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Once Bitten Twice Shy

I blame my father for my third spider bite in July. Same leg. Thigh. Back of knee. Front of thigh, just above the knee.

Dad distracted me, the third time.

I sat at an outdoor picnic table. Awaiting barbecue pork made in heaven. Or Hemingway, South Carolina (which is decidedly NOT heaven in July or any other season.)

Dad must’ve tired of talking to strangers inside Scott’s BBQ, because he shambled across the highway and teetered next to me. “What’re you doing out here, huh?”

“There’s a line out the door, so I thought I’d leave space for someone else.”

“Uh-huh. Me too.”

Dad stepped over the bowed, single-slat seat, and I held my breath. Waited to hear the shriek of rotted wood as Dad’s I-Don’t-Know-How-Many-Pound-Backside careened into the helpless bench of the picnic table.

Instead, the world tilted sideways. In slow motion, one side of the table levitated above the dirt and reached its bench-like arm toward the sky. With a laugh, it ground Dad and me into the dusty, barbecue-strewn earth.

My skirt flew up.

A thirteen-old-boy saw.


Between the time I yanked my skirt back down and wiggled over to Dad, whose mouth was working like a surprised fish, the spider left its pinprick on my leg. I didn’t notice the bite, because I was too busy laughing at Dad’s face.

Or in his face.

“I can’t get up.”

“Well, I can’t GET you up, Old Man. I mean……um……..”

A stranger wrestled Dad to his unsteady feet. I knocked most of the dried grass and dirt off his hindquarters. We moved to the other picnic table and pretended like nothing happened.

Only the spider bite reminded me.

For days.

And days.

46 Comments Post a comment
  1. Well, take the name The Accidental Cootchie Mama you have to expect such skirt over the head moments occasionally. The fates like to play.

    July 24, 2014
  2. oh, so sorry, glad you are okay. and sorry i was laughing about the picnic table catapult. )

    July 24, 2014
  3. Quite an image. And you have become part of a 13 year-old’s permanent memory. Weren’t we talking about immortality the other day?

    July 24, 2014
  4. So, how was the BBQ pork? πŸ™‚

    July 24, 2014
    • Scott’s is the best. They’ve been profiled just about everywhere nationally. We drive 1.5 hours one way just to get ours. It’s in the middle of nowhere.

      July 25, 2014
      • Those middle-of-nowhere places are the best!

        July 25, 2014
  5. Ohmigosh, the visual!

    Hereafter, a bit more decorum, please:

    July 24, 2014
  6. Hi Andra, I feel your pain. I just got a particularly nasty spider bite on my ankle the other day but on a positive note, a good Roy story takes some of the sting out.

    July 24, 2014
  7. Well, that takes care of one boy’s upcoming essay on “what I did on my summer vacation”, doesn’t it? Personally, having a proclivity to such tipping points (like landing in tomato soup while skiing), and having a wicked sense of humor, I’m have a bit of giggle here, Andra.

    Hope that spider bite doesn’t sting much longer.

    July 24, 2014
    • It’s mostly gone now, Penny.

      Tomato soup while skiing? Have you told that story??

      July 25, 2014
      • I have. It’s a doozy. If I remember, I’ll repost it come winter.

        July 26, 2014
  8. Brilliant!

    July 24, 2014
    • Yeah. Dad sitting down next to me was brilliant……….

      July 25, 2014
  9. tarakianwarrior #

    Awwww. I hope your Dad’s backside didn’t hurt him too much. As for the spider – I bet it thought it was responsible for the whole episode. πŸ™‚ Powerful spider. Hope you’re doing okay now. Any idea on what kind of spider it was? I know you’ve shown a few pictures of bites and man, did they look nasty and painful. Hope all is well now.

    July 24, 2014
    • The first two were brown recluse, which is a pretty poisonous spider to less than 4% of the population. It bit me while I was filling the bathtub at a B&B. Came out of the jacuzzi jets, and I didn’t see it because of the bubbles. πŸ™‚ Bit me twice. Never felt a thing. Only saw it after it was dead. Didn’t find one bite for 24 hours, the other for almost a week.

