It's not about the house.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Harvest at the AssVac Comes With Evil Strings Attached

Warning: I had to write this post with one eye closed. Dad, you might want to do the same...

The weather has really taken a turn of late around here, and with it we have finally gotten ripe tomatoes...

...a bowlful of butternut...

... and one of these:

Johnny put his glasses there by accident. He laughed and laughed when he saw it and insisted I go get the camera. He's right. It's funny. And later, that eggheaded little fella made a tasty parmesan.

Unfortunately, the only apple to survive the windstorms and the rot, wound up half-eaten in the gutter across the street:

Johnny's blaming neighbors, but if it hadn't been washed off in the rain I'm fairly certain we'd find squirrel-prints all over it. Ah, well. At least we still got five gallons of these:

And another five or so of these:

Unfortunately (and yes, this is where I take my own autumnal turn, so be warned: now would be a good time for the squeamish among you to squint your eyes), when you wash the grapes off in the sink, you might find you've brought in a bunch of these:

Well, not a bunch, technically. Technically, I only brought in two. But since they were in the water, on the grapes, I couldn't squish 'em -- I had to scoop 'em in a cup and toss 'em back outside. Johnny thought that was funny also, but I didn't. Because, see, spiders are the other things that start showing up in the AssVac at harvest time, and every year they jumpstart my arson fantasies anew.

These first few were not actually inside. Not yet. But I could see the scheming in their thousand beady eyes. I found this dude, for example, among the plants on the back porch:

Those plants have got to come in soon. Remind me to hit 'em first with a bulk-sized can of Raid.

This next bugger (who may or may not be the same bugger as above) ...

... strung his web all the way from the back porch to the woodpile. You can't actually see it in this picture, so I took the liberty of illustrating to give an idea of the size:

Of course, it's possible it didn't look like that at all. But it was really there, I swear to god.

This next one, I'm warning you, makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little:

Big-ass, juicy, nasty, meaty, toad-looking motherfucker. Gross.

This bastard here, I shit you not, we first spotted from about eight yards away, in the freaking dark. Johnny insisted I take this picture the next morning. All I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and cry.

Because I love you people, and because I am the bravest arachnophobe that ever peed herself, I just went outside -- in my pjs! -- to measure that awning (a different corner of it, but still), so as to provide your imaginations with a sense of scale. But when I got there, I discovered the awning's gone arachno-condo, so instead what I did was yelp and drop my tape measure and run inside.

This last one, though? This last one is the worst. Because not only does she look like she wants to kill me (and oh yes, while those others were all definitely dudes, this one is unmistakably a she-beast), and not only does she look like she quite easily could, but also I found her on the wall above my bed.

That bitch was just waiting for me to fall asleep so she could saunter down and eat my face. Kee-rist. Every time I look at her I get the chills. And yet I can't stop looking. Help. I think she's hypnotizing me...

There is a silver lining, though. At least we didn't get any earwigs mixed in with the grapes this year. I don't know why. Because I swear to god they've been everywhere else in this house lately. Like my shower.

And I'm sure if you took a picture that tightly-focused of your own shower floor, you might find a couple brown spots that surprise you, too.


Hubert said...

Most of the unspeakable creatures you mention are female. They ate the males just after mating, earlier in the year. The Arachnid world is big on postcoital feeding. This leads some make male unspeakables to wrap up presents for potential mates. While she is busy chomping away he performs his male act of insemination with his front left foot. Which is the frequent location of the arachnid penis. Spiders tapping their feet, may go blind. it also makes sense having it there as it gives greater scuttle distance between the male and female.

The Unspeakables - according to latest genetic, evolutionary, theory are more likely to scare females than males. It has something to do with males being pushed to the front when it comes to danger: here you go do it. Feminism might not be a good thing for arachnophobes.

(In other news Cyclosa mulmeinensis, a spider, builds a life sized replica of itself out of silk to distract predators. Which is just one more useless item us science types get to find out).

Anonymous said...

Makes me suddenly go over all patriotic. Ah, Australia, home to funnel webs, the world's most poisonous spider.

This article might amuse you and feel better about your location:

ege said...

Hubert -- Oh, I know they're all really hers. You wouldn't know it to look at me, but I actually have a degree in ethology (which is animal behavior to all you plebeians); though I never heard of Cyclosa mulmeinensis -- that's pretty cool! But really I was just employing a bit of obtuse metaphor. Like how my car is a dude and my house is a she-beast? But I wasn't an English major, so I probably did it wrong.

12 -- I heard about all those things when I read the Bryson book. I don't know how anyone SURVIVES in your country! Yeesh.

pork luck said...

oh my!! You're so brave!!!! You're like a photographer in WWII!!

Cake said...


The "juicy" toad-like one actually made my skin crawl...and I'm not even afraid of spiders!

Hubert said...

Ethology: so you know the whereabouts of Niko Tinbergens Wellies?