Wednesday, August 22, 2007
The Problem with Rain Guards.
If that title doesn't get you excited to read this post, I don't know what will.
When I bought my truck several years ago, a friend of mine pointed out that it had rain guards. "Those are kind of hick-ish," he said. I evaluated them and decided that I needed them because I didn't have AC, and would have to roll my window down when it was raining.
Well, I have a new name for them. Spider Hiders.
Spiders were kind of annoying when I lived in Georgia. So I took my family and moved to North Carolina, only to discover there were 10 times the amount of spiders there than in Georgia. Not satisfied with my spider per inch ratio, I then took my family to Austin, where there is a spider of consequential size on every existing molecule. Perfect.
And speaking of perfect, it turns out that Rain Guards are the perfect place to be a horrifying spider. Here's how it works. A spider or ten crawls into my rain guard during the night. The next morning I get into my car, roll the windows down (no AC) and head to work. Spiders feel the wind, crawl into the roof of my car and drop promptly into my lap.
I'd like to say I welcome these terrifying visitors with a calm "oh!" and escort them safely out the window. That's pretty much what happens, except I also drive into the median screaming and flailing like a banshee having a seizure. My thought is usually that I'll die in a flaming wreck, and everyone will be left wondering why I drove off the overpass into the aquifer below. Meanwhile the spider slinks away unscathed and possibly in my pant leg.
It took me a while to realize the rain guards were causing my spider problem, so now in the mornings I check the guards first. If I see a spider, I usually leave the window up long enough for the wind to blow it away on the interstate. (If you're curious, the average spider can hold on at up to 70mph on a windy day. But higher than that, not so much.) Yesterday, however, I looked into the guard and saw just a couple of tiny legs in the corner. "Wow," I thought, "that spider really tucked himself up in there, he must have ridden with me before."
I couldn't find a stick long enough to ensure my skin wouldn't make spider contact, so I did what any PETA member confronted with the same situation would do: I grabbed the garden hose and started spraying into my rain guard at full blast. Suddenly the furry hand of a giant curled around the top of the rain guard. I'm not kidding, the spider was huge. Tarantula-esque in appearance. It looked something like this, if anyone can help me identify it. He ran over the top of the car to head for the other side's rain guards, and I sprayed him again. Eventually, I washed my entire car and convinced him to fall disgustingly down to my driveway. There was a pause, then we both started running back toward the truck. The spider was fast, but I was faster. I got in the truck and backed it down the driveway. I stopped to see if the spider was still there in the driveway but he wasn't. I could only assume he was attached to the bottom of my truck, Cape Fear style, ready to go to my work. I drove there as fast as I could.
My friend Jerry's going to help me figure out how to remove my rain guards sometime next week.