Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Free Book Friday Winners, and a Close Encounter with a Hobo

FBF Winner:

Infant Bibliophile

Email me your top three choices at brosam (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks again to everyone who entered. We ended up massacring a bunch of cliches!

Actual Blog Post

I went to sis-in-law E’s house for dinner, and there was one extra guest.

A rooster. I asked E about it, and she said her daughter (Niece E) had been asked to a dance with the rooster.

She opened her door, and on the porch, under a box, where three roosters. Two of them have since flown away.

Apparently, the note read, “Don’t be a chicken, and go with me to the dance.”

I don’t want to be the one to actually tell the boy that the bird was, in fact, a rooster.

Anyway, so the boy leaves the birds at my sis-in-law’s house. Can you believe that? He probably found them on Craigslist or something:


So I’m making my way to the backyard to say hi to the Rooster, when my other sis-in-law says, “Brodi, come check out this spider. I think it’s a Hobo.”

My feet freeze. I literally can’t move. I say, “I’m coming,” but I’m really just standing there.

You see, my fear of spiders is not wholly unfounded. When Sam and I were first married, I was up one morning, around 3 am, playing Halo. (I have since found a more productive outlet to insomnia, but back then, it was Castlevania and Halo.)

So, I’m up playing Halo, and out of the side of my vision, I see a thinnish brown rope, sliding along the carpet near the door.

I know what you’re thinking… Alien tentacles.

N-T. Tentacles.

But it’s not an alien tentacle. It’s even worse. It’s a long line of Hobo spiders, making their way from a hole in the carpet near the door, across the living room to the kitchen. Never ending. Did you ever see that scene in Arachnophobia, where the spiders pour out of the sink drain? It was like that.

Only they were in a straight line. Probably autistic.

I didn’t have any spider repellent at the time, so I grabbed the closest aerosol can I could find.


Because spiders are made of hair.

To make a long story short (too late) I froze that line of Hobo’s right in their tracks. Then I lit a match at one end.

Totally kidding about the match. But I did drown them in hairspray.

Turns out there was a giant nest of Hobo’s just outside our basement apartment’s door.

So, back to sis-in-law M. She grabbed a glass jar and captured the Hobo. We all examined the spider, and I said, “Yep. It’s a Hobo. You can tell by the Chevron markings on its back.”

And then my bro-in-law D came outside, and examined the spider, and said, “Yep. It’s Hobo. You can tell by the Chevron markings on its back.”

Apparently, we read the same tutorial on “How to Identify the Hobo, and then Run for your Frakkin’ Life.”

Bro-in-law D looked at me, and then I fessed up. I have no idea what Chevron markings are.

Meanwhile, the Hobo twisted and turned, as if to illustrate where exactly the Chevron markings could be found on his body. Okay, he was really just suffocating to death.

So, in my lifetime, I have killed Hobo spiders with hairspray and with lack of oxygen. If I had my druthers (what the heck are druthers, anyway?) I would choose death by hairspray. (The spider’s death, not mine.) Next time, though, I might try the match thing. Make it a blowtorch event.

So, back to the chickens. (Bet you didn’t think this story could come full circle, did you? Goes to show it’s not only good stories that come full circle.)

I think Niece E’s plan is to answer the boy with a whole raw chicken, and say something like, “The other two were delicious. Thank you.”

Personally, I think she should answer him with a bill from the vet for rooster euthanasia.

Anyone have good spider stories? Or chicken stories?

No chickens or roosters were harmed in the making of this blog. One hobo was harmed. And it wasn’t pretty.


  1. I had a black widow once in my garbage can when I was kid. My hand came within inches of it when I went to empty the can. Scary.

    On "druthers"... I've wondered the same thing. I think it's a combination of "would rather." What do you think?

  2. Another good way to tell if it's a Hobo is to check out the legs. If they are shiny, or have any stripes or variation in color, it's not a Hobo. Hobos have solid, matte brown legs.

    Oh, and the best way I have found to kill spiders is to use one of those electrified fly swatters that look kind of like a tennis racket. Snap, crackle, pop.

