The Tale of a Spider Slayer

Wiffle Bat
Wiffle Bat

I started killing-slaying spiders when I became a single mother. (I’m not entirely sure why single mothers still get a bad rap. Any single mother or father will tell you it’s probably the hardest thing that they’ve ever done. In the second debate Mr. Romney made a not such nice comment about single mothers, and from the conversations that I’ve had, it didn’t go over so well with single mothers or single fathers, and there are a lot of them out there, voters and everything. I once naively thought that since the President of the United States was raised by a single mom, that single mothers might not get such a kick in the head. How “Pollyanna” of me.)

I found out there was only so much screaming and wailing one can do when confronted by a spider, before it becomes evident that that’s not going to do much good. And there are few folks who will drop everything at that “spider moment,” and run over and kill that spider (unlike the famous scene in Annie Hall, this could date me big time, or not?? where Woodie Allen rushes over to help Annie Hall slay the spider that’s the “size of a Buick.” I found the scene, or part of the scene on YouTube here.)


So bravery and ingenuity become a necessity. I ended up killing spiders on a regular basis with my very young son’s Wiffle Bat. Plastic, light, a flat end, and good for killing, squishing, slaying spiders on the ceiling. My son actually remembers this, although I don’t think it’s one of his favorite childhood memories.

Now when I see spiders in my dwelling, and I do so on a regular basis, I have a conversation. It goes something like this:

“How in the world did you get here, there??” I never understand how they suddenly seem to appear out of nowhere.

“You know what the house policy is don’t you?” I say. “If you don’t mosey on real fast and disappear from where ever you came from, you are a goner.”

Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc

And since they never disappear quickly, and I’ve long since given up even the “silent spider scream,” it’s simply getting a step ladder or climbing up on a piece of furniture, and taking the spider in a small kleenex and down the toilet it goes. Whoosh.

I’ve become very proficient, so far, at spider slaying. I didn’t include a picture of a spider, because I don’t like pictures of spiders, so I included a picture of a dragon, which is in my mind the emotional equivalent of a spider. And since I couldn’t find any art work that was about women slaying dragons (no such thing, alas), I did find a painting of Joan of Arc, by Dante Charles Gabriel Rossetti, and I can imagine her with a Wiffle Bat, instead of a sword, getting read to be a “Spider Slayer.”