The Tarantula Story

Another normal day broke in Kingman and I packed Lisa’s lunch – kissed her on the forehead – told her to be good and work hard and drove her off to another day looking at hearts and saving people. Ho-hum.

When I got back to our campground  – I decided to take a morning ride since the winds were relatively calm (which is unusual) and headed out on my “grandpa” bicycle complete with one gear (slow) and coaster brake.  As I turned to pass the campground pool and activity room I heard a voice yell for me.


I turned and noticed it was Carol, one of our RV neighbors, with her grandson, Luke.  The two were standing outside the game room and she asked if I could give them a hand with something.

“Sure!” I responded.  “What’s up?”

“Luke said he saw a spider in the game room and he wants to play but we can’t tell if its real or fake.  Can you look and see what you think?”

“No problem” – and I headed into the room thinking it probably was just a dime or maybe even quarter size spider – much like I had seen and killed numerous times back home in Kentucky.  I am the resident critter killer and it is not unusual for Lisa to yell, “Steve!” at any point in time for me to go rescue her from the killer tick or pin size spider.  So I walked into the game room thinking – no big deal.

My first thought as I spotted the enormous black thing sitting on the tile floor was that it had to be fake.  Carol and Luke thought the same thing.  But I was very – very unsure.  If this spider is real, I thought, it is the biggest spider I have ever seen not inside a glass case.

I inched a little forward and looked at it as close as my courage would allow me to go.  It had not moved and again I questioned if it was real.  I took a few more steps and was almost over the top of it – ready to jump out of my skin or soil myself (or both) if the thing made a move toward me.  Still it did not move.

Suddenly I noticed a leg move as if stretching in boredom or loosening up ready to attack the shivering sissy boy hovering nearby. Carol handed me a broom and a plastic container.  I thought – what do you want me to do with this?  Kill it or keep it?

Finally I took the container and again began inching toward this salad plate sized spider thinking I might be able to cover him (or her) with it.  After that I was not so sure.  I would have the beast covered and contained – but did not know what I could do with it.  Maybe I could slide it out the door and run over it with my truck.  I continued to inch forward thinking through my plan should the thing come toward me.  I wondered how fast this monster could move and imagined that if it did come toward me – I would probably tear my ACL or dislocate something trying to get out.  So – I backed away and told Carol we needed a new idea.  I wondered if her husband had a shotgun.

As Carol, Luke and I continued to work up a plan – Mark, one of the campground employees, walked through the door and saw what was happening.

“Oh, it’s a tarantula.  Glad you didn’t kill it.  It won’t hurt you.”  And then he took my little bucket and broom and calmly swept the thing in and let it go somewhere outside.  No big deal.

So now here in Arizona we have seen jack rabbits, lizards, little desert rodents, squirrels and now a tarantula.  We have not seen a snake or scorpion.  We have also seen people riding horses, golf carts and four-wheelers down the main streets of town (they are all street legal here).  It is life in a small, desert town.

If I see another tarantula – I may not be as freaked out as I was this morning.  But I will never get use to seeing those things.  And if Lisa sees one – her resignation will be mailed to the hospital immediately and we will be hooked up and gone.  If she sees one in our RV – the RV will just stay here and we will transfer it to whoever or whatever takes up residence.



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