Sunday, October 28, 2007


My grandson, the Goonybird, stands 3 ft 4 1/2 inches tall. Average for a three-year-old boy. Normal, healthy kid. Presently running around with his shirt tied around his waist yelling "N-Turtle! Pew! Peww peww peww!" and pretending to pee on the dog.

So far today he's had some bacon, a peanut butter sandwich, some yogurt, some granola...pretty typical breakfast at grandma and grandpas' house.
And eventually, as happens in the natural course of things, he had to hit the Ritz.

While there, he dropped a kid off at the pool.

When I say 'dropped a kid off at the pool' what I mean is, this small adorable child perched his small adorable butt up on the rim and passed a horrific primordial monster object which was literally 1 1/2 feet long and as big around as his forearm.

I was there.

I wiped the bottom which perpetrated this prodigy.

Then I called in his grandfather in to see.

He saw.


Up until last week I had a pet garden spider in the bathroom that I used to feed every day. I found her in July, when she wove her first little net up in the corner of the window. From there she moved into the curtains, and did very well while the weather was good and the window was left open. Every morning I saw her in the middle of her egg-sized web munching contentedly on a small fly. Around 1 or 2 in the afternoon she would finish her meal, bundle it up small and neat and cut it loose. I'd pick it off the floor and drop it out into the yard.

I like to have a pet spider every fall, one that I can watch grow and weave. Usually it's a grey garden spider outside my kitchen window, sometimes a black widow (not an aggressive lady in the least, very delicate and very pretty.) Anybody too big, leggedy and hairy gets shown the road because I may be a nut but I'm a nut with limits.

My garden spider moved from the curtain to the corner of the medicine cabinet and threw her web out to connect with the overhead light. By this time she was about the size of a pinky fingernail and the beadwork designs on her back were becoming visible. About the same time the cranefly hatch began. While Chaucers'Bitch was gazing in horror at their glittering multitudes emerging from a cricket pitch across the ocean, I was being annoyed half to death by clouds of these confused things helicoptering around. Many of them blundered into my spiders' net. She nipped them neatly in the shoulder and wrapped a few loops around their wings to keep them from tearing her trap down before they finally went still. Then she'd sink her little teeth into the place where their long, fat abdomens joined their midsection and drain them, making the same motions that a kitten does when all it's whole little being is absorbed in drinking milk.

The spider finally grew to thumbnail size. Big enough for the Biker to notice one morning when hie met it eye to eye hanging in midair in front of the mirror. Because this man knows me, he carefully placed the spider onto the end of the towel rack instead of giving it a burial at sea.

This scared her. She hid in the washcloth and had to be rescued from the sink drain. A day later she turned up in the corner of the ceiling, folded up like praying hands.

The next morning she was once again splayed in the center of a pretty orb web. But the rains had started, so the bathroom window was closed and all the bugs were shut outside. By the end of the day I finally went outside and picked a cranefly off the side of the house and tossed it up to her.

This went on for almost a whole month. Soon she wanted 2 crane flies, and by last week she was big enough to deal with a stunned hornet. Yes, I am a goofturd; yes, I whapped them first and then chucked them into the web. As long as it was still twitching she took it happily.

Last week the first light frost hit and all the bugs went into coming disaster mode. Miss spider was sleeping in the corner when I slipped her into a glass, laid a postcard over the top and put her outside in my rosebush. The rosebush is putting on the last of its' fall trusses, and the small blossoms are full of male spiders of all descriptions, last minute craneflies, confused bluebottles and hornets almost too fat to fly.

I hope she meets someone nice.

So tell me, Nations; why don't you have any screens in your windows?

Fine. You see, for some reason-

All right. Back in the late 60's, the homeowners had custom built windows installed, so they're all weird sizes, right? And so we' d have to get custom screens made and that's just not something I think about for some reason.

Besides, it would be expensive.

Yes I know we just bought a new motorcycle. That's different. That-

...Oh, fine. I get a kick out of having birds fly through the house.
Sue me.


  1. I have a male tiger-striped spider outside my front window named Binky.

    Perhaps we can introduce them.

  2. I have a male older brother named Spider.

    FN, you have the most interesting life. Are you SURE you won't adopt me? I don't eat much (oh, what a horrible lie) and I'm house broken (for now, but lets wait until the CT Scan results come back).

  3. mj: my 'pider is probably too busy sluttin' out in the roses. shes getting chubby!

    'shot: my grandson took a dump, i have spiders in my bathroom and no screens in the windows. if this is excitement in your book then may i suggest a different book?! i'm bout to go batshit from cabin fever!

  4. Why didn't you take a photo?

    Not of the spider.

