Kill the Spider

When I was 15, I got my first paying job, doing yard work and odd tasks on summer weekdays for a family in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where we lived at the time. Their house featured a rough stone foundation with lots of nooks and crannies.

One day, while spreading mulch around the edge of the house, I noticed a dense, funnel-shaped spider web emerging from one of those nooks. I picked up a short stick and touched it to the web. Nothing happened. I shook the stick a bit. Still nothing. I shook the stick a bit harder.

Suddenly, a large, oddly-patterned spider stood on the web above the end of the stick. The spider appeared so fast that it might as well have teleported to that spot, only inches from my hand.

I dropped the stick and leaped back. After I caught my breath, I ran to the garage and grabbed a can of insect-killing spray off the shelf. By the time I got back to the web, the spider had disappeared. I shot a long burst of insecticide into the hole, then another, then another.

Sometimes, I think foreign policy gets made the same way.

Leave a comment


  1. Jim

     /  November 16, 2015

    Yep, you go around poking into other people’s humble abodes,
    and eventually either they or their cousins come out and scare
    the hell out of you.
    Then you go get all your modern weapons of destruction and
    kill them.
    I am reminded of a description of the behavior of rattlesnakes
    from the 19th century. An Indian can discover a rattlesnake
    and have no more reaction than if he just saw his brother, but
    a white man will get terribly excited, and thus a rattler just naturally
    loves to bite a white man.
    In a world where other people number in the billions, you would
    think that white men would discover more civilized ways to interact with

  2. Bless ya, I am petrified of spiders so I know how ya feel especially how close and quick that spider appeared too. I could imagine myself running around the garden screaming and running around shaking! 🙂 good job ya had the killer spray but I prefer the hoover 😛

  3. I’m not sure what’s worse doing something or doing nothing. Over-aggressive foreign policy is dangerous. Not recognizing when there’s a real threat, leading from behind, and thinking that sending James Taylor to France is foreign policy is just idiotic.


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