Once upon a time, in a land long before children, a newlywed couple moved far, far away, across the country: from Michigan to Arizona.
The couple had zero ties to family or friends in Arizona at the time, and the city of Tucson
may as well have been in a foreign country as far as they were concerned. The couple moved in the month of August; it was incredibly hot, but a much different heat than the sporadically humid Michigan summers. However, the couple enjoyed living together in a beautiful apartment in the foothills of the mountains, and the community of Tucson seemed very friendly. To them, it didn’t matter where they were, as long as they were together.
A couple weeks after the newlyweds moved to Tucson, they decided to go for an after-dinner walk together. The temperature drops about 30 degrees once the sun sets in Tucson, so the evenings can be quite pleasant in comparison to the 95-100 degree, late-August days.
What the couple didn’t realize was that an unexpected guest would be greeting them when they returned to their apartment.
The couple walked around the corner of their apartment complex, and as they were about to turn onto the walkway to their front door, the husband grabbed his wife’s arm and pointed his finger forward, and in a somewhat shocked, humbled voice, he could only say…
As the bride jerked back from her husband’s powerful grip, she looked up and wasn’t sure what she was seeing crawling up the outside of her kitchen window, to the immediate left of their front door. Was it a chipmunk? A black-squirrel? Suddenly, her brain finally processed what the giant creature taking up a quarter of the kitchen window was: a tarantula.
This was no ordinary, captive tarantula you might find in a pet store or zoo, this was a wild, black tarantula, with a body bigger than your hand, and 8 fat, hairy legs the size of your fingers.
The bride, barely able to breathe, immediately SHRIEKED, snagged the set of keys the husband was clutching, and ran for her car. She didn’t know what to do, but she was not staying there. She screamed back at her husband to “take care of it!” through frightened tears. And proceeded to squeal her tires out of the carport, and… around the apartment complex.
Where the hell was she supposed to go when she barely knew where she was going to begin with? This was long before cell phones, iPhones, GPS, and the only thing the new wife knew was that the apartment complex parking lot went in a circle, and her car was tarantula free. Although she felt as if her body was crawling with the hairy beasts. If the bride lived in a time where she had access to GPS, her fear of ginormous spiders would’ve likely driven her all the way back to Michigan.
As the bride rounded the corner past the newlyweds’ apartment building, she slowed down to check in on her groom… who was still standing 20 feet away from the door, frozen, right where the bride left him.
As the bride rounded the corner past the newlyweds’ apartment again, she slowed down to check in on her groom for a second time. She noticed her groom had picked up a handful of landscape pebbles, and was throwing them at the tarantula, one by one, from 20 feet away, right where the bride left him.
As the bride rounded the corner past the newlyweds’ apartment three more times, she witnessed the same scene: her groom, tossing a handful of pebbles toward the hairy-beast, 20 feet away, like a little girl.
The bride called out to her husband, asking if he had scared the tarantula-monster away from their window with the tiny pebbles. The groom said that the beast was starting to get a little annoyed and was beginning to crawl down the window.
This creeped the bride out even more. Just the thought of that giant thing moving an inch sent chills through her body.
The couple shared the concern that tarantulas might jump, and the bride was convinced that maybe these mega-super-scary-tarantulas could even fly or shoot tiny guns of deadly venom… so as long as the creature was within 10 feet of their front door, they weren’t going to risk walking past it.
On the bride’s final lap around the apartment complex, she parked the car, because she didn’t see her groom any longer. Since she had the keys to the apartment, she ran up to the sidewalk to witness her new husband crushing the beast of a tarantula with a 20-lb rock. SPLAT!
A wave of relief rushed over them both, and the newlyweds embraced, as if they had just survived some frightening level of hell. The couple walked, hand-in-hand toward their new apartment, and immediately started up their computer, waited to hear the piercing sound dialing into their internet-connection and searched for any information they could uncover about tarantulas
25 minutes later, when Netscape finally loaded, the newlyweds learned that tarantulas are relatively harmless, even the wild ones. Some
locals pick them up, and the tarantulas won’t even bite. If they do bite, it’s only when threatened, for example, with a rock,
and do nothing more than leave you with a rash. Tarantulas appear in the foothills of Tucson in the evenings. In the months of August & September, they are what squirrels are to Michiganders.
The couple went on to live in Tucson, Arizona for 3 more child-free years, and encountered many tarantulas in that time, but never found one crawling up their windows again. Today, they live back in tarantula-free Michigan, although they did encounter one more scary spider together that made them long for the days of fighting off harmless tarantulas… but that’s another story for another day.