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30 Days of Writing - Day #5 - Spiders

I don't like spiders and snakes 
And that ain't what it takes to love me
Like I want to be loved by you

Remember that funny song by Jim Stafford back in the 70s? Yeah, me too. And for me it really meant something because I remembered how, as a kid, I hated spiders and snakes. I recall one time my friend Jeff's Dad took us with him in his Volkswagen Bug to collect rocks for his garden. We drove out into the country, parked the car and wandered into the woods.

It was a gorgeous, sunny day, muted by the shade from the foliage of tall trees. It was a warm day and the cicadas serenaded us with their wild whine. It was quit idyllic, actually, save for Jeff's sister Juanita. I mean after all she was a girl and her presence put a damper on what otherwise might have been a guy's adventure.

Anyway we all wandered off through the woods in different directions looking for just the right size rocks, covered in just the right amount of moss for Jeff's dad's garden.

And then I saw it. The perfect rock. I knew it was the perfect rock because it was bathed in a shaft of sunlight that had managed to pierce the canopy of leaves far above us. This was a special rock...and It was me who had found it.

I was bursting with pride. I didn't call to anyone. I knew I could carry it on my own back to the car. I was looking forward to surprising everyone, especially Juanita, with my magnificent discovery. Okay, I admit it. I kind of had a crush on Juanita.

So with these warm and wonderful thoughts in my head I slowly bent down to pick up the rock in my arms. I stuck my hands under each side of it and began to lift.

What the hell was that? Did something just dart out from under the rock? Wait. It didn't dart. It slithered.

I let out a yelp. Although, sustained as it was from deep in the forest all the way back to the car it was more like a scream. Okay. I admit it. It was a scream. A scream so loud, long and piercing one would think that moss covered rock had come to life.

That snake had scared the living shit out of me. Although, back in the days when I was eight years old we didn't talk like that. In fact, in the heat of that moment, I don't think I could have even put two words together, let alone think of such an expression.

When my friend's dad came running and asked me what was the matter I breathlessly panted: "Picked...up....rock...snake...wahhhhh."

Well they all started to laugh. "Aw, it's just a common garter snake," said my friend's dad. Me being all of eight years of age, I'd never seen any kind of snake before. This was a traumatic experience. I may not have crapped my pants, but I think I might have peed in them,

And as Juanita doubled over in laughter, louder than her father and brother put together, I went through a quick transformation. I quickly realized how silly I had appeared, running at breakneck speed through the forest, arms flapping, screaming at the top of my lungs. And Juanita was now laughing at me like I was an idiot.

My face flushed with embarrassment, I did the only thing any eight year old kid in my position would do.

"Hey, Jaunita, is that a big spider on your shoulder?"

There are no rules to this little exercise. Participants are in for the long haul, a half haul or a day here and there. I tried my best to keep track of who's in on this little exercise but after a couple of days gave up. Our loquacious leader Nicky has taken a very lackadaisical approach to all this. Well, she's heavily influenced by the French guy she lives with, eh, and we all know how laissez-faire (and drunk) the French can be. So what I suggest you do is visit her at We Work For Cheese and check out her linky-dinky thingy to see who's in from day to day. And if you're in, leave your link with her so the rest of us can drop by and leave smart-ass comments on your post.


To be honest, I don't know if I know that song or not, but it sounds vaguely familiar: at least the chorus.

I don't know why but I never had a thing about snakes...but spiders skeev me out.
Good coming-of-age story. It's unique in that there is no actual spider in your spider story, and it's the first I've read that doesn't end in Arachnicide. For that alone Nicky should give you at least 50 points.
nonamedufus said…
Second time I've seen the word "skeev." today. what the heck does it mean and where does it come from?
nonamedufus said…
Well, thanks for the vote of confidence.
Actually learned it's spelled "skeeve." But here's the definition:
Barb said…
I am definitely with you on the snakes- I am petrified of snakes! As I have always said the only good snake is a dead one I can either use as a handbag or wear on my feet. "Snakes- it had to be snakes" - Indiana Jones
nonamedufus said…
Amazing, UP. I'd never heard of it before. Thanks.
nonamedufus said…
Oh, yeah. never had much use for snakes - or spiders which we mustm't forget is today's prompt.
Mike said…
I haven't seen a garter snake in eons, but I remember seeing them when we were kids. Maybe we had more fields back then. Or we just spent more time in them.
nonamedufus said…
We did spend a lot of time outdoors when we were kids. Didn't have all the distractions that kids have today like TV, video games, intranet, texting and the like.
Cheryl P. said…
It made me uneasy even reading about a snake. I HATE SNAKES!! I love the ending to your story. Very cute.
Nicky said…
Great story, Dufus! And because God told me to, I am awarding you at least 50 points. :-)

