Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Mobile Spider

When we first got to Palau, we noticed a gigantic spider perched in the center of a large web near the stairs leading to our apartment. The spider was high above even Daniel's freakishly circus-level reach.

Daniel hates spiders, like any good and decent person does. His fear of them I would classify as "above average," however.

I have a very average fear of spiders. But because of my understanding of the true and evil purpose of snakes, an understanding that some also call a "fear," I am able to show some empathy for Daniel's feelings on the matter.

Hear that, Daniel? EMPATHY. It means not trying to force Eli to get closer to the most venomous snake in the world because "it looks cool."

Ugh. Why do I bother? He doesn't read Stranger anyway.

We noticed early that this spider very disconcertingly never seemed to move from its spot, day in, day out. Daniel has made us walk the long way around the stairs to get home for months because he has been certain that the spider was just waiting for the right time to pounce onto his head and lay eggs in his weave.

And, no, I can't just go the fast way and let Daniel take his time because I'm not allowed to have a key to my own apartment until I "can learn to be more responsible." So Daniel has both keys and if I get to the door first I just have to wait for him to let me in anyway.

Seriously. I gave out the key like five times to people we just met and told them "mi casa es su casa!" and he acts like I became blood-brothers with terrorists.

It's not like they took stuff we cared about when they robbed us, Daniel. It's not like they took the cookie butter.

Daniel has checked on the spider every day since getting to Palau to see if it has moved. Then, recently, I got a phone call at work.

A Ridiculous Telephone Conversation with Daniel

Secretary: Eli? Someone is calling for you . . . I think it might be Daniel . . .

Eli: Ok, go ahead and put him through--


He had clearly started screaming the word "NO" before his call was transferred to me.

Eli: Um. Hello?


Eli: Huh?


Eli: You had BETTER NOT be talking about the cookie butter, young man!!!


Eli: Ok. I know you're not talking about money because we don't really have any.

Daniel: I'm talking about Lucifer!

Eli: . . . should I understand what is going on here? I assume you aren't referring to your relationship with Satan . . .

Daniel: The spider, Eli!

Eli: Oh. I didn't know it had a name now.

Daniel: It goes by many names! Lucifer, Satan, the devil, etc. I've been referring to him that way for months, Eli!

Eli: Ok. This actually clears up a lot of things that I have been confused about . . .


Number 1
Daniel: This apartment would be perfect if Satan didn't live outside.
Eli: Ummm . . . what?

Number 2
Daniel: I called the landlord about doing an exorcism to get the devil out of here.
Eli: Ok. I guess that's good . . . Wait. Is the landlord Catholic? Are we even Catholic?

Number 3
Daniel: Eli, did you know the fat on your sides is starting to hang over your pants--

Daniel: Um. That last one has nothing to do with this.
Eli: Darn.

Daniel: Anyway. Eli, we have to MOVE!

Eli: Slow down. You said it's "all" gone. What's all gone?

Daniel: Lucifer AND his web of sin!

Eli: Well, Daniel, isn't that a good thing?

Daniel: NO IT'S NOT A GOOD THING! When Lucifer was there I could keep an eye on him. Now I don't know where he moved to! He could be in our house! He could be in my pants or OHMYGOSH I THINK HE'S IN MY PANTS!!!

Eli: You're not wearing pants.

Daniel: How do you know?!

Eli: Because you're at home right now.

[Camera zooms out; shows that Daniel is not wearing pants]

Daniel: Fine. But you know what I mean! My proverbial pants. He could be anywhere!

Eli: Daniel, I don't think he "moved." It sounds like someone killed him. And rightfully so, because he deserved to die a long time ago.

Daniel: How do you know he was killed!?

Eli: Because the web is gone too.

Daniel: Yeah! Because he MOVED!!!

Eli: No. If a spider moved, it wouldn't take its web with it. It's not a mobile home.

Daniel: How do you know that!?

Eli: Because I'm thinking rationally. And I went to elementary school.

