I had to work the other day in an area I don't usually cover. This resulted in me driving 4 hours, working overnight, and then driving 4 hours home after having been awake for 24 hours. I've done this before, and granted it doesn't sound like the safest move in the world, but it's okay. It's much better than having to sleep in a hotel room for a few hours. Do you know how often they wash the blankets in those places? Never. Sheets, all the time. Blankets? Don't kid yourself. Those things have never been washed. Ever.
So, I'm driving home and I'm on the phone pretty much the entire way because otherwise I will lose consciousness. In this instance I called the only person who would understand my need to be on the phone for 4 hours at 7 AM. My mother. We're talking about swine flu and how I should wear a mask when I fly home for a visit next week (yeah...that's not going to freak anyone out. Actually, after Biden's remarks today they'll probably be handing them out at the gate.)
So, we're chatting and I'm driving about 85 miles an hour on the highway when I look down at the speedometer. And there is an F-ING HUGE SPIDER. It is brown and it is large and it is only a foot away from me.
Mom: "So you need to make sure you grab a mask from the hospital so you'll have one blah blah bl-"
Me: "OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD"
Mom: "SAMANTHA what's the matter?!"
Me: "There is a SPIDER and it is crawling right in front of me and it is moving down toward my legs on my god oh my god"
Mom: "It's okay just pull the car over...."
Me: "I AM! It's just that I am going 85 miles an hour on a 4 lane highway talking on a cell phone haven't slept for 24 hours and a SPIDER IS TRYING TO KILL ME!"
Mom: "I KNOW! Be careful."
I successfully pull over to the narrowest shoulder of all time. It is exactly the width of my car. I'm lucky none of my vehicle is hanging over into the nearest lane. I immediately unbuckle and jump out of my seat. I can't jump out of the car because if I open the door, it will immediately be ripped off by a semi and I will be sucked out into traffic by the sheer force of it. Kind of like Titanic but sideways and dry.
Unfortunately during the 5 seconds I took my eyes off the spider to successfully navigate off the highway, it disappeared.
Mom: "Did you kill it?"
Me: "I can't find it! I have no idea where it is! It's probably in my hair!!!"
Mom: "Oh you have to find it...otherwise you'll be freaked out the whole way home!"
Me: "I KNOW!"
Bear in mind that the entire time we're having this really productive conversation, my car is being buffeted like crazy by every passing semi. One of those guys veers a little off the road and I'm going to become real familiar with my steering wheel. Because it's going to be crammed into my chest.
Mom: "Look under the steering wheel."
Me: "You want me to bend over and stick my head under the steering wheel? What if the spider's there? I'm just going to scream and jump into traffic. I'd almost rather not find the stupid spider."
Mom: "Yeah, but I know you. If it pops back up while you're driving, you'll scream and run right off the road."
Me: "This coming from the woman who discovered a bee in the car and rather than pull over to protect the lives of the 5 children she was driving at the time, decided to scream and slap at the air until her 14-year-old daughter could successfully pull them over from the passenger seat?"
Mom: "Shut up. Bee stings hurt! That spider doesn't bite anyway."
Me: "You haven't even seen this spider!"
Mom: "There aren't poisonous spiders that far north."
Me: "What are you, an entymologist?"
Mom: "Maybe you imagined the spider because you're tired."
Me: "I did not. I double-checked before I started screaming. Oh my God I can't find this spider."
Mom: "Well, you can't leave without killing it."
Me: "I have to. My car is going to get sucked into traffic by a semi."
So, I start the engine and jump back onto the highway. Totally suspect of every feeling, thought, sight, and sound. The tiny crack that's been in my windshield for a year? Giant spider. My legs itching like crazy? Spider is tap-dancing up and down my legs just to screw with me. Horrible creaking noise? Spider's going to eat me. (Just kidding! That sound is actually the metal-wrenching noise from my driver's side door that's about to fall off.) I made it back home in record time. I drove with the windows down and the radio up because my mother said that spiders hate wind (I'm pretty sure she made that up) and music (I think that is actually Mormon crickets.)
As for next steps, since the spider's still on the loose? I think Ripley has the right idea.