The Spider Dance.
or, how to look like an idiot in 24 easy steps

First, and most importantly, it is helpful to live in an area where spiders are plentiful. Northern Alabama, for example, where the evil-looking black widow and reclusive brown recluse spiders are so numerous that there’s a waiting list to get into your back yard. Secondly, it is vital that you not wear gloves or a long-sleeve shirt, as this hampers the feeling of spider legs skittering along your skin. 1. Stroll happily into your back yard. Smile and look at the sky, noting that the sun is shining, it’s a lovely 75 degrees out, and the kitties are sitting under the bird feeders waiting for a hapless bird to come alone and become dinner. Except for Miz Poo, who is digging frantically in the dirt of the plant pot from which you recently removed gladiolus bulbs. Hope aloud that Miz Poo is not using the plant pot as a litterbox. Watch as Miz Poo catches sight of you and runs like Satan himself is after her, then hides in a patch of weeds as if you can’t see her big kitty ass sticking up in the air, her tail wagging frantically back and forth. Decide to ignore Miz Poo for the moment and get to work. This back yard is a mess, with dead plants hanging everywhere and weeds coming up through the rocks covering your french drain. Snap open your garbage bag in a businesslike manner and walk purposefully toward the dead gladiolus leaves sitting on the lawn. 2. Two minutes later, note that this is harder work than you realized, laboring under the hot midday sun. Take a ten minute break to pet and cuddle Miz Poo. Who wuvs a bebbe? Who wuvs a Mith Poo? Dat’s right! Dat’s right, momma wuvs a Miz Poopypants! 3. When someone walks along the outside of your fence and snickers at your babytalk, put down Miz Poo and get back to work. 4. Ten minutes later, note with satisfaction that the gladiolus stems and most other detritus is cleared from the lawn. Muse aloud that the lawn doesn’t really look any different than usual. That will change once those nasty weeds growing through the rocks are yanked up, though! Remind yourself to not forget to pull down the dead Morning Glory vines. 5. Repeat #2. 6. Decide unhappily to get going on the weeds. Someone’s gotta do it, right? Wonder aloud how much the yard guys would charge to do this sort of thing. Remind yourself that you’re supposed to be saving money, not spending it. Consider making the spud do it. Finally suck it up and force your lazy ass in gear. 7. Repeat #2. 8. The weeds are finally yanked up. Note that it’s ironic that most of the "weeds" growing through the rocks were actually grass. Damn that Bermuda grass, it sure is persistent. Take a few moments to hate the Bermuda grass and grasses of all kind. Inform yourself that it would be nice to just cement over the entire back yard. Remind yourself that the resale value of the house would probably go way, way down, and (say this aloud) "I don’t plan to be in this hellhole forever!" 9. Feel guilty. Tell house that it’s not really a hellhole, that it’s a perfectly nice house. Mutter to yourself "for a hellhole, that is!" Worry whether the house heard that. 10. Do a happy dance. Once the Morning Glory vines are yanked down from the trellis, your (check watch) 30 minutes of hard, excruciating labor will be over! 11. Begin yanking the dead Morning Glory stems down and stuffing them into the garbage bag. This is boring work, so let your mind wander. Wonder if that damn piece of shit computer which kept freezing up on you earlier has learned its’ lesson. Try to decide what to have for lunch. Listen to Miz Poo chirp at Mr. Fancypants as she kicks his ass. Feel a tickle on your right forearm and glance absently downward. 12. HOLY GOD IN HEAVEN, IT’S A SPIDER! IT’S A SPIDER! A SPIDER! OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD! 13. Scream loudly and throw your garbage bag into the pool. Flail both arms backwards as hard as you can, letting out a long, high-pitched scream. Begin running in place as fast as you can, your feet slapping the cement in a rapid one-two rhythm, while continuing to flail your arms back and forth. 14. Feel a slight tickling on your face. 15. HOLY GOD IN HEAVEN, IT’S A SPIDER! A SPIDER ON MY FACE! OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD! 16. Realize – you must keep up the flailing and running in place the entire time – that a spider is not on your face. That’s a stray hair which has escaped from your carefully (ha!) gelled and blow-dried ‘do. 17. Move ever-so-subtly (without realizing it) in the direction of the pool. 18. Begin flailing your arms in a circular motion, as you are certain – though you cannot see them – that spiders are all over your arms. 19. Feel a tickling between your breasts. Stop flailing your arms and instead begin beating yourself on the chest, hoping to kill the scads of spiders you’re sure have invaded your bra. 20. Realize that that was the tickle of sweat you felt. Lower the register of your scream slightly so that you sound like a somewhat mentally disturbed deranged person. 21. Finally, stop running in place. Slowly lower your arms. Lastly, cease and desist with the scream. Note that your neighbors have gathered outside your fence and are peering through the slats to see who’s killing you. 22. Give yourself a once-over and see no spiders, black widow or otherwise. Brush your hair back from your face and speak soothingly to Miz Poo, who is hiding under the steps with her tail bushed out. 23. Take one step backward to get away from the Morning Glory trellis before going to open the fence gate to let the cops – who are banging on the gate, guns drawn – in so that you might explain (with an embarrassed grin) what exactly happened. 24. Trip over the solar cover reel and fall into the pool.