Daniel: Don't you DARE make this about my homeschooling!

Editor's note: Daniel has told me that one only learns three things in home school.

1. Math.
2. The phrase, "red sky at night, sailor's delight; red sky in morning, sailors take warning."
3. God takes care of everything else.

I have asked him whether sex ed was covered in home school and he responded like I wasn't listening when he gave me the list: "Duh. Points one and three." I think this is very insightful commentary on why Daniel is still single.

Eli: Well what are you going to do here? Just freak out?

Daniel: I'm expecting you to fix it! I wouldn't be in this mess if you had killed it when I asked!

Eli: When did you ask?

Daniel: Remember? I said, "Eli, I want that vile creature's head on a platter by the end of the day!"

Eli: I thought you were referring to the Easter Bunny we saw giving a massage to that lady in the back of a minivan--

Daniel: I was referring to both!

Eli: Oh gosh. This is all going on Stranger.

Daniel: As one of your serious posts? It can't be a humor piece because this isn't a joke.

Eli: Hey speaking of jokes: What do spiders eat in Paris?!

Daniel: I'm not answering that.


Daniel: I'm hanging up.



~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. Can't. . . breathe . . .

    This is pure gold!

  2. I feel that Daniel is absolutely completely justified in all of this.

  3. Eli, I cannot tell you how much I loved this post. There was so much going on here. The weave, the key thing, homeschool. Seriously how can someone be this creative?

  4. Personally, I can emphasize with both of you. I think both spiders and snakes are from the devil. This was hilarious, though!

  5. I would have reacted exactly like Daniel did. Except I would have been wearing pants.

    Every time one of my students checks out a spider book from our library, I mention that spiders are demon creatures. In fact, in a book called "If You Hopped Like a Frog", we recently learned that the common house spider can move at 33 times its body length per second (fastest thing on Earth for its size). Yep. Demons.

    Don't tell Daniel, but I've also read from multiple sources that there are approximately 50,000 spiders per green acre. Every time I drive past a field now, I shiver. Then I go back into denial and pretend that's impossible.

  6. I would not have reacted the way Daniel did. I would have made you kill Satan the moment I saw him (I would have watched from afar). And if you didn't, I would blame every bug bit or little itch I ever had from that moment on, on you (I'm an itchy person, you don't want that kind of blame).

    But given the circumstances, I think you're a little insensitive, Mr. Scared-of-snakes. Daniel doesn't have to be manly all the time (not counting the knitting and watching of girlie-movies and reading girlie-books).

    1. I would have made Eli kill Satan the moment I saw it as well. And now my weave is itchy.

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  8. I stayed in an apartment during my mission that was infested with brown recluses. I always thought my companions were weirdly oversensitive about it. One found a spider on her pillow right before lights out and FREAKED OUT. After I was transferred, they got me back by sending a card filled with desiccated spider husks from the glue traps around the apartment. I still feel that sending dried out poisonous spiders through ththe mail has to be illegal.

    1. Dude. That's f*cked up.

    2. Minus the swear, I agree 100% with anonymous. HOW IS THAT EVEN OKAY?! Those spiders are dangerous! I would have moved out ASAP, and I love spiders! I'm glad you didn't mention someone dying!

  9. Daniel might not want to blindly stick his hand in your mailbox or anything like that. Just sayin'.
    Now, if you notice a sudden bug infestation in your apartment, you're going to miss that little demon of yours. They have a way of controlling the unruly... like tiny, freaky looking despots.

  10. I understand...and empathize COMPLETELY! Geographically we aren't that far apart and Hawaii has flying...FLYING cockroaches!! They fly towards the person with the greatest fear/loathing of them (that would be me) and I have curly hair :'(

  11. Tell Daniel that if he marries me, I'll kill all the spiders for him.

  12. Oh, I could have resolved his fears easily. A few weeks ago I asked the guy cleaning our level to "take care of it." Spider is dead, web is gone, and nothing is in Daniel's pants :)

    1. I don't think Daniel would be particularly happy to find out that NOTHING is in his pants. (teehee!)

  13. You completely glazed over the most important part of this post---what is cookie butter, and can I buy it super-sized?!