  3. Ready for TWO spider stories?

    First, we had a basement-apartment, first-married spider encounter, too. We came home at 10pm from a date, turned on the light, and a black spider was scurrying from kitchen to bedroom! We trapped it in a glass, noted the red hourglass, and hubby tried to fling it in the toilet to drown. Except, it must have stuck some thread to the glass, because it flew back out of the toilet--AT US! I screamed, hubby leaped back, shattered the glass against a wall, and proceeded to whack the heck out of that spider with his shoe.

    Second, two weeks ago we found the creepiest looking fat-bodied spider in our garage. Hubby stabbed it with a shovel, and hundreds of BABIES jumped off its back!!! Turns out Wasatch Tarantulas are known for that.

    Here's a creepy pic if you want to be creeped out:

  4. I am glad you mentioned Castlevania...because you were much more addicted to that than you were to Halo. Though Jono and Kristi fueled your Halo addiction with their pleas of 'cmon over and hang out...and play Halo.'

    Every neighborhood needs a good rooster to make sure that nobody sleeps in.

  5. I almost had to skip this post when I realized it was actually about hairy poisonous spiders and not harmless homeless people. That picture nearly did me in. I have serious arachnophobia. Let's not talk about spider stories. No really.

    Ok, I guess we will. I was sleeping in my sister's basement (which is a bad idea obviously) and woke up with something tickling my face. Guess what it was? Yeah, I was screaming and freaking out at about 5 am. Doesn't matter that it was tiny, it was ON. MY. FACE. *shivers*

  6. Hey, that's me!! I won?! Yay! Thanks for making my day. My toddler kept me up from 1:00-4:00am last night, and when I finally snuck back to my bedroom this morning, I decided to check email on my iphone, because 1) I'm an addict and 2) I was too terrified that the moment I closed my eyes, he'd wake up again. So, there I am, huddled in the pitch dark squinting my eyes and reading my email, when A SPIDER CRAWLED ACROSS THE SCREEN of my iPhone. Aghhhhh.

  7. Suey- you may be right on the druthers. Maybe I'll do a little research (google it) and see if we can get to the bottom of it.

    Matt- does such a device really exist? I could seriously go for one of those...

    Nikki- I couldn't get the link, so I'll try again later, but that is seriously so creepy- about the babies. Ewwwww!

    Sam- I know. But it's more embarrassing to be addicted to Castlevania than it is to be addicted to Halo.

    Melissa- On your face! Ahhhhhhh! Did you scratch your face while you typed that comment? Because I just slapped my own cheek reading about it.

  8. Infant- that happened just last night?! I should never have brought up spiders. These are the freakiest comments ever.

  9. i am a personal fan of killing spiders with hairspray--thought i was the only one.

    my problem is that i just keep spraying and spraying and spraying.

    i *MUST* know that they are dead.

    i have an unnatural fear of spiders...and scream and cry like a baby if one is anywhere near me.

    lizzie had reported the "chicken/rooster" story to me yesterday---josh is toying with using that idea to answer HIS date to the dance.

    can he borrow the last chicken/rooster?

  10. Brodi, Yes, 7 hours ago -- weird coincidence! I had the iphone on the floor by my bed, so we don't have spiders in our bed or anything, but still. Yuck!

  11. Dorien- I think my sis-in-law would love to donate the rooster to Josh!

  12. *Shudder* Yeah, you seriously shouldn't have brought up spiders. Yuck.

    But since you did.... ;)
    A while ago, my daughter became aware that Nic Bishop had a spider book as well as the frog book we know and love. So naturally (is she really my child?) she wanted to get it from the library. I told her I could put it on hold, but no way was I going to read it to her. After a moment's consideration she replied, "That's fine. Daddy will."

    And he did. And Mommy wouldn't even look at it.

  13. Spiders...blech. *shudder* I lived in the basement of my parents' house until I got married, so I have LOTS of awful spider stories. I, too, have had one of the little monsters scamper across my face in the middle of the night.

    I mostly employed the "trap and flush" method for killing spiders. No crunching sound and no nasty spider guts to clean up afterward.

    I also have a chicken story. When I was younger my parents were out of town, and my uncle and aunt were babysitting my sibs and me. One day we came home from school to find a box containing a rooster and a couple of chickens in our garage. I'm still not sure why we had them; all I know is that a few days later the box was carted away by some of my aunt's relatives. It's very disconcerting to hear clucking and crowing coming from your garage.

