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!
Now playing in the bunker
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Spiders…I’ve changed my estimation of them somewhat over the past couple of years from abhorrence to acceptance. As long as they’re not in the shower or bed with me, then all bets are off. I’ve softened my stance since we had the yard sprayed for mosquitoes a couple of years ago, which effectively killed off all the spiders too. That didn’t seem fair.
Was bitten a couple of years ago by a wolf spider while I was asleep, and that was some kind of itch for a while. Creepily, Biff was bitten the same night in the exact same spot on the opposite forearm, which leads us to believe the lil’ f*cker was mashed BETWEEN us when it bit. Even worse, it was found the next morning in a pile of laundry and we escorted it outdoors before the first symptoms on the bite showed up. Had we known, I’m pretty sure it would have taken a short ride to the sewer instead of an escort to the wild.
I used to be “live and let live” with spiders with the understanding that they kept down the population of less desirable bugs.
Until an unidentified one bit me on the left hand while I was stacking firewood.
Painful red swelling around three fingers most of my upper hand , pain, burning, itching, necrosis and five days out of work.
About once a month or so, this hand still itches like hell at the bite site.
So, whenever I see a spider in a vulnerable position: it’s squished.
I have ants in my house. But no spiders yet.
I had a spider bite me on my eyelid, which caused some itching and swelling. Pissed me off because I was supposed to go to a Sharknado party that night and had to decline. Those little grey spiders don’t freak me out but anything else gives me the willies. I’m petrified of bees – wasps, yellow jackets, hornets. Another reason I hate summer. I’ve been stung a few times and traumatized I suppose, as a kid.
Jeff, this was one of the funniest posts I read. ‘My left arm went full post-spinach Popeye on me’ had me in tears! As did: 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.” CRYING HERE!!! LMAO
The very worst part of this story is…female boss. Been there, done that. Let the mudslinging begin…,.I have many menstruation stories.
Fascinating. Are you menstruating right now?
You should probably get that looked at.
As a woman, I agree with this statement. I’ve had many bosses and the women were always the worst. Flighty, nasty, back stabbing and unpredictable.
Thank you madz. The younger ones were the worst.
Alice in WV says
Hate spiders. GAWD! I was very brave and didn’t wreck the car when THREE separate times, a spider dangled in front of my face or crawled across the steering wheel, etc. I’m very brave considering the screaming and the freak out that was going on in my head. Now I’m itchy.
“began hollering like a hillbilly in a mudsuck” – I spurted!
Cathy W. says
I hate spiders with a passion. If they’re small enough, I can kill them myself(while I scream), but the big ones are going to have me yelling for hubby, or anyone else who will do battle for me. uugghhh. My biggest delight is when I have my portable bug zapper handy and I can fry the fucker. Ha! My worst sting was on my eyelid when I was a young thing, shutup years ago. That was pretty swollen and painful for a good long while. All in all, I’ve been pretty lucky as far as stings and bites go.(knock on ALL the wood!) Although, I once got bit by a dog on the nose, but that’s a different subject, right?
Ran over an in ground wasp nest with a lawnmower. Got stung five or six times before I got safely indoors, screaming like a little girl, while a swarm of the little bastards chased me. There were buzzing around the door for a while, I found out later that when one wasp stings it plants a homing scent for the rest of them to “go kill that”. Killed them with fire at dusk, ha.
Not a fan of spiders but I deal with them. Not so sure I’d cope well with tropical size spiders. I used to have a cat that ate spiders, which was useful, but he’s dead now (cancer not spiders).
I had almost the identical lawnmower incident the other year. I got stung on the Achilles tendon and on the breastbone. I, too, shrieked like a schoolgirl. Ran off and left the mower running. My assailants were some sort of yellowjackets, but I didn’t look very closely.
I’m not aware of any downside to us ridding the planet of wasps/yellowjackets – do they actually do any good?
In the same yard, with the same mower, I ran over a snake (I *really* hate snakes), and I’m ashamed to admit I just let the mower run for a while on that spot while it diced the fucker.
I heard this spider related story while driving to work this morning:
Last week I also treated a person who hyperextended a finger while smashing a spider with a shoe.
Makes total sense to me, although I’ve adopted a mostly live and let live attitude towards smaller spiders since they’re supposed to eat mosquitos. I also live in a place that resembles the ice planet Hoth for 4-6 months of the year, which helps control the worst of it.
My wife sometimes asks about moving south to warmer climes, and I remind her they have bugs down south that don’t die in the winter.
My greatest loathing is for roaches. If I ever find one in my house, I’ll remove anything that can be chemically sterilized and heat treated and then burn the house down and start over. Sure I’ll lose my wedding photos and the kids baby pictures and such, but it’s a small price for a roach free home.
My wife occasionally tells the story of crushing a roach IN HER EAR that crawled in there while she was sleeping back when she was living in some kind of jungle hut on a the side of a mountain during her Peace Corps days.
That would have sent me fully over the edge. No doubt I’d still be living somewhere where friendly people in white uniforms would be giving me lots of Thorazine and all the crayons I could eat.
I’m regularly exposed to people with bedbugs and I can deal with that surprisingly well. We’ve had fleas in the house twice and my daughter had head lice once and my wife handled all that.
It’s been pointed out that lobsters are insects and crabs are spiders, and in their cases I’ll make a tasty exception. But that’s as far as it goes.
