I’m sorry I murdered one of you Saturday night. I stomped the guts out of one of you with the sole of my slipper. I did so with malice of forethought.
Look, I respect spiders.
You eat insects. I like that. I don’t like bugs, so the enemy of my enemy is my frenemy.
The web thing is cool. The stick to wall thing is cool. Even the weird eyes are cool.
Heck, one of you bit Peter Parker, who became Spider-Man. Another one of you bit Miles Morales, who also became Spider-Man and was in “Into the Spider-Verse,” which is the best Spider-Man thing ever.
But here’s the deal, spiders: I am a permissive fellow. Live. Let live, you know?
I have one rule: Do not bother me while I’m naked.
I see you on the wall across the room when I’m propped up in my big, brown chair? Keep chilling, spider. We got no beef.
But you skitter across my shower curtain and a murder is coming.
It’s not you, spider. It’s me. I don’t like to be seen naked, especially by creatures with as many eyes as you.
If I ever had a romantic relationship last more than 48 seconds, I might let my girlfriend see me naked, but only with the lights out. And even then, I’m not so sure.
So, I killed a spider today.
Today I did it with a slipper.
A couple days ago, I murdered with poison sprayed from a bottle.
I’m a serial spider killer. I’m a spree spider killer.
This makes me sad.
Because like I said, I like spiders.
Also, I hate millipedes
It’s not like you’re millipedes. I hate those fuckers. You know the ones that roll up into a little coil when you touch them? Ugh.
During one of the droughts that hit Iowa in the 1980s, these bastards infested our house in rural Winterset.
Everywhere you looked, there was one of those miserable little creeps crawling up a wall or slithering across the carpet. We once found them crawling inside the washing machine.
The horror. The horror.
They were such a frequent site in the house my dad turned the ShopVac on them.
This was one of the old school ShopVacs the color of pureed peas on four wheels. When you turned it on, it hit a pitch that made you wonder if God himself was inhaling.
Dad sucked up scores of those crawlers into the mighty ShopVac.
Man vs. nature. Victory: Man, with assist from man’s invention, the ShopVac.
Those monsters didn’t have the courtesy to just admit defeat and die. They died all right, but they created a specific, stinky odor.
The ShopVac stunk of the cretins’ corpses. Each time Dad powered up the great vacuum, the odor filled the area. Millipedes’ revenge.
If my house became infected with those things again, I would burn it down and walk away as the gas main exploded like the hero shot for a garbage action movie.
So that’s hate, dear spiders.
I don’t hate you.
I just don’t want you anywhere near me while I’m naked. Or in bed. Or making a sandwich.
How about within 25 feet? Could we do something like that?
The killings will continue
Let’s be honest: This letter is just a courtesy.
If I see you, even if I’m not naked, I’m likely to kill.
And no court in the land would convict me.
Because you’re spiders.
Arachnids have no rights even if they are connected to Spider-Man.
So, keep your distance, or the bodies will continue to pile up.
And I’ve always wanted to get a proper ShopVac.
Daniel P. Finney