I first saw the spider as the clock chimed eight in the morning. It was running for the safety of my icebox. I grabbed my fly swatter and the chase was on. With me and spiders, it’s kill or be killed. The creature was black, hairy, and had the crooked legs of a mangy street dog. In full sprint, I slipped on a stocking. What dame left that? Oh right, Mrs Sandrelli. The spider darted under the icebox just as my swatter went “smack” on the floor. Lucky stiff.
I didn’t need this headache. At the precinct house yesterday, Captain Mulroney had barked at me, “Get over to the sewage treatment plant. There’s a corpse stinking up the joint.” Great. Just what I needed. A murder to solve at a spider-infested hellhole.
I hate spiders. I have a fear of them. I can handle a crook with a .38, an angry broad with a stiletto, or jealous husband with a baseball bat, but I lose my marbles at the sight of a lousy spider.
I phoned those exterminators, the ones with the stories in the newspaper. “Operator, get me LUdlow-7 8623…Is this Home Defenders? Say, can you send someone over to get these spiders out of my bungalow? Thanks, doll.”
I lit my first, poured myself a double, and waited on the couch. Sure, it was early, but clocks don’t run my life. I calmed down. Maybe spiders aren’t so bad after all.
Suddenly, I saw that spider charging at me like a Plymouth on the Pasadena Freeway! It bolted up my leg as I screamed, “Don’t kill me! Don’t kill me!” but the dirty rat sank its fangs into my jugular. Then, on the brink of blacking out forever, I woke to a knock at the door.