I’m OK with most spiders. Yellow Jackets, however. are Satan’s spawn. I can not really fathom why God put those F$$kers on Earth except to give him a good belly laugh when I abandon my lawn mower in mid cut running and screaming F$$k, F$$k, F$$K while slapping myself silly.
I’ve had a few stings, but nothing like the Popeye Incident.
As a little kid I discovered that even on a bicycle, I couldn’t outrun the Mean Dog. 50 years later, I still have the scar on the back of my leg.
I am absolutely terrified of spiders…all of them. Two nightmares I lived through:
1. When I was probably 7 years old, we went on vacation in West Texas. Went to Carlsbad Caverns to see all those bats fly out of the cave at night. Walked through some area that was surrounded by huge rocks/boulders. They looked like they had hair growing on them. Come to find out, it was thousands of those daddy long leg spiders (or whatever they are called). I fucking freaked out at even that young age. I was screaming and crying and climbed up my Dad’s leg to get as far away from those things as I could!
2. My older brother lived in a very rural area of middle Arkansas. I was his caregiver for about 9 months while he was under hospice care for cancer. He lived in a rustic house and a second bathroom/laundry room had been added on to the back of the house. He finally decided to use the tub in that bathroom to soak in (in an attempt to relieve some of the pain caused by the cancer) because the other bath only had a shower. One day, he was telling me what a huge infestation of brown recluse spiders there had been in that bathroom before he started using it. Words cannot express what this did to me. I would dream about those bastards at night when I went to bed. He just laughed at me and said he “got rid of them”. Ha! Like I trusted his ass. I was terrified every damn time I had to walk into that room!
rat bastard says
I only kill spiders that look like a brown recluse. I’ve been bitten in my sleep by what I assume was a spider, but never had any really adverse reaction.
Wasps, on the other hand, must die. I got nailed on my ear when I was a kid, and my ear swelled up like James Thompson’s ear (see: Thompson vs. Kimbo).
Living in the sticks, I kinda have to get along with all of the critters, bugs,
etc. My wife calls my summer cologne Essence of Deet Then last year
I was out on the front porch and I noticed a spider whose body was
about the size of quarter. Fearing for our outside cat, I grabbed my walking
stick and gave the spider a quick, firm stab (wanted it’s death to be quick)…
This thing exploded with literally HUNDREDS of baby spiders!! They were
scurrying about in every direction, mama spider hauled ass and they were
still squirting out of her!! It was chaos. I nuked the whole area with Deet.
Never did tell my wife about that one.
Ewww that would have been freaky but kind of mesmerizing at the same time. Ok, more freaky but still I would have stopped mid freak to watch that whacky show.
We have wolf spiders in the house on occasion. My wife freaks out and has me deal with them, which always means they get a quick one way trip to the septic tank. Neither one of us has ever been bitten by one, but the way they jump off the wall if you’re slow in getting to them really gets to the wife. On several occasions we’ve had tarantulas find their way into the house. Those big hairy buggers we just shoo back out into the yard. They’re harmless and relatively neat to watch.
In the stinging insect category, we have the usual assortment of bees and wasps, as well as scorpions. Not those giant horror movie scorpions, these are around an inch to an inch and a half long for the most part. I got stung by one moving scrap wood into the pickup for a trip to the dump. Felt like a bee sting, itched for a couple hours, then all was good. (On a scorpion related note: I once had a girlfriend who picked up a rather large rock in her yard and dumped a couple dozen 3/4″ scorpions right down her shirt. Poor little semi-flat chested thing had boobs for about a week after that)When the bees are out pollinating the orange groves we drive through on the way to town, it sometimes makes for an interesting ride on my Harley. I’ve had to take off my t-shirt when I get home and scrape half a dozen or so stingers out of chest and stomach with my pocket knife. Only time I ever stopped because of a sting, I caught one IN THE LEFT EYEBALL!. Holy shitballs did that hurt. And I couldn’t see it to get it out. I rode home with that eye closed. After a couple hours of laying down and keeping my eye closed, I felt something in the corner of my eye. I picked at it, and out came the stinger. Pain stopped immediately. My eye itched for a couple days, and then went right back to normal. I don’t seem to be very sensitive to those sort of things.
Not afraid of snakes, spiders or bugs, but do shepherd them outside if they find their way in. Admit to being rather squeamish about removing hornworms from the tomatoes tho; I always don gloves first. Never kill anything. And I love coconut.
Be careful…..first she wants to show you her shoulder spider bite. Then it’s her appendix scar. Then it’s her new tattoo and barbells she got last weekend at “Ink Sins and Private Piercings”. Slippery slope. Fucking spiders I tell ya. Their web is far reaching.
Not Oprah says
Probably looking over my shoulder for bears is more of a concern than getting bit by a bug. Bugs here are mostly just annoying more than anything – too cold for us to have ones that are that scary. Except for this ‘June bug’- it’s called different things in different regions makes a crazy ‘clacking’ noise with its wings and chases you for a bite. Almost freaks me out more than bumping into a bear – but if I was confronted with them both at the same time I might run towards the bug. Too cold for scary snakes here also. When I travel – I stick with people who know what to avoid. A friend of mine from North Africa teases me about how scorpions will upset me because he was so upset to visit me and see bears. I believe him – I will freak out…