      I never saw what bit me at Scott’s, but I saw the bite almost immediately. It looked like a mosquito bite. By that night, my knee was swollen and sore, but I never ran a fever or anything. Icing it caused dramatic improvement by the next morning, but it’s taken almost a week to fully get better.

      July 25, 2014
  10. Ha! Good thing the spider didn’t bite a bit further up…. If it had been a teenage boy spider, it might have.

    July 24, 2014
  11. Now are you going to become spider woman? I can see you now, black leather cat suit, with evil intent in your 8 eyes…or is that 8 legs?

    July 24, 2014
    • I can’t believe I haven’t turned into a spider yet……..

      July 25, 2014
  12. Eeek! Glad there weren’t any other injuries. Wounded pride and a spider bite are plenty to deal with without adding anything else to the pile.

    July 24, 2014
  13. What’s with these freaking biting spiders these days? I got a nasty one on my ankle a few weeks ago. Burned like a mo-fo.

    July 24, 2014
    • Seems like they’re everywhere, judging from the comments here.

      July 25, 2014
  14. Ha! Thanks for the reminder that you are usually (always?) going commando, Andra. πŸ™‚ Believe it or not I work for a well known lingerie company… maybe I’ll send you a little something. πŸ™‚

    July 24, 2014
    • I have one pair of unmentionables to wear under white dresses………….actually two, now that I take inventory…………I knew you did that, Lisa. My mother would LOVE to meet you. I think my aversion to lingerie is direct rebellion against all the time I spent in the lingerie section growing up. My mother has eleventy-billion matched bra-and-panty sets, and they must always match, because if she’s ever in an accident, and the medics must cut off her clothing, she would be mortified for them to discover mismatched underthings………..She hand washes them. Hangs them in the bathroom. My husband has therefore seen most of my mother’s underwear.

      July 25, 2014
  15. Nancy Glenn #

    I woke up several weeks ago with a nasty looking bite on my neck. I assumed something like a spider bit me during the night. It stayed red and ugly for about 2 weeks. Don’t know what it was! At least it didn’t cause my nightgown to fly up & expose things that are better off left unseen! Haha!

    July 24, 2014
  16. Oh my word!!!! On the one hand, you made the day of a spider and a 13-year-old boy. On the other, arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggggh.

    July 24, 2014
    • Yeah. I’ve spent much of July icing my leg and lying flat. Hasn’t been much fun.

      July 25, 2014
  17. Spider bites are not funny, and certainly not an experience to have more than once! The boy must have been delighted, though.

    July 24, 2014
    • I can’t imagine being delighted at seeing up a middle aged woman’s skirts………..

      July 25, 2014
      • You aren’t a boy!
        Middle-aged? Still a chicken.

        July 25, 2014
  18. I’m sure the boy will recover. The spider I wonder?

    July 24, 2014
  19. OH MY!! Both of you made a trip to the dirt huh? The 13 year old will never be the same but he will survive. I hope you managed to roll over the spider and end its life. Then again you may have rolled over onto it and interrupted its nap and that may be why it bit you…. I guess we will never know huh? Poor Roy…. on his backside flailing around wondering how to get up. That would be me probably. Glad the stranger came by to rescue Roy. LOL

    July 24, 2014
  20. Well we know your pride wasn’t wounded! How did Roy handle the aftermath ?

    July 26, 2014
  21. How kind of you to give a 13 year old boy his thrill of the summer! Re your Dad and his chair issue, it pouts me in mind of the book “Walking Across Egypt” by Clyde Edgerton, in which the main character gets stuck in the seat of her chair at home, and dies a thousand deaths thinking of the shame when she is rescued and someone sees she has been watching soap operas!

    July 27, 2014
  22. Oh my! I’ve seen some of those southern spiders and they are HUGE. When you are with your dad you just never know what’s going to happen, do you? ox

    July 28, 2014
  23. Hope that bite is finally better by now, Andra πŸ™‚ And the bench has finished licking its wounds….

    July 31, 2014

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