Thursday, December 6, 2012

Spider With Your Grapes? No, Thanks.

The Black Widow
For the past few years, after having learned about the dangers of the pesticides used on our fruits and vegetables, I have been spending a little more -- but less than you might imagine --  on organic produce.

Those days abruptly ended today as a result of a story in a local paper about a black widow spider that "popped" out of a bag of organic grapes, "surprising" the woman who'd purchased them from a Whole Foods Market.

I am not trying to make light of sudden death in any way, but if that had happened to me, you would be reading my obituary with your latte the very next morning. I would never survive such a thing.
A Wood Spider similar
to the one in my pantry.

I am not alone when I say that spiders horrify me. Fear of spiders, or "arachnophobia", is very common among those with fewer than eight legs. I have a long list of gruesome anecdotes involving spiders that involve hysteria, running, crying and near divorce when, one morning, Seth refused to turn around and drive the two hours home from work to look for a giant wood spider that was doing the can-can in the pantry.
I don't even like cats
dressed as spiders.

I eventually duct-taped the door shut, sealing every crack to trap the spider who was, indeed, later found and proved to be as large as I'd frothed and sobbed about on the phone.

Years ago, after my son found a giant spider among the bananas during his very first job as a produce clerk, I screamed in the supermarket after mistaking my own shadow for what I would have sworn was a tarantula.

I consider spiders terrorists.

Spider-hate is ingrained in my family's culture. It's in my DNA just like long nostrils, love of mayonnaise and crepey skin on the back of my hands. As I was growing up, if my mother so much as dreamt of a spider, it meant bad juju and we were on guard until my psychic Aunt Mary gave us the green light to relax.
One of the worlds
most dangerous
type of spider.

And yes, I realize how helpful they are in the garden as well as the fact that they -- just like puppies, ponies, kittens and koalas -- were created by the God of the Old Testament, saved from the flood by Noah and received top billing in a favorite movie from childhood.

I don't care. And, God, I apologize but in my book spiders+ peri-menopause=mistake.

If you are a spider, I hate you.

I also realize that the arrival of a Black Widow in a bag of grapes is a one in a million but since the article explained that besides killing us with their toxins, pesticides also kill Black Widow Spiders, I am now ready to eat said pesticides with a spoon and a napkin tucked under my chin rather than risk a similar confrontation.

Hey, kid, you've got
a spider on your face.

I would also like to issue a formal complaint against the woman who found the spider. Not only does she apparently have nerves of steel, since she calmly posted about it on Facebook after it happened (while I would have been dead on the kitchen floor), but her boyfriend managed to catch and release it into their backyard where it is now using Spider GPS to locate my house so it can sneak in and spend the holidays before scaring me to death

"That's how we live," she explained. It's a living thing and we have no hard feelings."

No hard feelings?

Honestly, good for you, lady. Would you be saying that if you were now full of neurotoxins and that thing had jumped on your peaceful, nature-loving face?????

Hippie freak.

The spider, set free in a city not too far from where I sit (encased in a Haz Mat suit and eating a Xanax sandwich) is doubtless on his way here so I am doing the only reasonable thing under these circumstances--I am putting the house on the market and moving.

So there is less chance of the spider finding me, I am leaving no forwarding address. UPS, please leave all packages with my neigbor. Thank you.

The actual spider found in the grapes.


  1. This is so horrifying! I hate spiders too! They are such sneaky bastards. Ugh. You post is spot on.

  2. Gracias, Stajie. I really am wearing a Haz Mat suit, by the way. XO