  14. I'm terrified of spiders. And action and/or scary movies. The combination of the last Pirates of the Caribean (Action movie in my opinion) and the biggest spider I've ever seen in my life, at 2 am= me shaking on the couch until I can muster enough guts to go to it's funeral. Kenton killed it. It was in the bath, with its gigantic legs sticking out from behind the sink cabinet. All you saw when you walked in were legs, HUGE legs, and it was a Hobo spider as well. The end.

    P.S. Its a record, I've de-lurked again!

  15. Britt- I'm with you. There's no way I'd be reading that book to my kid.

    Jessica- Who'd have thought someone would have a chicken story too? Was it one of those stories where they "aunt" takes the "chicken" to live on a "farm", and then that night you eat fried chicken?

    Marianne- Thanks for de-lurking again. The funniest part of your story is how you were shuddering because of the spider... and Pirates of the Caribbean. It's so unique to have a fear of "action" movies!

  16. Yes, such a thing does exist, Brodi. And they provide hours of fun!

    Check it out:

  17. Thank you, Brodi - I loved your "Better off Dead" homage! I so loved that movie...*swoon* and John Cusack...what a hottie!

    *Ahem* I hate spiders! I once was bite on the leg (chicken little thing was a coward, bit me while I was asleep, I hope I squished him when I rolled over). The bit area swelled to the size of a tennis ball on my was awful - talk about puss, heat and pain - it took months for it to go away! I still have the scar! This is why I'm petrified of them - my hubby when we got married was fully briefed that his job is to save me from any and all spiders, no exceptions, even if he must risk his life. Thank goodness for bug control people, too!

    Ending on a good note...chickens - I grew up in a county island in a big city - we had two coups of chickens. Which is why (referring to an old comment) my BFF and I made mud pies with REAL eggs! =) I'm sure we would have won a mud pie baking contests if the fair would allow that category!

  18. Matt- That looks so cool! Now to compose a letter to Santa...

    Una- I knew you'd get the Better Off Dead reference. I just knew it!

    Do you have any pictures from the tennis-ball-sized pustule? Not that I would be interested in such a picture...

  19. oh my word! that line of spiders must've been about the scariest thing ever!

  20. I think I'm going to have to stop reading your blog now. Of all the topics you chose to write about, you chose spiders. *shudders*

    I hate spiders. I would've ran screaming from the house if my sister-in-law tried to get me to look at it.

    My fear of spiders come from black widows and living at the bottom of a mountain that was home to the aggressive house spider and Arachnophobia (I hate that movie) and being bit by a wolf spider.

    Icky icky icky!

  21. Tamara- indeed, it was. I almost had to quit playing Halo. Almost.

    Jenni- Please don't stop reading my blog. I take the post back. I will never mention the creepy crawlies again. From now on, it's chickens and roosters.

  22. Okay, you've twisted my arm. I won't stop reading your blog. But, NO MORE PICTURES OF SPIDERS! ;)

  23. In college I lived in a basement apartment for awhile & we used death by vacuum to rid ourselves of spiders. I didn't think spiders bothered me--but your story freaked me out!

  24. Sadly, there are no pictures of it, but I remember it vividly. It's weird, the swollen part was fevered, but the skin next to it...the non-swollen part, was fine.

    Now, if we want to talk about horror stories....ants! Yes, when ants invade, all I can say is Simple Green. I bet it works on spiders too!

  25. Sydney- weren't you worried the spiders would crawl out of the vacuum? I always had a fear that if I sucked them down the hose, they would wait until night and crawl back out.

    Una- What's your story about ants? I have a story about fleas. Maybe I'll share that next.

  26. My fear of spiders stems from my grandfather being bitten twice by black widows and eventually losing his leg as a result...which isn't really funny. Sorry. So on to the chickens.

    My father's very close friend from college moved from Las Vegas to a tiny town in Idaho and purchased some chickens. (Although that wasn't the reason for the move.) Anyway, they came home from church one day and their youngest son disappeared. The found him later,in the barn and surrounded by sopping wet and very dead chickens. The lesson in church that day had been on baptism. Apparently he decided that chickens needed baptizing too.

  27. Jenilyn- That is one funny/creepy chicken story. When you said the son was missing, I immediately thought, "He was carried away by the chickens." I don't know why.

    Sorry about the leg... Have you seen that show on Discovery about Venomous Bites? Very disturbing.