    1. visit your nearest Trader Joe's... it's made from the Speculoos cookie (a gingerbread cookie, which happens to be the "national" cookie of Denmark or some other Nordic country) and is pure, unadulterated SIN in a jar. Comes in creamy and crunchy.

  14. oh my goodness, I thought I was the only one who learned Daniel's lessons of homeschool point 2.
    P.S. That is pretty much homeschooling.

  15. SO what is the size and coloring of this spider. You show us the demon snake you are so afraid of. But you don't have any documentation of this demon spider? How do I know how fearful I should be for Daniel?

  16. French kids will love that! I have to agree with Daniel, I'm not too worried if i know where the spider is. Once it dissapears - it's time to panic!

  17. How big was this spider? I loathe the nasty creatures, and my fear grows proportionally with the size of the spider. I abhor them. I kinda want to know what size we're talking about before I cast judgement upon Daniel.

    Hilarious post, by the way. (I'd probably want it classified as "serious" if I was in the situation, but I'm not, so I laugh.)

    1. The body was probably the size of a penny and with its legs it stretched out to the size of a golf ball.

  18. I completely feel Daniel's pain. I hate pretty much most animals but the smaller they are, the evil-er

  19. I will never forget the time Daniel startled and quiet-shrieked not once but TWICE at the giant fake spider hanging outside Black Widow Cafe -- first on the way in and *again* on the way out. True, the spider was about the size of a beach ball, but with the absurdness of its size, you'd think he'd have remembered it and not panicked twice. Top 10 funniest things I've ever seen.

    However, it leads me to ask, how does he make it through the Shelob scene in Lord of the Rings? Or Aragog in Harry Potter? And has he actually read The Hobbit? Because I'm just sayin'... he might want to before he sees the next installment of Jackson's never-ending version.

    1. Thank you for sharing that anecdote about Daniel

    2. I dunno, if I'd seen a spider that huge, fake or not, I'd have tried my hardest to forget it. Maybe he just succeeded.

  20. Hilarious & always a great way to end my day!

  21. Eli, read "Charlotte's Web" to Daniel. Tell him the spider is Charlotte. Any future spiders you come across can also be referred to as Charlotte. Also, I live in Utah also, and you should see one of the spiders I found in the hallway at work. I took it to the janitor and had to call the janitor to my room later because there was one in my room. They had long skinny bodies, and all spread out were like a little bigger than nickel size. So I think spiders are getting bigger everywhere.

  22. I am so glad you listened to Daniel and made this a serious post. Because spiders are seriously freaky. And it totally makes sense that they are all Satan.

  23. I equally love the phrase "Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky in morning, sailor's take warning". I was not home schooled, but my mom would say this phrase to my sisters and I all the time. Even now, when it's a particularly beautiful night I will text my sister and say, "It sure is a sailor's delight kind of night". :-)

  24. This is one of the funniest posts I've read. It was foolish of me to read it in a library.

  25. Oh my goodnes. That is hilarious! I'm with both of you. Throw bees into the mix and I'm in the corner curled into the fetal position.Sobbing.

  26. I retract my invitation to visit Australia... There are spiders here big enough to eat small birds. They're not common but they may well be the spawn of satan.

  27. Daniel was homeschooled? He keeps getting more awesome.

    But how did he get away with just learning those three things?

  28. WOW!! Soooooooooooooo hilarious! :D

  29. Don't believe everything Daniel says Eli! I'm homeschooled too, but I take the equivalent of A.P. public school classes. (I wish all I had to do was math)

  30. To be fair, I learned those same three things in my public school and not much else...

  31. I laugh snorted at everything in this post. I can't keep it in at all! Eli, you are so hilarious! If my life is ever made into a movie (and I'm confident it will be), will you be the commentator?

  32. the flashbacks and French flies!