The only thing -- and I do mean the only thing -- I have in common with Indiana Jones is that I hate snakes, but I don't mind spiders. My grandparents lived in San Antonio for a few years in the 80s, and one time when we were visiting them, a large spider crawled into my sleeping bag on the floor. I think it was a tarantula, but as any scientist will tell you there are over 900 species of tarantula so its kind of hard to know. And I was 8 years old when this happened, and pretty much all big spiders are tarantulas when you're 8.
What I do know is that while it startled me, I wasn't exactly what you'd call "afraid". But you get a snake within six feet of me and I will freak out. I had an english teacher in seventh grade who was an extraordinarily weird guy. He had a large collection of exotic pets, such as gators, boas and spiders, and he would bring them into his classroom. The only thing that gave me pause were the snakes.
Of course, there's a difference between seeing a spider on the floor in your house and killing it, and putting your foot into a shoe to find an uninvited guest. That's exactly the scenario that unfolded on Tuesday, and in that circumstance, I was freaked out a bit. I put my shoes on to leave for volleyball, and because they get covered in sand, I leave them in the garage all week between games...you can guess what happened.
I wore the shoes on the drive there, and for about 20 minutes after we arrived as I drank a pre-game beer. Never noticed the spider. I felt a foreign object in there, alright, but I thought it was just sand. When I took the shoes off right before the game, I found a sight that was just a little bit freaky: a dead spider, and a big one at that -- even shriveled up, it was the diameter of a silver dollar counting its legs. I threw that shoe about three feet if I threw it an inch, let me tell you.
Now, here's where I got lucky to have busted my toenail a month ago -- and I never thought I would have reason to be thankful for that, believe me. Because I had broken the tip of my toenail off my big toe, I was wearing two pairs of socks on that foot for added padding against the top of my shoe. The spider might have tried to bite me, had it been venomous (I have no idea, I slept in Biology too often) but good luck getting those big, pointy fangs through two layers of cotton, my friend.
As it was, he couldn't, and the weight of my foot killed him. I prefer to think of it that way, in any event, although between you and me it was probably the odor. Either way, he met his demise.