  28. I think my spider story is the strangest of all. I'm confident like that.

    My hubby is deathly afraid of spiders. So much so that he'd rather leave it running around our house for me to kill whenever it is I get home then get near enough to kill it (I dont understand that but whatever).

    He lived out in Pennsylvania for a few years and his buddy and him found a HUGE frakkin spider on their window sill. So they scooped it up in a mason jar and screwed the lid on and stuck it in the freezer. They're not sure what killed it first. :) Just to be sure they then poured her out and boiled her.

    Then they stuck her on a piece of bread (to keep her little legs out stretched on the porous parts) and painted her with clear fingernail polish, a few coats, let her dry, a few coats, let her dry.

    Then took pictures of her (they named her Charlotte). They'd stick her on their shoulder and be in the kitchen stirring a pot of soup or on their chest and lay on their back and pretend to be asleep. Crazy stuff like that. I dont know how long they kept her but they sure tortured the pour thing.

  29. Oh! And how could I dare forget to give you props for playing Halo! I am a big Halo fan myself since I'm the only wife that plays in our group of friends (about 8 other guys). Fun game that is!

  30. Debbie- you're right. That is the craziest spider story so far. How did someone who is so afraid of spiders to that? And, more important, how did he know the spider was a "she"?

    p.s. Do you have any of those pictures?

  31. I so have those pictures. I'll scan them in tomorrow. Lucky for me I was his girlfriend while he lived out there so he sent me all his pictures (and of course I made a scrapbook of them, what are missionary girlfriends for?). I'm thinking it was his buddy who scooped it up, and to be honest, I dont know how they know it's a she. Perhaps when they were putting her on the bread they saw the lack of bits. Do spiders have bits? Haha!

  32. Debbie- I can't wait to see those pics. U are definitely a good missionary girlfriend.

  33. The worst ant story (I have several). Where I live, ants are everywhere and summers are dry so they invade the house for water, in winter it's cold so they invade for heat, besides just invading for food. One summer morning I woke up and (I was in high school) and the white countertop in the kitchen at the sink was BLACK. Solid black...and moving. Yup, ants invaded. I think I might have screamed first before I ran to the laundry room to fetch bleach, or 409 or Dad woke and got the ant spray. It felt like it took forever to get rid of all of them!

    I can't wait for the flea story!

  34. Una- Ewww, Ewww, Ewww! That is awesome.

  35. I should not have read this blog entry right before going to bed. Massive shivers. I am so not going to read all the comments about more spider stories. If I have spider nightmares (which are pretty much my worst nightmares) I'm calling you at 3am to say thanks.

  36. Heidi- I apologize. Debbie said she would field all the angry 3 a.m. calls.

  37. Late to the conversation again! Oh well. My spider stories, to make you shudder.

    1. My husband woke up in the night with something squishy on his hand. He rubbed it between his fingers trying to figure out what it was. He thought a booger fell out of my nose and got on him, so he got out of bed without ever turning on any lights and washed his hands and rinsed the "booger" down the drain. The next morning when he was teasing me about it, I noticed a brown juicy streak on the back of his shirt. And a long spider leg in the middle of our bed. He rolled a dead, squished spider between his fingers! Ick! Worse--there was a big spider in our bed! Ick!

    2. This happened to my roommate. She was in the bath tub and was eyeing a spider on the ceiling. It didn't budge for a long time. So she decided she was safe to lean back and wash her hair, and that's when the spider decided to drop and land on her face.

    3. Russ and I were watching a movie in the basement in the dark. I saw something like a hobo crawl across the floor in front of the t.v. So creepy when a spider is big enough that you can see it in the dark!! Russ smashed it. A little later, Russ thought he saw something move on the arm rest of the couch next to us. Another HUGE spider! Russ smashed it. Then, to finish off the night, we looked down and saw a centipede crawling across the carpet toward us. It doesn't quite match your hobo invasion story, but still--I felt like the bug world was out to get me.

    I never saw a black widow till I moved into my current house. Now I see them every week, building webs on my FRONT PORCH. Stupids! We keep smashing them, and they keep deciding the front porch is a good place to die.

  38. Kim- #1 is definitely the freakiest. I totally remember nights like #3, newly married, poor, in a basement apartment... yuck.