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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Declaring war on the spiders

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

All my life I have seen girls, and some guys too, freak out at the first sign of a spider. What I failed to learn from their pathetic screaming and flailing of arms is this one thing: spiders are evil.

It took a more direct approach from the eight-legged death carriers for me to understand their true level of evil. And it was this evil that has led me into war.

It all began on a quiet Sunday afternoon. I was crashed on the couch watching golf before heading into the office, caught between awake and daydreaming of hitting a straight drive on the golf course. Then I felt a sharp pain on my stomach, just above the waist line of my shorts.

I quickly ripped off my shirt, as opposed to the normal strip tease I practice when I take off my shirt, and inspected what I assumed to be a gun shot wound. All I saw was a tiny red dot that was a tad swollen.

My first thought was a spider bit me so I started looking for a five pound, eight-legged disgusting spider with fur on its back and fangs the size of fingers. I saw no such monster. But I didn't see a tiny spider either so I just assumed the ninja spider disappeared into the darkness until it was time to strike again.

My next order of business was to check and see if I had any superpowers. Juvenile I know, but it would be very embarrassing to reach out to shake somebody's hand and a web shoot out. Not to mention how awesome it would be to rob banks... um, I mean stop bank robbers with superpowers. Unfortunately no super human strength or increased vision or even intelligence, as shown by this column, was transferred from the gigantic, gruesome bringer of death.

After a few minutes the pain even began to subside and I went to work, forgetting about my bite. Then as the minutes turned to hours the bite began to itch. Still I thought nothing about it and went on with my day and eventually night.

But as the sun went down, things turned for the worse. What was a small little dot became swollen about the size of a dime and was hot to the touch. My entire body ached and my legs cramped while it felt like somebody was sitting on my chest. As I struggled to take a deep breath I decided to take my temperature. I had trouble focusing my eyes on the reading, but there were a lot of numbers and I could swear it ended in some exclamation points.

This is where most people would call someone to help take them to the emergency room. But I am not most people. I did think about driving there, but really didn't think I could make it up the stairs to even get my keys. Living alone, there was nobody there to help and the last thing I wanted to do was wake a friend up with, "Hey, I got bit by a spider and need to go to the ER." They would think I was playing some sort of prank anyway.

So then I decided to self-medicate, go to sleep and hope for the best. I was sure if I could just get to sleep, I would wake up refreshed. I have a quick recovery time from all things anyway, so surely with the superpowers I got from the spider I would fine in the morning. With that in mind a took a couple Benadryl and aspirin and chased it with a shot of whiskey. I'm sure that is what a doctor would prescribe anyway, right?

I can tell you that I did fall asleep and obviously I woke up, but the pain and aching were still there and my legs felt like I ran two marathons in one day. But I am a tough guy and showered and went to work just like any other day. I did get lost on the way to work but that is because I couldn't cross river with the big purple dragon staring at me. Or maybe that was just a hallucination.

I made it to work and decided if I wasn't better by the end of the day I would go to the doctor and get myself checked out. Fortunately my breathing improved and after researching spider bites online and getting my doctorate in all things spiders, I just figured I needed time. But still at the end of the day I wasn't any better and my legs were beginning to turn bright red.

Keeping my promise to myself I went to the doctor after work, only to find the waiting room full of sneezing children and coughing adults. They obviously needed a doctor more than I did so I went home to allow myself more time to heal. After all, I was feeling a bit better as long as I didn't want to move.

That night my fever spiked again and the sumo wrestler started sitting on my chest again. My legs even went from red to bright purple and my toes started tingling. The Benadryl, aspirin and whiskey I prescribed myself didn't work on the second night and I started filling out my will, leaving all my possessions to my dogs. As the world was spinning around me and the purple dragon was sitting in the corner of my bedroom, I realized there was somebody who could help: a doctor.

The next morning I walked into the doctor's office, shoved aside the sneezing children and coughing adults, and visited the doctor. I didn't even care when they shoved the needle in my arm although I was a bit surprised and a little disappointed when whiskey wasn't part of the prescribed medicine.

Even with my superhuman healing power it took me almost a week to get rid of all the symptoms and start feeling better but it didn't stop me from going home and declaring war on all spiders. I had my house sprayed and I will sit for hours in my carpet-colored camouflage waiting for the ninja spider that tried to take my life.

I only thought I didn't get any superpowers when that demon of death bit me, but I did. I am now a bonafide spider killer. So if you are scared by a spider and nobody is there to help, I'm your man. All I need is a spider signal to shine in the sky like Batman.

David Jenkins can be reached at davidj@standard-democrat.com

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