My boss is recovering from a spider bite on her shoulder that really messed her up. It happened while she was walking her dog, she said, and in short order… she was running a high fever and the bite area just kept getting worse and worse. She went to the doctor and they immediately knew what it was, and put her on the road to recovery. But, holy crap. That thing did a number on her. She showed me her shoulder and it looked like she’d taken a hit from a flamethrower. “And that’s a big improvement,” she assured me. Man, I hate spiders. I really do.
A couple of years ago, in very similar circumstances, I took Andy, the King of Dogs, out to sling some urine. And when I returned to the Surf Report bunker something stung me or bit me on my left forearm. It felt like a bee sting, but the aftermath was something completely different. I leaped from the chair and began hollering like a hillbilly in a mudsuck, and never actually recovered the offending insect. But I’m pretty sure it was a spider of some sort.
My left arm went full post-spinach Popeye on me, and the skin was so stretched I thought it might start pulling apart. It was crazy! Then it started changing colors, and eventually, a clear liquid began pouring out of it on an almost continuous basis. People at work were aghast and said I needed to go immediately to the emergency room. But I just wore longsleeve shirts and rode it out. Probably not the greatest plan, but it worked out for me. And at this point, I’m probably immune to everything. Right? I’m not willing to test it. What am I going to do, start boxing cobras? I don’t think so.
Have you ever been taken down by an insect bite? Did you ever develop a limb that changed colors with your moods? “Oh look, Jeff’s in a whimsical frame of mind. His diseased left arm is a deep yellow.” Goddammit, I’m getting pissed just thinking about it. I hate those little creeping sacks of poison. Always creeping… looking for a place to deposit their toxins…
But, of course, whenever there’s something that’s almost universally hated (or loved) there are the contrarians who insist on going the other way with it. You know, the folks who take great pleasure in informing you that spiders serve a higher purpose, etc. Fuck off. I’ll burn down this house if I have to, to get rid of one of those bastards. And by the way… Bravo, contrarians. Bravo.
I’ve known two people, both former co-workers, who almost died because of spider bites. One was in the hospital for a month or maybe longer. It got into his bloodstream, and he was all messed up. Almost went to the light. I think he had to learn to walk again, and things like that. And the other guy was cleaning up his yard, carrying a bunch of sticks and crap, and was bitten by a Brown Recluse near his belly button. A freaking porthole opened up in his fleshy torso (he insisted on sharing photos later) that was one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever seen. The porthole was hideous, as well.
What’s your relationship with spiders? Are you one of those weirdos who take them outside, so they can kill another day? Or do you fight fire with fire like us rational folks?
Also, what’s your worst insect encounter? I was stung once by a wasp, in the middle of my back, straight through my shirt. I’d like to have that on video. You could probably play a James Brown song over the top of it, and I’d look like I had some serious moves, my friends.
I need to call it a day. I posted Episode 10 of The Jeff Kay Show podcast today, right here. And here’s the description:
In this one we discuss the younger boy’s solo trip to New York City (gulp!), people with no sense of adventure, my transition from no confidence to a state of freeing defiance, the Baseball Weirdness hashtag, the Whistle Dick of the Week, and an exciting announcement at the end! Thank you guys for listening! And thanks for the support!! It’s much appreciated.
You guys have a great weekend. Mine is starting a day early, ’cause I took Friday off for no other reason than I wanted to. How do you like them apples?
I’ll see you again on Monday!