  5. Yeah, how terrible, you got a new scooter. (makes face and sticks out tongue). you, too, can make The World's Greatest Fried Chicken (seriously, try the celery thing)

  6. I love each post more. I have a pet black widow in the corner of our garden. She's lovely. :) (we had a praying mantis nursey in our plumerias this spring and summer) love the blog!

  7. Kristy11:06 PM

    Thank you for having the forbearance to spare us a photo of your first subject. Or the second one, for that matter. Not entirely sure which would have traumatized me more. But, yes, I am a weenie. I'll own it.

  8. Oh Firsty, isn't it horrible just how large a turd our little ones can squeeze out?? Astounding!

    and I love to watch spiders as well. I don't want one in my bathroom, mind you, but outside my windows where I can watch them.

    You are a good soul.

  9. WHAT. THE. FUCK........a black widow.....a black widow spider, as in the bitey, can kill a man with one bite, BLACK WIDOW SPIDER????????


    We have freaky assed spiders here, and when they get too big, I put them....well husband puts them outside...........but a black widow.......the image is too strong and I have to go pass out now.

  10. I had a marvellous spider living under my sofa , that had big knobby knees (I know it sounds like MJ but I am sure its a spider) whenever I used to come in the house it used to scuttle out and stnd vibrating on the floor , I chose to believe it was sayin howdy..... I used to shout in response , Yo spider and it used to scuttle off again.
    It used to scuttle about in a companiable way of an evening , and I got quiet attached to it.
    It all ended horribly when Mr C popped by and let the dogs in first . Out scuttled the spider to greet our guests , only to be eaten by the greedy little beast lloyd , who knows a tasty snack when he see's one :-(

  11. killer poo and spiders - less traumatising then the cooking I suppose, but not much.

  12. I dont' have a personal spider, I never felt the need. I do have plenty of dust bunnies and have just about named everyone. I have screens on the windows but they came with the house. I clean the house when I see webs, how incredibly distructive and boring of me.
    I did like watching 'Charlotte's Web' as a child....

  13. Ooh, a spider story! How appropriate at Halloween. When i was in Australia livin' in da rainforest, we had this huge female huntsman spider that decided to live in our bathroom. Huntsman spiders don't weave nests, they actively stalk their prey. This one was clever. She figured out that when one of us went into the bathroom at night and flicked the light on, every bug in the fucking rainforest swarmed in. We'd leave, turn off the light, and she'd run around the walls and ceiling like a little hoover, sucking up all the moths and mosquitoes. At first she scared the hell out of us, but after we figured out her game we decided to keep her. Dead useful spider, that one. It was only slightly disconcerting to be sitting on the crapper and look up to see a spider the size of your hand on the ceiling directly above you. We named her Matilda.

    Over here none of the houses have screens in the windows. I'm not sure the English know what screens are. They just don't have mosquitos over here like we have at home, though, so it's not a big deal.

    (Ps. you link to my place isn't working. wah!)

  14. I post photos of granddaughter all the time. Why no shots of your grandson's productions?

  15. footman: are you SURE you don't own a Harley? go check. really. // guess what? i've got another 'footman is god' post coming up. suffer.

    'shot: well? where am the sapsucker? she said, guilty of not even having typed hers up its a VICTORY VEGAS 8-BALL, BABY. BACK IN BLACK! YEAH! SUCK ON IT!

    joy: *blush* goonis.// we have to go across the mountains to see mantises...they're just amazing, aren't they? perfect and intricate.

    kristy: honest, i do have limits. really, i do. i mean, i did post a picture of rehydrated dog crap out in my back yard once, but thats different. kind of.

    pam: isn't it horrifying? and infants! they blow out three times what they take in! how is this thing possible? someone call stephen hawking please! (how you doing, chickie? i am thinking of you. i'd also like you to give me a dingle at the new addo about your new writing project. its interesting!)

    punkie: the black widows here are not deadly. they only kill other bugs. the bite will make you sick and leave a mark for awhile, but like any sting, unless you're allergic thats all that will happen. i love to watch them move, they're like ballet dancers.

    beast: my girldog does the same thing. if it's on the floor, it's food. moving or not. food or not. paper, leaves, spiders, hornets, forget it. i vaccuum anyway but sometimes i wonder why i bother.

    ziggi: let me assure you that the killer poo was BY FAR the most traumatising thing that i have ever posted on. you were NOT HERE. get down on your knees and thank GOD for that.

    gale: y'all have those 'screaming idaho bugs' though. those cicadas that zzzzzeeeeeemmmzzzzzzeeeeemm all summer long? we thought we had a chipped gear in the transmission!

    cb: now THAT would freak me out. what if you stepped on it? or it landed on you? you'd BETTER be sitting on the john because I know what my first reaction would be. that said, i, sworn enemy of mice, used to let a mouse stalk the cockroaches around the carpet in one particularly slummy place i lived in. it was cool to watch. and mice are better than roaches so HA.(btw fixded the link. thanks!)

    joe: he just starred in the dugong post! he played the part of 'Opie'. (no, he was the small, dirty gnomelike creature.) tell you what; come persuade my cpu to start talking to my camera again and you'll see some damn Goonybird pictures, I promise. meanwhile i'll enjoy your butterbaby and be a grandma vicariously.

