my hitchhiker

A little while ago I was driving to work, windows down, sunroof open, letting the wind whip my hair and feeling generally fabulous, when out of the corner of my eye I saw something moving near the driver’s side-view mirror. I glanced over.


I used to have a student who called things “humungadunga.” This was most definitely a humungadunga spider. One of those big black hairy baby-tarantula looking things.

I got a little nervous. No, actually I went apeshit trying to decide how to handle this.

He was right outside the window, on the door near the mirror. I thought that maybe if I drove really really fast it would make him fall off. So I floored it. Spidey hung on. I decided to weave erratically to make him fall. He looked at me like “bring it, muthafucka.” (Yeah, I wasn’t watching the road so much.)

And THEN he starts running toward the edge of the window, like he’s going to come IN MY CAR AND BITE ME so I scream like a 5 year old and hit the window button so the window starts going up, and that scary-ass psychic spider SHOOTS OUT A WEB TO ANCHOR HIMSELF and starts running up the window after me!

I finally make it to a stop sign. Spidey is at eye-level screaming profanity at me and I move to plan B, which is the plan where I punch the shit out of my window to try to dislodge him.

So I’m driving down the highway at like 60 mph punching my driver’s side window like a maniac, bruising my hand, and Spidey is laughing at me and punching back in a mocking manner. I just know he was.

And THEN, Spidey and I realize at the same instant that my sunroof is still open. He starts running up toward the top of the car and I hit the sunroof-closing button and the sunroof is NOT CLOSING FAST ENOUGH and Spidey is totally going to LAND ON MY HEAD and get in my hair and make me wreck the car so I start kind of shrieking again and then, whew! it finally locks shut.

On the road I really do almost wreck as I realize that the reason traffic is suddenly so slow is because there’s a road-painting crew working a little ways down, so now I have to slam on the brakes and continue at about 3 mph.

So I’m driving really slow. I’m WAY too stupid to actually turn on my A/C so instead I’m sitting in a car with the driver’s side window all the way up and the passenger’s window halfway down and the sunroof closed, on a day when it’s about 75 degrees outside, sweltering and wishing I could just put the window back down. But no.

I’m on spider patrol. I keep craning my head around to see if I can see the edge of Spidey’s fat hairy body on the top of the door frame or on the sunroof, and I can’t see him. But I’m absolutely terrified to open the window again until I’m sure he’s gone. The guy behind me is definitely looking at me in a weird way.

I decide that I’ll pull over and knock Spidey off the car, but I don’t want to pull into any of the church parking lots because there’s a long line of VERY slowly moving traffic that will have nothing better to do than to watch me flail at a mean and very smart spider. So as soon as I get past the painting crew I peel into a gas station and park around the side of the building.

Then I realize that I can’t get out of the car, because Spidey might be lying in wait on the driver’s side door and when I open it he’ll jump on my head and bite me.

So I scoot over the gearshift to the passenger’s side and get out that way, with a napkin in my hand.

People getting gas are staring at me anyway, and who can blame them? I tiptoe around to the driver’s side of the car and look for the spider. I can’t see him anywhere but I don’t trust him so I start nonchalantly wiping the napkin around the edges of the doorframe, as if I’m cleaning off bird shit or something, and meanwhile I’m getting ready to whip off my shoe and beat Spidey to death because he is way too big to be killed with a napkin.

But I don’t see him.

So I very carefully open the driver’s side door and check all around it for him. I wipe all his webs off the door just in case he’s swinging from them under the car or something, and when I’m sure I’ve got them all I get back in the car and open the windows and sunroof again and get back on my way.

I was still on Spider Patrol the rest of the way to work, though. He was a crafty little bastard.

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