Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A Scuttle in the Dark

Attention all residents of the City of Burbank, California--there is a spider currently scuttling around somewhere in our fine burg that cannot be killed. I'm sorry to have to break such grim news, but Squinty-Eyed Gunslingers are always forthcoming and frank. (It's in our charter.)

This spider is about the size of a silver dollar, is quite hairy and terrifyingly agile. It looks a little bit like a cross between a tarantula, a Venezuelan rock spider and Satan! It is probably beyond poisonous.

Latigo Flint has tried shooting it, stomping it and setting it ablaze with a Zippo and a can of WD-40. Latigo Flint has also tried throwing credenzas at it, stabbing it with a grilling fork and prayer.

Nothing works. This spider is simply too fast and too cunning. In addition to possessing unholy speed, this spider can jump great distances, rear up on its hind legs, and bluff-charge! (Yes, bluff-charge... just like an elephant, or a goddamn grizzly bear!!!)

Latigo Flint has failed you Burbank. You have no idea how deeply it shames Latigo Flint to have to say this. Latigo Flint tried his dernedest to slay that dastardly arachnid, but in the end had to open all doors, wrap himself in a mattress slipcover and crouch on top of the refrigerator until it left.

I'm sorry Burbank; I'm so sorry. Don't even look at me right now. Scorn is unnecessary--I've flayed myself far beyond anything you could muster. And judge me not please, until you yourself have faced a giant, hairy, jumping spider with a lightning dash, that understands the nuances of feints and bluff-charges. (Which, if you live in Burbank will probably be sooner rather than later.)

Abraham Lincoln once said: "The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just."

And this would seem to cast my retreat as one of deplorable cowardice. However, what most people don't know is that moments later Abe mumbled underneath his breath: "But, when faced with a hairy, rearing, jumping spider that's berserkedly fast and knows how to feint and bluff-charge, failure is not a probability but a certainty, and the wise man wraps himself in mattress slipcover and ascends an ice box."

So there.


At 1:00 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Ah, shucks, LF. Don't be too hard on yourself.

I'll have you know that among my biggest fears are spiders. Anything with 8 legs. I can't even eat crab.

I have nightmares about them all the time. Here in Tucson, we have scorpions! Yikes.

And there's a tarantula in my backyard that comes to say hello every August. I damn-near wet my pants.

At 1:15 AM, Blogger fourth_fret said...

There's no shame in giving these creatures a wide berth. Or even your home if they refuse to leave. Just close the door gently behind you...

At 1:30 AM, Anonymous Cale said...

This morning I had an awful vision wherein my six-shooter was destroyed in a fiery blaze.
So vivid was this dooming-mare that upon awaking and finding my Peace Maker intact my eyes widened (a pose rarely struck by Suinty-Eyed Gunslingers) and I breathed a sigh of relief that shuddered my normally sturdy frame.

Surely this premonition foretold the defeat of something significant -- and until now I knew not what that was.

Latigo, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." If I can judge a 'slinger near as well as I can judge the balance of a revolver then I'd say its a safe bet that should you encounter said Lycosa Horribilis once more you will have the upper hand -- rather than the higher perch.

At 4:05 AM, Blogger Amandarama said...

Mr. Scoop has "spider issues". He likes to drown them in Raid and set them on fire. Me, I just squash them. But your spider sounds frighteningly indestructable. Does it have representation?

At 6:01 AM, Blogger Joe said...

Discretion is the better part of valor, Latigo. The important thing is that you've live to fight another day.

Feel free to mosey off into the sunset having learned a valuable lesson from all of this...

At 8:10 AM, Blogger Blog ho said...

your weakness makes me remember the time I was weak. i'm laughing at you.

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Dave Morris said...

Rest easy, Latigo, for Lincoln was afraid of many things. For a fact, I know he had an unnatural fear of ticks.

He had to have all the clocks in his house modified so they said "tock, tock, tock..."

At 9:48 AM, Blogger MJ said...

The other day I was exiting my apartment, and there, stretched across the porch stoop railings, about eye-level, was a perfect spiderweb with an enormous brown beast smack dab in the middle. The porch light cast an ethereal glow onto the setup and it was a sight to behold.

