and really who amongst us has not been thus tempted
September 28, 2015 8:10 AM   Subscribe

Man attempts to kill spider with fire, nearly burns down gas station

(video does not contain any actual visible spider, do not set your internet-giving device on fire)
posted by poffin boffin (119 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
A similar story (albeit without video) from the UK…
posted by misteraitch at 8:13 AM on September 28, 2015


(video does not contain any actual visible spider, do not set your internet-giving device on fire)

OMIGOD INVISIBLE SPIDERS
posted by shakespeherian at 8:13 AM on September 28, 2015 [19 favorites]


Spiders are nice. Please don't set them on fire.
posted by bondcliff at 8:15 AM on September 28, 2015 [53 favorites]


He followed through on his first impulse, which was to light the spider on fire with a cigarette lighte

Most spiders can't kill us immediately but they are playing the long game and want us to be afraid so we do stupid stuff.

First impulses will end us all.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:18 AM on September 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


I kind of figured this would be Florida Man.
posted by lownote at 8:20 AM on September 28, 2015 [11 favorites]


It was obviously gross negligence on the part of the station owner to not have well-placed and highly visible signs saying:

"WARNINING COMBUSTIBLE MATERIAL

NO SMOKING. NO KILLING SPIDERS WITH FIRE."
posted by three blind mice at 8:21 AM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Woman jumps from moving car because of a spider.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:21 AM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Woman jumps from car after seeing spider, causes crash

The spiders are winning, people.
posted by maxsparber at 8:23 AM on September 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Juuuuu-INX.
posted by maxsparber at 8:23 AM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


mefite jumps from moving thread after posting spider
posted by poffin boffin at 8:25 AM on September 28, 2015 [19 favorites]


When NOPEing the fuck out goes wrong.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:27 AM on September 28, 2015


Aw man, spiders are the good guys! They catch and eat the creepy crawlies that I really don't like. Perhaps this outcome is just the universe making that point? The universe is pretty good at making points with fire.
posted by FishBike at 8:30 AM on September 28, 2015 [21 favorites]


I have sat here for 5 minutes trying to think of some witty or humourous comment, but am so stunned by the stupidity that I just cannot think of anything at all.
posted by marienbad at 8:31 AM on September 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


 \../
=O=
 / ' \

posted by mwhybark at 8:32 AM on September 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Spiders are nice. Please don't set them on fire.

Nope. Spiders are spiders and need to die screaming. When I'm in charge, my empire's scienticians will spend a vast amount of money designing tiny hunter-killer robots that will do the same bug-o-cidal job as spiders, only cleanly and without being aesthetic nightmares... and then comes the Great Cleansing.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:35 AM on September 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


I kind of figured this would be Florida Man.

He:
a) puts the fire out.
And
b) does not shoot the spider.
posted by Artw at 8:35 AM on September 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Apparently wasps spread yeast vital to fermentation and therefore do have a point.
posted by Artw at 8:36 AM on September 28, 2015


i had one crawl out of the headliner onto the windshield in front of me once

that was not a happy day
posted by indubitable at 8:36 AM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I went into the bathroom on Saturday and while I was washing my hands noticed a giant spider on my shoulder, staring back at me in the mirror. No idea why he was there or how long he had been there.

I like spiders, but this was disconcerting. Had he been riding me around all day?
posted by maxsparber at 8:39 AM on September 28, 2015 [15 favorites]


Just goes to show, when you've got a lighter in your hand, everything looks like a nail.
posted by klarck at 8:41 AM on September 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Apparently wasps spread yeast vital to fermentation and therefore do have a point.

Wasps? (warning: out of sync audio) (also warning: Bing Hitler)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:42 AM on September 28, 2015


I was wondering when this would creep onto the front page.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 8:43 AM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


A spider! Kill it! Kill it with fire! Yes, fire. Yes, I'm sure. Fire!
Wait, no . . . that's too much fire. Kill it with less fire than that.
posted by The Bellman at 8:44 AM on September 28, 2015 [29 favorites]


Spiders are teeny (ok, well, most of them) and they can't even run after you very fast! Bees and wasps, on the other hand, are fuckers, as they will fly super fast and then bomb you right in the head, and also they will crawl down your straw into your drink. You don't see spiders pulling shit like that.
posted by holborne at 8:51 AM on September 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Currently reading Steven Erikson's Malazan novel Deadhouse Gates:

Iskaral Pust poked the broom farther up the chimney and frantically scrubbed. Black clouds descended onto the hearthstone and settled on the High Priest’s gray robes.

“You have wood?” Mappo asked from the raised stone platform he had been using as a bed and was now sitting on.

Iskaral paused. “Wood? Wood’s better than a broom?”

“For a fire,” the Trell said. “To take out the chill of this chamber.”

“Wood! No, of course not. But dung, oh yes, plenty of dung. A fire! Excellent. Burn them into a crisp! Are Trell known for cunning? No recollection of that, none among the rare mention of Trell this, Trell that. Finding writings on an illiterate people very difficult. Hmm.”

“Trell are quite literate,” Mappo said. “Have been for some time. Seven, eight centuries, in fact.”

“Must update my library, an expensive proposition. Raising shadows to pillage great libraries of the world.” He squatted down at the fireplace, frowning through the soot covering his face.

