A door slammed.
A gaijin (foreigner) screamed.
A spider appeared on his wall.
It was huge. Its body was 2.5cm (1-inche) long with an even greater leg span with black and yellow striping on its legs. It even looked like a tough spider – of its eight glowing red eyes, three were covered with patches.
I sat on my green couch with a spring poking me in the rear and eyed the spider gloomily.
I wanted to call Ashley, but thought better of it. It perched easily on the wall to my left near my telephone and stared at me with its remaining eyes sizing me up. It probably figured I was extremely tall for a Nihonjin (Japanese person) and that I was a wimp. It probably figured correctly.
I was scared spitless – not that I would have hawked a goober at it.
I wondered which of us would make the first move. Since spiders are known for their patience – and I was getting that creepy tingling feeling up and down my back that makes it seem that something is crawling on you – I decided to go for it.
Frightened like a cat, the hairs on the back of my head and the front of my back all stood up – but despite the feline look, I still had the coordination of a klutz.
Reaching for a copy of the Daily Yomiuri (an English-language daily newspaper) on my table in front of me, I felt something grab the back of my pants trying to stop me. Nearly peeing myself in fear, I thought the spider might have brought friends.
Pulling myself free just a tad too hard, I slipped and slammed my head on my kotatasu (heater/coffee table). Turns out that grabbing I felt was just that spring poking through the sofa and snagging me.
Even though I was now dazed, I was also confused as to why the spider had not attacked me then. What was it planning? When was it planning to do it? Like Indiana Jones hates snakes, India Joseph hates spiders.
I quickly rolled up the newspaper and lunged at my foe delivering it a mighty TH-WACK!!
I think I heard peals of laughter as it crawled a meter higher up the wall.
Now the blasted thing was high enough to avoid a second blow from me unless I stood on a chair. Stupid me. Hindsight is wonderful, but only if one lives long enough to realize it. I should have figured out that the chair is where it wanted me.
Reeling from a newfound headache and possible voices in my head, I went to the dining room and dragged a chair towards the spider.
As I moved closer, it began to pull itself up onto the ceiling. Ommigawd! Was it trying to take out the lights? It moved nearly directly overhead. I shuddered involuntarily.
Since the newspaper didn’t deliver the expected obituary, I dug out one of my dress shoes and smote it a mighty blow before grinding the heel onto him for a few seconds.
When I removed the show to see what I had wrought – it jumped at me!!! Oh the horror… the horror…
I evaded its furry touch by screaming like a little girl (my apologies to any little girls out there) and deftly falling off the chair.
I then reached for a handy construction boot (I really must be tidier) and crunched the devil repeatedly. Then I dragged him around my apartment for awhile.
It was over. All was quiet except for the screaming in my head.
I had won, but at what cost? My apartment was now covered in spider guts and my boot painted scarlet.
Then I heard it. A gentle rapping. Something tapping at my balcony door. Probably just the wind blowing my laundry line, only this and nothing more.
Or might it have been another spider seeking revenge? Next time I’m going to be better prepared. Go ahead… make me spray.
I suppose you are all thinking I over-reacted to the spider. Really? This is what it looked like: Ugh.
There are literally hundreds of these on my north balcony that come out as the sun goes down.
I can’t go out there because they suddenly start riding down their thread to try and land on me and crawl over my hair – and I hate having my hair messed up.
I found out that the Japanese actually like spiders. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to find out why.
Somewhere buying hair gel,
Jolly Jonah Joseph
This title is brought to you by The Ramones - TAKE A LOOK OVERHEAD.