Instead of beholding it, however, I went to my cleaning supplies cupboard, got out the strongest household cleaner in my possession (Clorox Cleanup), and, bracing myself for any spidey-jumps or growls (in my mind, spiders growl like Taz) squirted fast and frantic at spider and web.

It did the job. The spider descended, writhing, to the porch, where I casually squashed him with the toe-end of my shoe.

(I'm such a chicken)

Have you tried the Clorox Cleanup? You can sort of shoot it like a gun so it might come easy to you, Latigo.

At 10:01 AM, Blogger tabitha jane said...

if abe supports you then i don't blame you at all . . . although i wonder if you had thought of trying a stick of good ol' dynamite? or making friends with it, teaching it tricks and using it as your "trusty steed"?

At 11:02 AM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

That's my favorite Lincoln quote. That, and the one where he goes, "Support your local gunslinger."

At 1:27 PM, Blogger Ghost Dog said...

You might see if that fella in his wagon sellin' snake oil would happen to have traps just for feintin', blunt-chargin' spiders.

Or some sasparilla. I heartell spiders is plum skeered of sasparilla.

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Noir Muse said...

"Trusty Steed" Ha! Oh, Tabitha Jane, my abdomen hurts. In one mere second I was unexpectedly visualizing some Battlecat/Cringer animal complete with saddle and helmet. And loin cloth.

Mr. Latigo, I think it's time for you to introduce a new support character:
Your dangerous, venomous spider-friend - "Buck".

At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Iconoclast Zach said...

Huh. Fire didn't work. Did you try more fire? What about a silver bullet? Might've been a were-spider. Or a vampire spider. Try staking it if it comes after you again, and burying it at a crossroads, decapitated, with a stake in its heart and a lemon in its mouth.

Actually... much like the mice, which cannot hope to deeat the cat, you might be able to heroically place a bell upon the spider so that the innocent citizens can hear it coming at night and likewise wrap themselves in plastic and climb upon their refrigerators.

That seems like a pretty good way to be a hero to this swordsman.

At 7:49 PM, Blogger katiedid said...

Oh Latigo so right you are: "failure is not a probability but a certainty."

At 12:07 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Well then LBB, brothers we are. (Important to note... We Squinty-Eyed Gunslingers do not actually fear spiders, we are simply acknowledging pure evil.)

Thank you Third String. (Do you know, by the way, that you are responsible for the existence of this post? That's just something you are going to have to deal with.)

This is an epic comment on several levels Cale. My weblog is richer for it. (You are most correct, Squinty-Eyed Gunslinger's eyes rarely widen.) I've let the City of Burbank down... I've let you down. I will feel worse in this lifetime, of this I'm certain, but it probably won't be until that day I open Google News and read that The Man With No Name, former Mayor of Carmel, has squinted off this mortal coil.

Hello Amandarama. An apt description, this spider is frighteningly indestructible. (I believe its agent is Mictlantecuhtli, the skeletal god of death from Aztec mythology.)

Thank you Joe. A sage lesson it is.

I know you are Ho... from several states away. I feel this distance between us. It presses up against me and threatens to force me into the sea.

I remember reading that Dave... really I do.

You did the right thing MJ. Spiders cannot be trusted. Orb weavers are slightly less terrifying of course, their physiology dictates a motionless patience. Land hunting spiders must constantly prowl in search of their meals. My spider was a land hunter.

I can't afford not to have my security deposit returned to me Tabitha Jane. It is a sorry state I find myself... the tragedy of my life was my 150 years late birth.

I liked it when James Garner headbutted awning posts Old Hoss.

Hmm, very astute Ghost Dog, except I wouldn't say spiders are frightened so much as they are simply wary of sarsaparilla.

But this would mean I'd have to see this scuttling menace again Muse. A prospect I don't necessarily relish.

Of course my iconoclastic friend (hand slap to forehead) why didn't I think of this?
(Hey, you know, you have just created the singular image of a spider wearing a tiny bell... this is significant. How many people do you suppose have ever visualized this in all of history? Twelve? A hundred and twelve? A thousand? You know it's not more than a thousand... this is quite significant indeed!)

Oh the scuttling horror Katiedid. This is exactly what I'm talking about. I don't blame her one bit. I probably would have thrown it in reverse and tried to slam into the tree again.


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