Mappo cleared his throat. “Burn what into a crisp, High Priest?”

“Spiders, of course. This temple is rotten with spiders. Kill them on sight, Trell. Use those thick-soled feet, those leathery hands. Kill them all, do you understand?”

posted by jgaiser at 8:52 AM on September 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Since they are considered good luck here and in theory help keep the hoards of mosquitos to a bearable minimum, I've been living in a teeth-gritting detente with any 8-legged visitor that's wandered indoors from our garden. As long as they maintained good manners and stayed out of reach, I fastidiously ignored their presence.

Yesterday my husband informed me via Charades (laryngitis) that he killed a large spider he fortuitously discovered in a 3am iPhone flashlight check, dangling over our 7months old's crib.

So thank you for the timely cautionary tale. Because I don't think we'll get our deposit back if I burn the flat down.
posted by romakimmy at 8:52 AM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


ROU_Xenophobe: without being aesthetic nightmares

What. Not even this tortoise spider?
posted by dhruva at 8:53 AM on September 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


In a raging flood, a man risks his life to save a swept away child, but two years earlier he voted against strengthening the levee whose breaching caused the flood. During an epidemic people work tirelessly to help the stricken, but ignored elementary sanitation processes that could have prevented the outbreak. More astoundingly, as many as 200,000 Americans die each year from diseases spread by their own doctors who have been ignoring elementary sanitation (including simply washing their hands when needed), but who then work diligently to try to save the patients they have infected. Studies show that about 80% of Americans are “highly concerned” about climate change, yet this percentage drops to less than 20% when the issue is combined with what it will cost to actually deal with these changes.
[...]
In our world, we have enough power to topple our most important systems, but not the power to restore most of them.
[...]

--Enlightened Imagination For Citizens
posted by rustcrumb at 8:55 AM on September 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


I am about as arachnophobic as a person can be but I've never tried to immolate a spider. thats just ridiculous!
posted by supermedusa at 8:58 AM on September 28, 2015


When I'm in charge, my empire's scienticians will spend a vast amount of money designing tiny hunter-killer robots that will do the same bug-o-cidal job as spiders

What could possibly go wrong?
posted by dazed_one at 9:02 AM on September 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


Spiders kill roaches, earwigs, mosquitoes, flies and clothes moths. I say the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
posted by Omon Ra at 9:07 AM on September 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


I went into the bathroom on Saturday and while I was washing my hands noticed a giant spider on my shoulder, staring back at me in the mirror.

This happened to me right after my most recent vacation. Then Mrs. Bellman told me enough was enough and I really had to shave.
posted by The Bellman at 9:09 AM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Awwww, but how could you possibly squish this little face?
posted by sciatrix at 9:10 AM on September 28, 2015 [20 favorites]


The rise of spider communism is a historical inevitability! Weave with us brothers!
posted by The Whelk at 9:11 AM on September 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


I am from a species that can both (a) discover water remotely on a distant planet, and (b) try to kill a spider with fire near combustible fuels.

I rejoice and I weep.
posted by NorthernLite at 9:11 AM on September 28, 2015 [23 favorites]


Yeah, I've got a current housemate who is so arachnophobic, that once before she became my roommate she called me up demanding I deal with an apparent spider infestation at her apartment (3 spiders or something I think). I pointed out I was literally a thousand miles away. Then she tried to enlist her cat, but he considered the whole situation beneath him. Then she resorted to drowning them with some kind of foamy hairspray gel substance fired at high speeds with a nozzle all over the wall they were climbing. Then she celebrated with a lot of angry victory yodeling or something, in my recollection.

She would not consider this to have been overkill.
posted by instead of three wishes at 9:11 AM on September 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


Bees and wasps, on the other hand, are fuckers, as they will fly super fast and then bomb you right in the head, and also they will crawl down your straw into your drink.

Wasps are assholes, but bees are the absolute best and don't even start because frankly, my bees are a lot smarter than my chickens and that's understating the intelligence of my bees.
posted by Sophie1 at 9:13 AM on September 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Spiders are easily squished or knocked off of whatever you want them knocked off of, using your sleeve or any of various items that come readily to hand if you're squeamish. If this guy's first impulse was to reach for his lighter, he didn't just want to get rid of the spider, he wanted to get a few seconds' entertainment out of watching it burn up.

Amusingly, the entire internet is now looking at him for exactly the same reason.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 9:15 AM on September 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


the spiders i see from time to time in my apartment are small enough that i am fine catching them by hand and letting them go outside, but since my method of releasing them to freedom is to drop them out my 4th floor window with little to no thought on what or who might be below i have been rethinking the neighborliness of this scenario.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:15 AM on September 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have a spider living on the back of my guitar stand. I let it live because obviously has good taste.
posted by lmfsilva at 9:18 AM on September 28, 2015


Spiders are easily squished or knocked off of whatever you want them knocked off of, using your sleeve or any of various items that come readily to hand if you're squeamish
I was wondering earlier just what exactly I am afraid of when confronted with a spider.

I honestly have no idea.

Doesn't make me any less frightened though.