  16. FN: Did you really not get the recipe yet? I sent it last night to your e-mail.

  17. I had a pet spider in my bedroom, unfortunately it was squashed as I opened the door once.

    I also had a speckled spider in the garden, the sort that always appears in autumn, with a beautiful ambitious web, I used to flick bugs into the web. I fact i used to be a "feeder" to it. It got bigger and bigger. Then it disappeared. Prob. so fat it was spotted by a bird.

  18. You can make your own screens for cheap - they sell all the necessary parts at the hardware store and it is easy. It would keep the bugs out, though and I'm guessing that would leave a big hole in your life so never mind.

  19. Anonymous1:17 PM

    You could brick up the windows.. and spray like fly spray. I remember huge turds... I am glad mine are too old for that. They do it in private and clog the loos...

  20. Anonymous4:29 PM

    spiders of all kinds freak me out

  21. 'shot: foundja!

    frobi: thats exactly the spider I had, the fat ones with the speckled back that build the beautiful orb webs in the fall. she probably met someone nice and shacked up! no birds! NO BIRDS! *snif*

    21Mom: lalala, yoowoooo woo, lala...

    muttley: it's like Tardis Butt or something. and hell yeah; as god is my witness i will NEVER potty train a child AGAIN.

    pink: you live in the land of jumbo creepy crawlies, though. here everyone 8 leggedy is small and nice. or mostly nice.

  22. Just a general FYI: "More than 13,000 spider bites were reported to the American Association of Poison Control Centers in 1997, with no deaths; more than 1,300 of the bites were described as moderate or severe. The reported death rate from documented bites occurs in less than 1% of reported cases. Young children appear to be at highest risk for a lethal bite."

  23. Hmmmm. Not what I was expecting to find for my triumphant return.

  24. You want really freaky? Those huntsman spiders CB mentioned are audible when they run down the panelling.Yep!

  25. It sounds as if the goonybird was saving it up for 3 years and that is why he expelled a 4 1/2 foot "poothon".

    "I don't like spiders and snakes.
    And that ain't what it takes to love me.
    You fool, you fool"
    Jim Stafford, classic novelty tune

    Screens schmeens! I'll bet that you do a mean Tippi Hendren impersonation..EEEEE!

  26. cheeses youngest daughter leaves the "remains" in the toilet for some reason all the time... im not sure how to react every time.
    "WTF? that thing is huge! hey cheese check this out!"
    "WTF? someone needs to flush the toilet, this is gross!"
    "WTF?" and flush it myself...
    we used to do that kindof "shit" at friends houses, yah know, just leave it in there for them to discover... hahahahahaaa happy hallow ween!

  27. i live in the south...palmetto bugs...that's all i'll say...BUT, i did get a faux mink blanket today (retail therapy and it was only 17usd!) so i'm going back to my couch and veg foot still hurts.

  28. "I may be a nut but I'm a nut with limits"

    And a bush?

  29. I'm in a mad rush to get the kids all duked up in scarecrow costumes I spent the whole day making. Just wanted to pop in and say have a happy halloween!

  30. 'shot: well there ya go. of course those are THE ONES THAT WERE REPORTED. MUHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!

    WCSN: YOU ARE BACK! TRIUMPHANTLY! just for being back triumphantly, you get to pick out what the next post is about.

    dinahmow: oh thanks. they wear shoes too? thats just great. gaaaah.

    homoE: only for moths. moths, for some reason just gross me right out the house. ew ew ew ew ew moths.

    innerV: welcome! i once knew a woman just like that. dump off a giant freak log in the toilet and leave it peering over the rim? just wacky family fun! go read the 'Meadows' posts tagged over on my sidebar.

    savannah: i have heard fearsome tales of the palmetto of the reasons i will NEVER VISIT THE SOUTH. that and the walking fish. no.

    sopwith: do you really want to go there, sopwith? do you really? i'm going to cut you a break and pretend that you're alluding to one of my favorite Ike and Tina songs, ok? happy halloween.

    awaiting: the SSA was just over here running up the goonybirds Batman outfit. nananananananana,
    nananananananana, BATMAAAAAN! happy halloween!

  31. Anonymous8:29 AM

    I hope that batman outfit has a big butt flap....

  32. I love spiders! But where's Wilbur?

    Couldn't the YB just make some screens? I thought he was handy like that.

    I refuse to comment on the giant poolalalaI'm-not-listening...