs caressed?

I was frozen, wondering what I should do. Should I reach out? Let her come to me?Put her mouth on my hand as if to be kissed? Instead I chose to admire her elegance and pray, through my shock, no kids were around. She disappeared into the underbelly of my bathroom vanity and I let out a long cleansing breath.

Black Widow spider was living in my guest bathroom and I just about had a screaming freak out that would have resembled Wilma Flintstone trying to avoid a mouse.

There are certain things one has to get used to living in the desert: don’t buy a car with leather seats. Always find a way to walk in the shade. And make sure before you put on your shoes, turn them upside down and shake loose the possible scorpions that are resting in the shade up near the toe.

The scorpions and Black Widows that populate the Arizona desert have one (very fortunate) thing in common: they are rarely deadly. In general, the only way you can die from a bite from either is if your immune system is some way compromised, very young or very old. They are the H1N1 of the arachnid kingdom. Bad press has made the Arizona Scorpion and Black Widow seem far more fearsome than they actually are.

In the case of the Black Widow, a sack of thousands of children can make the spider a wee bit cranky when encountering humans. The Black Widow can become down right aggressive. Someone told me about being chased from a room by a Black Widow. That was a tableau desperately I wanted to avoid. Yes, I had a weird fear of a 3-inch high arachnid but running from one just seems so undignified.

I’m a New Yorker, from the Lower East Side. My expertise is dealing with vermin, lizards and arachnids of the two-leg variety. They are easy to spot and generally only skeve you out if you actually talk to them. I had no idea how to rid my apartment of this pseudo-threat that made the hair on my neck stand up. My first response was to call an exterminator; let someone else deal with the problem. I prepared myself to take bids for the job of killing a single spider. I found my super and asked for an exterminator recommendation. “Raid,” he laughed.

Raid. The remedy for the fearsome Black Widow spider is in a can of over the counter bug spray. “You can use hairspray as well if you’re worried about the environment,” my Mother added.

I opted for the Raid. It was a couple of bucks cheaper. After all, these are tough economic times.


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