Brains are weird.
posted by fullerine at 9:19 AM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Did I ever tell you guys about the time in eight grade when it was a warm spring day and I was leaning back in my chair in math class with my hands behind me on the baseboard heater and while the math teacher was going on and on about something to do with math I was kind of zoning out with two legs of the chair off the ground exactly like they tell you not to do because you'll fall and crack your skull open but I didn't care because I was a rebel like that but anyway I was leaning there, hands against the radiator when I suddenly felt my arms get all itchy and I put my chair down and looked at my arms and they were covered with tiny little red baby spiders and I freaked out but not so that anyone in class would notice and even two periods later I was still picking tiny little red spiders off my arms.

Did I ever tell you guys about that? Stop me if I did.
posted by bondcliff at 9:21 AM on September 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


I had a big wolf spider pop up while I was putting a cat dish in the sink today, which I admit was startling even to my fond-of-spiders self, but then I thought of the columns of ants that keep invading my house the last couple of weeks, and I said 'go with god, spider dude' as he crawled through the vents back under the sink, where I hope he is sitting by whatever crack the ants are using and eating them like tiny mobile popcorn.

(I actually like ants quite a lot as well, but not when thousands of them swarm my tables, chairs, etc.)
posted by tavella at 9:21 AM on September 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


I live out in the rural suburbs, and we get some big ass spiders. Literally bigger than my hand. My husband nopes out at spiders and snakes, so if I want them to stay alive, I take point on spider retreival and relocation.

I just don't understand how enormous orb weavers and wolf spiders are getting in, but I have plastic containers and hard card stock near most doors, so I can re-home them back outside.

Immolation has never occurred to me as a good plan. What a maroon.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:22 AM on September 28, 2015


🔥//\\oOOo//\\🔥
posted by casarkos at 9:26 AM on September 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


All day I thought there was a lump in my sock but I was too busy until I got home and took my boots off. There was no lump in my sock. Shook the boot and SO and Boy pull up their feet because I had just dispensed a mortally wounded spider big enough to shoot. The hell? Good thing I had thick socks. That thing must have grown to full size somewhere IN MY HOUSE.

A few weeks later I discovered that the reason the front steps were caving in was because someone had laid brick over a wooden lattice. There was a deep, down to the foundation, inexplicable pit underneath. Guess what that was full of? I didn't have a flamethrower handy so we made an IED and didn't really care if we damaged the house.

Carolina Field Spiders get pretty big but these were not they. Black and hairy.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 9:29 AM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Charlotte wept.
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:30 AM on September 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is the sort of guy who spends hours building a lava moat in Minecraft and then promptly kills himself by falling in it. Fire is not a good spider defense mechanism! What you need is a wall with a ledge that they can't climb up. You can't get the cars in and out at that point, of course, but it's a small price to pay.
posted by Sequence at 9:33 AM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Did I ever tell you guys about the time in eight grade when it was a warm spring day and I was leaning back in my chair in math class with my hands behind me on the baseboard heater and while the math teacher was going on and on about something to do with math I was kind of zoning out with two legs of the chair off the ground exactly like they tell you not to do because you'll fall and crack your skull open but I didn't care because I was a rebel like that but anyway I was leaning there, hands against the radiator when I suddenly felt my arms get all itchy and I put my chair down and looked at my arms and they were covered with tiny little red baby spiders and I freaked out but not so that anyone in class would notice and even two periods later I was still picking tiny little red spiders off my arms.

Do you make up these questions, bondcliff, or do they write 'em down for you?
posted by The Bellman at 9:34 AM on September 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Would like to know his opinion on presidential candidates.
posted by Devonian at 9:36 AM on September 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


I used to be severely arachnophobic.

And it's spider season in the PNW, and due to the long, warm, dry summer they're out in force... aaaaand hello. Hang on, there's a tiny daddy long-legs dangling right in front of my computer like it's on cue or something. *moves spider away*

Anyway, I'm staying at a co-worker's place right now while it's being renovated/painted, and it's an old clapped out modular/mobile home kind of thing that's rather porous, on a bit of weedy property, too, so that means lots and lots of spiders inside.

I've found at least three GIANT house spiders, I mean huge 2..5-3" leg span like OMG IS THAT A TARANTULA sized house spiders. These were scooped up and deposited under the house were they would likely survive and have a better chance of finding mates, because that's what the big females are doing, looking for mates.

In the bathroom of the room I'm staying in there was at last count three good sized common garden spiders with pie-plate sized webs around the ceiling and light fixture over the sink. The screen there is kind of porous and there are a lot of moths getting in, so I don't mind that they're there at all. They're eating tons of annoying moths.

I've also encountered some kind of large, ground-dwelling trap door or nesting spider that made a nest big enough for a large mouse under some wood in a garden shed I was helping clean out. All I remember is lifting the sheet of plywood and seeing something the size of a squirrel and too many legs scurry very very fast into the furry, webbed hole in the ground.

I of course made embarrassing noises of alarm dropped the sheet of plywood and rapidly backed away. I never saw the spider again, but I eventually found the nest. It was packed full of gardening vermiculite and bits of housing insulation and webbing and was of a size big enough to house a lime or a small lemon.

