The step from the back door to the porch was about eight inches high, so when my parents bought this house my dad built a wooden step half that height to place below the door, so my mom could get out with less difficulty. The step has three low sides and a top, and is open at the back where it fits against the wall below the door, and on the bottom.
The step is not attached to wall or ground, so each year someone used to pull it out and clean under it and its underside. This year I forgot to do that, and last night I saw in the corner adjacent to the step an enormous black widow spider. It vanished during the day, withdrawing through the slight gap at the end of that side into the dark space under the step. Tonight is has returned. I do not like it being there. I do not like that, under the step, it probably has egg sacks filled with hundreds of offspring waiting to hatch.
Black widows love the summer, and love damp, but fire kills them. It might be difficult to torch this one, though, as it has the crack behind the step just two inches away, and it can move quickly, so if I approach it with the long lighter it is apt to escape. I don't want to spray it with the powerful insecticide I have for that purpose because the spider is in a spot immediately adjacent to where the feral cats sleep and eat, and I certainly don't want to expose them to poisons. I could try to crush the spider with something, but there would the the same problem of likely escape as with the fire.
I seem to be on the horns of a venomous dilemma. I wondering if I might be able to slaughter the thing by suddenly dumping a copious amount of very hot water onto it. As I've said, the spiders move very fast, and even a sudden waterfall might give sufficient advance notice that the thing could escape, and then I'd just have a wet step, and black widows love damp. It's a puzzlement. I wish I could move faster.
The one thing a absolutely do not want it to get bitten. Black widow venom makes one very sick indeed, and sometimes dead, and one of its consequences is a derangement of the senses very like madness, and I figure I'm deranged and mad enough as it is. So whatever I do about the spider must be something that minimizes my risk of being bitten. I think I might try the almost-boiling water first (actually boiling would be better but the back door is too far from the stove.) If it fails then the spider will undoubtedly be back tomorrow night and I can try something else.
Anybody know any incantations to drive spiders away?
by Andre Breton
Less time than it takes to say it, less tears than it takes to die; I've taken account of everything,
there you have it. I've made a census of the stones, they are as numerous as my fingers and some
others; I've distributed some pamphlets to the plants, but not all were willing to accept them. I've
kept company with music for a second only and now I no longer know what to think of suicide, for
if I ever want to part from myself, the exit is on this side and, I add mischievously, the entrance, the
re-entrance is on the other. You see what you still have to do. Hours, grief, I don't keep a
reasonable account of them; I'm alone, I look out of the window; there is no passerby, or rather no
one passes (underline passes). You don't know this man? It's Mr. Same. May I introduce Madam
Madam? And their children. Then I turn back on my steps, my steps turn back too, but I don't
know exactly what they turn back on. I consult a schedule; the names of the towns have been
replaced by the names of people who have been quite close to me. Shall I go to A, return to B,
change at X? Yes, of course I'll change at X. Provided I don't miss the connection with boredom!
There we are: boredom, beautiful parallels, ah! how beautiful the parallels are under God's perpendicular.