Inside The Authors Studio
By Patty Clark
The kind of being I normally find attractive depends on my mood. If I’m sitting passively enjoying an episode of Inside the Actors Studio with James Lipton, I might be attracted to the type of masculinity who has the love of words. But if I’m interrupted by a terribly eerie home invader, I might be more attracted to a serrated kitchen blade aimed at slaying the aggressor.
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The kind of being I normally find attractive depends on my mood.
If I’m sitting passively enjoying an episode of Inside the Actors Studio with James Lipton, I might be attracted to the type of masculinity who has the love of words. But if I’m interrupted by a terribly eerie home invader, I might be more attracted to a serrated kitchen blade aimed at slaying the aggressor.
I was a newcomer to southern California.
One evening while lounging on my couch being captive audience to Actors interviewee James Gandolfini, I broke out in a stunned condition of watcher’s block, prompted by something insidious crawling on my carpeting. The distressing part was that it had already made its way to my dining room which was clear across the room from the open french door where I was sure it came in. I could have previously stepped on it with my bare feet either leaving evil ruins in my carpet fibers, or precipitating all kinds of anger from the stranger.
Only On Tuesdays
It’s too bad I didn’t have any fabulous footage of the large eight legged tarantusaurus that was enjoying my plush lodging and eclectic scenery.
I wanted to tell it that I only do tours on Tuesdays, and more precisely with humans. I acknowledged it with a “Heil Hitler” salute, although I would rather Prince Charming showed up on my doorstep. Or a Chippendale. I never imagined that one of Charlotte’s Web-by residents would make itself at home. A thief would have been less creepy than this critter. Trouble soon festers when two opposites find it hard to exist together under one roof.
Who Goes There?
Meanwhile my cat Stella, who might just as well have answered to Bashful, decided to combat the creature by sitting there silently staring at it.
Unlike a dog, who would have bravely gone before me tackling the monster. I could have used a little help with the slaughter. But I suppose she didn’t want to get her claws dirty or mess up her hair. The beast was having absolutely no luck at all attracting females.
I’m a non-violent person, though I’m sure I could respond rather Al Caponishly if I needed to. In retrospect I should have said, “This house is protected by both a security alarm system and a woman in the midst of menopause. Guess which one is far more murderous?”
I tiptoed closer to get a better look at the varmint, staging an ongoing effort to not reveal any hint of my horror.
I wanted James Lipton to jump out of the television screen to use his coaxing on the beast since he is very persuasive at getting his guests to provide personal information about themselves. For a minute there, I considered asking the arachnid if I could call a cab for it or inquire how it felt about flesh wounds.
But I had more intelligent questions to ask such as, “What is your favorite word? What is your least favorite word? What turns you on? What turns you off? What profession other than home invader would you like to attempt?” I mean if I was going to have someone in my house, I might as well strike up a stimulating conversation.
Talk To Me
During my own interviewing process, the bad brute scurried swiftly out the door like a racehorse suddenly released.
I followed it out and found it slithering underneath the threshold. I thought to myself, ‘Oh goodie. I get to see it again sometime.’ The next day I described the entity to a co-worker who said, “Sounds like a tarantula.” I went out and bought a sonic plug-in for keeping arachnids away and I hadn’t seen hide nor hair of it since.
My distress did not stop there. Arachnids have cousins.
Sitting in bed writing on another occasion, I caught a glimpse of a ginormous web outside the door with another sickening spider.
Only this time it was a black widow, sending me into another arachnophylactic shock. Who was I to criticize its silk spinning creativity. Yet I did a month’s worth of cardio by grabbing a can of insecticide and a broom in an all out attempt to destroy it. I thought of calling someone for help who was only a 911 phone call or bloodcurdling scream away.
Normally, dog sized daddy long legs never bother me. But with other spiders, I snatch a wad of tissues and very carefully smash it, then proceed to torch it, lighting me and most of my immediate surroundings. It is hardly effective when a beast is in the bathroom bum tank swimming for safety and I’m yelling, “Fire in the toilet bowl!”
On Fire For You
Over My Dead Body
God’s gardean angels somehow turn into gardean devils. The insecticide and broom clubbing scenario proved useless.
The web shriveled and the spider escaped. I came home after work the next day and the web had been re-woven with more extensive exoskeletons of doom. The pest must have been offended by my assassination attempt.
I needed to do whatever it took to stay safe from conscientious harvestmen, short of building a Berlin-type wall with barbed wire and topped with atomic warheads. To think that the unaccountable coterie of sinister spiders might be inseminating each other and I could have visitors in my clothes and candy jar. Over my dead body. I was going to kill this thing before cobwebs covered me in my sleep.
What Would God Say?
I heard that the venom from the Brazilian banana spider causes erections in male victims. Being a female, those spiders would certainly be in the wrong place if it wanted to stiffen a guy.
What else can I say about tarantulas. Goliath abdomens, fast legs, only slows down with Prozac or a lethal hammer punch to the cephalathorax. Someone had to bite the dust, and it wasn’t me. Sledgehammering a spider is definitely worth losing fourteen feet of stucco.
Journaling my misadventures, I could have concluded these visits by submitting one final question to the intruders. “If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive four feet under?”