The best moment so far, though, was waking up to something making rustling noises in my sleeping bag loud to wake me up. I woke up to something crawling over my shoulder under my sleeping bag with enough force that I thought it was a fucking mouse or something.

Nope. Giant house spider. Still haven't found that one, yet.
posted by loquacious at 9:37 AM on September 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


one time i turned on my hairdryer and a spider flew out right into my face and while logically i know it happened too fast for me to see anything, and that i didn't actually identify it as a spider until i saw it galloping away in abject terror, i can still clearly remember the entire thing in cartoonish slow motion as it zoomed at my face, legs flailing.

i point it away from me when i turn it on now
posted by poffin boffin at 9:38 AM on September 28, 2015 [13 favorites]


he didn't just want to get rid of the spider, he wanted to get a few seconds' entertainment out of watching it burn up.

He needs a banner that reads : MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:41 AM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Fun fact: Last year, Mazda recalled a bunch of cars made in Michigan because they were full of yellow sac spiders.

And that's not one of those fun facts where the fun part is that I made it up.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:43 AM on September 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


one time i turned on my hairdryer and a spider flew out right into my face and while logically i know it happened too fast for me to see anything, and that i didn't actually identify it as a spider until i saw it galloping away in abject terror, i can still clearly remember the entire thing in cartoonish slow motion as it zoomed at my face, legs flailing.

Lots of people who have been shot can clearly remember seeing the bullet.
posted by bondcliff at 9:49 AM on September 28, 2015


and all 8 of the bullet's terrible skittery legs
posted by poffin boffin at 9:52 AM on September 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


I went into the bathroom on Saturday and while I was washing my hands noticed a giant spider on my shoulder, staring back at me in the mirror.

Once, when I was a young teen, my family went to Florida and found ourselves at a now-defunct theme park. One of the big shows at this theme park was the animal show, where volunteers, they promised, could get to do things like pet a tiger and various other big cats.

I am a shy person by nature (particularly at that point in my life) and my father was terribly worried that I wouldn't volunteer to do any of these things and then regret it for the rest of my life. So, when they asked for the first volunteer, he encouraged me insistently. "Come on, it's okay, volunteer!" he said. So I fought against my shyness and I did. And they picked me. And I was very excited. I wondered what they were going to bring out. A tiger? A lion? A snow leopard?

"Our first animal is very fuzzy," they said. Maybe it was going to be a KITTEN! "Stand very still."

I heard a few gasps. I felt something being placed on my shoulders. My dad's face drained of colour. I looked out of the corner of my eye...and realized I had a tarantula on each shoulder.

There are no pictures of this, because my dad, an avowed arachnophobe, was essentially hiding under his seat at this point. I took it like a woman and stood there perfectly calmly while my brain went NOPE NOPE NOPE. The tarantulas were removed. They later took a picture of me with a snow leopard for my pains. The rest of the day, people kept coming up to me, "the girl with the spiders," to compliment my bravery. Luckily, I thought it was all pretty funny.

My dad never made me volunteer for anything again.
posted by ilana at 10:03 AM on September 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


/\ooOO,.,OOoo/\

I mean, the only time you should be burning a spider is if it's fucking Shelob, or something. Spiders, you can come hang out in my yard and eat all the bugs you want.
posted by Existential Dread at 10:04 AM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mallory Ortberg of The Toast has been having spider troubles in the last half day. She had a plan. It went poorly. Even though her plan was successful. And then she lost her mind.
posted by maxsparber at 10:08 AM on September 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


I've got a couple of spiders I know about. There's one in my closet and one in my bathroom. Whenever I kill spiders I start to notice other bugs, so I try to let them be, so they can do their job. Once I was just sitting in a chair watching television, though, and this spider dropped down off the ceiling and suspended in front of me, just looking at me. I think he was giving me the finger with most of his hands. So I had to kill him.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:09 AM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Once upon a time, I was driving down the highway from the foothills right at the beginning of rush hour, so it was a winding mountain road with a fair amount of traffic, going at full speed, and the exits were few and far between. I had been at some work thing and was wearing a skirt, and I felt something on my knee and saw a wasp crawling up my leg, disappearing under my skirt toward my crotch.

I'll add here that I was driving a manual transmission, so I was needing to work the clutch in addition to the gas and brakes, so I couldn't sit perfectly still or anything.

And you know what I did? I steeled myself to get stung in about the worst place you can, saving maybe "eyeball," and drove several miles down the highway, safely exited the first place I could, pulled into the first parking lot I came across, parked, got out, lifted up my skirt and waved it around until the wasp flew out, and then and only then, I did a little song and dance about how scary that was, hopping around saying AAAAAUUUUGH or something like that. Then, I waved the people sitting on a restaurant patio watching me, reminded myself that I didn't live there and would never see any of them again, and continued on my way home.

As such, I feel like I have the moral authority to tell everyone to GET YOURSELF SORTED.
posted by ernielundquist at 10:21 AM on September 28, 2015 [22 favorites]


And another time I was backpacking with a friend. We had smoked a joint and then went to bed in our small two-person tent. At some point I woke up (or at least I thought I was awake) and I noticed thousands of spiders crawling all over the inside of the tent. THOUSANDS. I sat up and calmly said to my friend "There are spiders all over the tent."

He freaked! "WHAT?! WHAT?!"