Seriously, this one's worth 250 points. Did Juanita ever forgive you? :-)
babs (beetle) said…
Ha ha ha! "Hey, Jaunita, is that a big spider on your shoulder?" I love it!

I don't know what a garter snake is, but as we don't have any poisonous snakes here they don't frighten me at all. Spiders, however I HATE!
Leeuna said…
I love the imagery in this story. I can just picture a kid runniing and flapping his arms while yelling snake. It sounds like something my grandson would do.
P.J. said…
Ha! Good story! And though I dislike spiders, I do like snakes!
Linda Medrano said…
A co-worker left a big hairy fake spider in my desk drawer. I shrieked! Damn, do girls still fall for that? The snake would have made me scream too. I like snakes just fine, but don't surprise me. I'm sort of like a rattler that way.
nonamedufus said…
Well, that wasn't very nice of your co-worker. I hope you git them back.
nonamedufus said…
I hate both. But probably snakes more. Did you ever watch that show Billy - The Exterminator, or something like that. I watched a few in morbid fascination as the guy end after bees, rats snakes, alligators and so on. Better Billy than me.
nonamedufus said…
Oh it was quite an incident. The memory of it is still vivid to this day.
nonamedufus said…
A garter snake is a middy venomous snake found across North America.. I had little to be afraid of. But it was my first encounter with a snake and it scared the bejeezus out of me.
nonamedufus said…
I, um, made that part up.The part about the snake is true but the part about the spider seemed a nice way to close it off.
nonamedufus said…
Thanks, Cheryl. While basically true, I took some liberties with the ending.
Cheryl P. said…
Liberties taken or not...Juanita deserved to have a real spider crawling up her neck for laughing at your fear.
meleahrebeccah said…
That is too funny. I would have run away screaming too! I can't handle snakes or spiders. No thank you.
laughing mom said…
I don't like snakes at all and would have been scarred for life from that experience. My husband is my snake exterminator and that is fine with me. I do like your comeback about the spider on the shoulder - well played!
nonamedufus said…
Yeah, after 52 years of thinking about it I finally came up with a comeback line. File this under "things I should have said".
nonamedufus said…
I don't know that I'd react the same way today. I'd probably just have a heart attack and keel over.
Linda R. said…
Embarrassed or not, I think it is only natural to be frightened by a snake at 8 years old when it is the first one he's seen. I think you recovered nicely. Great story!
nonamedufus said…
Oh I was frightened all right. And, hey, I was lucky I didn't drop that big rock on my foot. I should have itched it at the snake.
nonamedufus said…
That was my thinking, too. Or a snake! Yeah.
nonamedufus said…
But I more than made up for it with a more accurate description of you and Jepeto today, don't you think?
MalisaHargrove said…
Great story, Dufus! Juanita was such a bitch to laugh at you. She is probably a lonely, old woman.
Shawn said…
Wasn't that the plot for Stand By Me? Or maybe I'm getting mixed up...
mikewjattoomanymornings said…
Okay, another weird coincidence, brother. I also remember Stafford's song, and had a crush on a girl named Juanita, although we called her Wanda.

Oh, and I hate spiders.
nonamedufus said…
Ya think? That's rather harsh, don't you think. (I can only hope - heh, heh!)
nonamedufus said…
Thanks, Katherine. I was inspired, don't you think?
nonamedufus said…
Amazing. I wonder if it's a guy thing or a generational thing? How are you on snakes?

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