Then I lay back down and feel back to sleep. Or I guess I was asleep already.

He realized I had been talking in my sleep and there were no spiders in the tent. None that we knew about, anyway.

He gave me shit for that for years.

I like spiders. Other bugs can suck it, though.
posted by bondcliff at 10:26 AM on September 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


As such, I feel like I have the moral authority to tell everyone to GET YOURSELF SORTED.

When I was learning to drive, a bee flew in the car window, so I got out of the car.

I got out of the moving car, the moving car that was still in Drive, just so we're clear.

My father, who had been standing outside the car helping me understand parallel parking, got to chase the car, put it in park before it rolled down a hill into oncoming traffic, and inform me that "bee flies in window" is not really an "evacuate moving vehicle" level emergency.

I stand by my actions.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:33 AM on September 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


tiny hunter-killer robots that will do the same bug-o-cidal job as spiders, only cleanly and without being aesthetic nightmares

I almost spit up my coffee imagining little dime-sized Roombas looking for bugs to eat.
posted by hellphish at 10:37 AM on September 28, 2015


maxsparber I owe you thanks because I usually follow Mallory through a twitter app but today I just clicked through your link and discovered that amazing Dumbledore background image she has which doesn't usually show up for me. Also the spider thing was funny.
posted by Wretch729 at 10:37 AM on September 28, 2015


I like spiders. "Kill it with fire" comments in spider-related threads make me sad. When I find an unwelcome spider I try to catch and release it.

That said:

When I am asked, at the end of my days, what moments I was most proud of, when I felt the most like a man in charge of my own destiny and unshackled by fear, what will come quickly to mind is the time I was driving down the freeway, about 75mph, and noticed a massive gargantuan demonspider crawling up from my windshield to the ceiling of my car, directly above my head.

It was instantly clear to me that if the spider dropped, I would die, either instantly from a terror-induced heart attack or by flipping out and crashing.

So I punched, straight up, as hard as I could, and I nailed it, and I drove the rest of the way home safe and sound. There was a brown stain on the ceiling fabric for as long as I owned that car, and boy I don't like thinking about what would have happened if I'd missed.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:39 AM on September 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


On a non-spider note, this video demonstrates why you shouldn't pull the pump out of your car if there's a fire. Note how much more flame immediately appeared! Exciting.
posted by dellsolace at 10:40 AM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Perhaps the Mythbusters can do a show on the flammability of spiders.
posted by bondcliff at 10:43 AM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I got bit by a spider once, studying abroad in Costa Rica. My ankle swelled to the size of a pummelo, and I had to be on crutches for a week. Not in a rainforest or remote beach or sketchy hostel. But at a shopping mall in the city.

I got stung by a bee for the first time this morning. Logged thousands of miles on the wooded, flower-ful trails nearby, and the one time I get stung by a bee, it was because I crossed the wrong side of the tracks at a defunct metal railroad crossing in the city, which was apparently being viciously defended by a mob of them.

But both are ok. They serve their useful environmental purposes. I don't even know if house centipedes bite, but those are the most disgusting critters I've ever seen. They're so gross I can't even try to kill them, but will instead cover it with the largest piece of tupperware I own at the time, wait for it to die a slow death, but double-cover it with something non-transparent so I don't have to look at it, while avoiding a 5-foot radius of its tupperwere covered body for two weeks until it's safe.
posted by raztaj at 10:46 AM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I definitely like spiders as they eat all of the really creepy buggers like earwigs that can all go die in a gas fire. But the unfortunate side effect of spiders is walking into their sticky webs and being all “wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube guy” for a good minute or so.
posted by Sophie1 at 10:52 AM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Our high school organized a trip to Catalina Island, where we stayed a couple of nights. Night one, the rooms were full of spiders. Everyone else shrieked and killed the spiders, but my roommate counseled spider preservation. This turned out to be the correct plan, as on the next night, everyone's rooms were full of moths, but our spiders had a good dinner instead.
posted by thomas j wise at 11:30 AM on September 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


A collection of spider anecdotes, in no particular order and for no particular reason:

* There was a one-week period in high school where I saw a tarantula out for a stroll three different times in three different parts of town. I was and am convinced it was the same spider ('cause there aren't that many around there) and I always wondered where she ended up.

* What there were a lot of around there were wolf spiders. There were wolf spider burrows all over our big two-acre yard, and this one time I discovered that if you turned the water hose on and flooded the burrow, a spider would come racing out. I feel really horrible about it to this day and suspect that flooding innocent spiders' burrows as a kid is probably responsible for a good 30% of the bad karma I carry around.

* A few years ago, there was a funnel web spider (the laid-back California kind, not the deadly aggro Australian kind) that took up residence in the corner of the window sill in my shower. It happened that I also had an infestation of pantry moths at the time. Every time I'd get in the shower I'd feed the spider a pantry moth. We bonded. I cared for that spider. It became another pet. Then one day it didn't crawl out of its little funnel web when I tossed a half-dead moth at it and it was gone and I think I overfed it. :(

* This one time my brother dumped a squirming handful of daddy longlegs on his now ex-wife's head and everyone thought it was real funny except her.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:45 AM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


the spiders i see from time to time in my apartment are small enough that i am fine catching them by hand and letting them go outside, but since my method of releasing them to freedom is to drop them out my 4th floor window with little to no thought on what or who might be below i have been rethinking the neighborliness of this scenario.

Maybe the spider flying out of your hair dryer was a warning shot from the universe. Because I am imagining the karmic retribution for dropping spiders onto passers by and I'm sorta scared for you.
posted by romakimmy at 12:00 PM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I almost spit up my coffee imagining little dime-sized Roombas looking for bugs to eat.

Not so much tiny Roombas as even tinier robotic wiener dogs with quadcopter-rotors for feet that fly around and zap bugs with their laser-barks.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:05 PM on September 28, 2015


Never mind the spider. What was wrong with this fucknuckle's basic survival instinct that would cause him to pull a running fuel dispensing hose out of a flaming tank port? And what is wrong with the US that makes it normal for fuel pumps there not to require a continuous grip on the fill lever to maintain the flow of fuel?

Perhaps the Mythbusters need to do a piece on how car fuel tanks don't explode if you light up the vapor that escapes as you fill them.
posted by flabdablet at 12:12 PM on September 28, 2015


Most spiders do not bother me. But if I run across a brown recluse in the house it is going to die. Same with a black widow outside. The spiders that represent no threat to me even if they do bite, which is usually unlikely anyway, I can essentially ignore even though they creep me out. But the ones that are dangerous if they do bite you I am super paranoid about. One night I woke up with a brown recluse crawling across my arm. I flung it off and didn't see where it went. I spent the next several hours tearing my room apart until I found it and slept no more that night.

These days I use sticky traps to keep my bedroom "safe" and just make sure they are completely inaccessible to pets.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 12:13 PM on September 28, 2015


And what is wrong with the US that makes it normal for fuel pumps there not to require a continuous grip on the fill lever to maintain the flow of fuel?

You can have my fuel pump that does not require a continuous grip on the fill lever to maintain the flow of fuel when you pry it from my warm, dead, slightly charred hands.

Seriously, how else are you supposed to wash your windshield while your tank fills? This is why America single-handedly won WWII. Full tanks and clean windshield in half the time as the Germans.
posted by bondcliff at 12:21 PM on September 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


how else are you supposed to wash your windshield while your tank fills?

That's what children are for, surely?
posted by flabdablet at 12:24 PM on September 28, 2015


I put my chair down and looked at my arms and they were covered with tiny little red baby spiders

Bondcliff, I have a similar story, I was about 10 and riding my bike down the sidewalk, and I went under a low-hanging tree. There was one of those fine-mesh webs hanging down with hundreds of baby spiders on it. I caught it right in the face and felt them everywhere: in my hair, in my ears, up my nose, in my mouth as I screamed. I wrecked hard, freaked out, still screaming and flailing about, trying to get all the spiders off of me, and... I don't remember much of the rest of that day. I have a sneaky suspicion that may be where my fear of spiders came from.
posted by xedrik at 12:26 PM on September 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also note that the Fox presenter can't resist repeating the old canard about not using a cell phone while pumping fuel. I believe the Mythbusters have covered that one.
posted by flabdablet at 12:30 PM on September 28, 2015


What was wrong with this fucknuckle's basic survival instinct that would cause him to pull a running fuel dispensing hose out of a flaming tank port?

His survival instinct is malfunctioning. Same with the woman who jumped out of her moving car, leaving her child inside. Their irrational fear has overridden some pretty basic rational fears.

I thought people were joking when they'd talk about having over the top fear of spiders, but apparently not all of them are.
posted by ernielundquist at 12:39 PM on September 28, 2015


From this discussion, I am beginning to suspect that if the Standard Model is ever expanded to include karma as a fundamental force, spiders will be the particles that carry it.
posted by FishBike at 12:43 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


In related news . . .
posted by Kat Allison at 12:44 PM on September 28, 2015


I recall the moment decades ago when I suddenly got at a gut level the needless excess of overpackaging: my colleague arrived at work with a package of ten audio cassettes he had just bought: each one was in its own case, of course, and each case was individually wrapped; the ten wrapped cassettes in turn were in a free carrying case, itself shrink wrapped, and he brought the thing in the the plastic bag from the store he bought it at.

Somehow this comes to mind when I see a link to a news site which has a link to a TV news story where the anchor introducing the story throws to someone else who cuts to footage where a reporter interviewed a witness and also a non-witness passerby for his reaction ("Is that serious? Is that serious?") before showing us the six seconds of security camera footage that make up the story.

Fox News: we report and augment and embellish and speculate and repeat and repeat twice more in slow motion and ask some people who knew nothing about it for their reaction and you decide.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:44 PM on September 28, 2015 [3 favorites]




One time shortly after waking up, I was in the process of putting pants on and a large wolf spider just came sauntering out of the end of the pants leg ahead of my foot. This made me sleepy-laugh because hey, pants spiders. I spent the rest of the day thinking about pants full of spiders, which was still good for a chuckle.

Did you know that statistically, at least one other participant in this thread is covered in thousands of spiders right now? Is it you?
posted by FatherDagon at 12:58 PM on September 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


This made me sleepy-laugh because hey, pants spiders.

I can assure you that their relatives are no laughing matter. That bloody hurt.
posted by flabdablet at 1:07 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sequence: "What you need is a wall with a ledge that they can't climb up."

Spiders can fly with parachutes made out of web (link is not for arachnophobes, nor is the term "spider rain").
posted by idiopath at 1:10 PM on September 28, 2015


My BIC lighter's warning label says to keep it away from face and clothing. Nothing about gas tanks, though.
posted by telstar at 1:11 PM on September 28, 2015


Better source on the Spider Rain phenomenon.
posted by idiopath at 1:12 PM on September 28, 2015


He doesn't look scared. Scared is what happens when he sees a fire crawling on his car. He just looks like the sort of asshole who kills spiders because he kills spiders. He even puts his face near it.
posted by pracowity at 1:21 PM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


As a young teen I was cycling and noticed a spider on my foot and panicked (arachnophobia) and started trying to shake it off. I shook and shook my leg and got the fucker off! (early experience of success) Just a split second before I rammed into a parked Mercedes and caved my lower teeth in (early of sudden fate reversal). The owner came running out and checked his car and it was fine (early development of class consciousness). I on the other hand was a disgusting bloody mess (early zombie movie audition).

I have no idea what became of that spider but I like to imagine it laughing about its version of this story. Also thirty some years later sometimes my lower teeth still ache. The fate of the Mercedes is also unknown. I never saw it on my street again after that. Maybe it learned a lesson as well.
posted by srboisvert at 1:30 PM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also recently discovered: gliding spiders!!
posted by dhruva at 1:42 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can assure you that their relatives are no laughing matter.

Relatives? I mean, yeah, they're both arthropods, but spiders and centipedes have both existed, separately, for about 400 million years.

For scale: The first dinosaurs appeared about 200 million years ago.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:02 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do not read this if you have a fear of spiders:

Full face motorcycle helmets seem to be the ideal shape and size for a spider home.

You will find a spider in there four or five times a year, but you will only forget to check once.

Spiders aren't super happy about being trapped on your face while you zoom down the highway at 70mph, and motorcycles give you exactly zero leeway to panic.
posted by poe at 2:24 PM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Spiders are nice. Please don't set them on fire.

Kinda guy who'd set a spider on fire is the same kinda guy as would spray WD-40 in a canoe full of bees. Same kinda guy as would take an old pork chop and put it in a tree and climb up to a higher branch and shoot down at the pork chop with a big ole gun. I seen guys set spiders on fire that wouldn't even scrape off their shoes before going inside after walkin around in shit all day. Guy who'd set a spider on fire would have thirty canteen cups tied to his belt by their handles and just wade into the river to collect water and he gets back to camp and wonders where all the water went. It was just in all these cups! Where's all the got-durned water, the others ask. And he'll climb up in the nearest tree and shoot down at them with a big ole gun because he figures they've insulted his work ethic. That's the kinda guy this is. Guys like him are a dime a dozen. Fuckin spider-burners are a dime a dozen, I tell you.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:11 PM on September 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Sigh. Some guys seem to have an itch to play with lighters at the gas station. Anyone else remember the story where some guy was pestering his wife with a lighter while she was filling the gas tank and set her on fire.

Good grief.
posted by discopolo at 3:24 PM on September 28, 2015


You know what will cheer us up after all this?

Orange Mocha Frappucinos!
posted by Artw at 3:28 PM on September 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


We have several spiders living in our foyer. I was starting to feel badly that one hadn't fed in weeks and was about to catch something for her, Prime Directive be damned, but I walked downstairs yesterday and saw that she had captured two wolf spiders. You go, girl!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:55 PM on September 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


This summer I discovered that if I walk around in my back yard at night with an LED head-lamp on, there are _hundreds_ of little blinking emerald-green glowing lights on the ground (especially in areas with lots of leaf cover, like under bushes).

It turns out that they are wolf spiders, whose eyes are highly reflective.

Seeing just how many there are all around my yard has actually kind of desensitized me to them now, which is amazing, because I once had the misfortune of slapping a large wolf spider with a rolled up magazine only to discover that my target was a mother who happened to be carrying a large brood of tiny baby wolfies that spread out in all directions. If you've never seen this happen, I assure you it is first-order nightmare fuel.

On preview, seems like this has been covered previously on the blue.
posted by TwoToneRow at 6:25 PM on September 28, 2015


first-order nightmare fuel

ADORABLE SPIDER PUPPIES
posted by Sys Rq at 6:32 PM on September 28, 2015 [13 favorites]


Yeah, I've learned to make my peace with the chill, Charlotte-type spiders that just want to spin a web somewhere and keep other critters out of my apartment.

But I will never get over the terror of my time living in the Pacific Northwest, where giant black furry spiders would sprint through my apartment and, I swear, rear up and snarl if I tried to corner them. There were several nights when, just as I was about to turn off the light in bed, I'd see one on the ceiling over me. And so there I'd be in bed, staring up at it to track its every movement so I could be sure it wasn't going to drop on my face while I slept. If it finally moved to the wall then it'd be like 3am and I'd be running through the apartment after it. Oh man, just remembering this gives me the creeps.
posted by TwoStride at 6:39 PM on September 28, 2015


ADORABLE SPIDER PUPPIES

THEY WILL SNUGGLE INSIDE YOUR EARS WHILE YOU SLEEP
posted by shakespeherian at 7:45 PM on September 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Then she resorted to drowning them with some kind of foamy hairspray gel substance fired at high speeds with a nozzle all over the wall they were climbing.

I did not, however, set either the hair gel or the spiders on fire.

(too afraid they might explode, releasing billions of tiny deadly BABY spiders. which as we all know is how they reproduce. dunno what this guy was thinking.)
posted by kythuen at 7:46 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, if the number of mosquitoes in my yard is any indication, the lazy-ass spiders in this town deserve to be put to the torch.
posted by kythuen at 7:53 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


From the article:

The fire-starting motorist returned to the station the very next day to gas up again.

Damn, what does it take to get banned for life from a gas station? I'd have thought this guy cleared the bar.
posted by ogooglebar at 7:54 PM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


When I was about 12 my parents brought me dumplings for dinner before they went out. I ate part of one and then a spider crawled out of it. It took many years before I would eat them again.
posted by jeather at 8:26 PM on September 28, 2015


Damn, what does it take to get banned for life from a gas station?

Gas stations hiring bouncers.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:15 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Spiders are nice

Spiders are nice the same way guys who call themselves nice are actually nice. You don't really know and you can guess, but maybe just kill it anyway.

Pjern can send you photos that burn into your brain, see a wound you cannot Unsee. Ask pjern. (About the spiders, not the nice guys. Though he could have useful insight on both.)
posted by discopolo at 10:47 PM on September 28, 2015


When I was 13 or so I saw that big-ass wolf spider on the staircase wall. Being quite arachnophobic, I got that bug-kill-spray and sprayed it. I had to spray a lot, it took quite a while for it to die, like, several minutes of slow, agonizing death. I felt really horrible afterwards. The spray left a permanent spot on the wallpaper, so over the next years, evertime I passed that, I got reminded of that spider squirming, that foam forming on its body until it suffocated.

Haven't killed a spider ever since.

And then, 10 years ago, during a phase of massive depression, whilst cleaning the bathroom I found a nest of spiders behind the toilet, I realized that my arachnophobia was gone, I just nudged them on my hand and put them on the outside window sill.

(But then, we don't really have poisonous spiders here in Germany. And not really big ones, either.)
posted by ojemine at 1:43 AM on September 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


🔥🕷🔥

💥🔥💥
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 2:00 AM on September 29, 2015


the time in eight grade when it was a warm spring day and I was leaning back in my chair in math class

Hey, Bondcliff, thanks for reminding me of something I hadn't thought about since, oh, around eighth grade. I was given to leaning chairs, and my French teacher said I would crack my head. I begged to differ, and she proposed that if I could balance the chair on two legs for ten seconds, she would let me lean my chair at will. I did, and she did. Wonderful lady, I hope she is doing well.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:20 AM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


If I were a teacher I would tell my students not to lean on their chairs not because they might crack their heads open, but because of the spiders.

"Do you want spiders? Because that's how you get spiders."
posted by bondcliff at 7:39 AM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


As kids, the wisdom was 'daddy-long-legs good", all else is"arggghhfuckkillit!". That's been my rule ever since. But still, spideys don't provoke the 'die motherfucker die' reaction in me that roaches do. A friend of mine once went into psycho evil dictator mode over flying roaches that were landing on him; he impaled one and set it on fire--- as a message to all other enemies in wait.

The rustling sleeping bag spiders & all that just mortify me. But Ernielundquist, you ain't so tough. I would've shown that wasp who's boss by drowning it in a mad tsunami of incontinence or in a head-on collision after losing consciousness.

This thread reminds me that I'd never survive a week of living in the country, as much as I romanticize it.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 12:24 PM on September 29, 2015


my empire's scienticians will spend a vast amount of money designing tiny hunter-killer robots that will do the same bug-o-cidal job as spiders

And I'm utterly certain that the end result would be a robot that looks almost but not quite exactly like a spider.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:04 PM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Something like this.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:02 PM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


the end result would be a robot that looks almost but not quite exactly like a spider

The nightmare industrial complex has you covered.
posted by flabdablet at 9:33 PM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


True Facts!

- during WWII a nest of spiders successfully wiped out a platoon of Germany's elite SS!

- in Deersnout, Arkansas, in 1958, a spider helped deliver a healthy baby human girl!

- spiders are distantly related to baby bunnies eating candy carrots!

- during its lifetime, a common house spider will eat 8 million times its body weight in discarded prom date carnations!

- scientists at the prestigious Oslo Institute recently measured the average spider IQ and found that it ...

Ahh, I'm just makin' all this up, ya commie Arachno-liberals.

(signed) Americans for a Spider-free Libertarian Utopia
"They have eight feet. They'd tread on you first"
posted by Chitownfats at 10:06 PM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


And I'm utterly certain that the end result would be a robot that looks almost but not quite exactly like a spider.

Nope. Micrscopic robotic wiener dogs with rotors for feeties. In the requirements.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:44 PM on September 29, 2015


« Older "The time is finally right for us to do it again"   |   There is Water on Mars Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments