Paul O'Brian writes about Watchmen, trivia, albums, interactive fiction, and more.


Still shaking

I just had the living shit scared out of me by finding a black widow spider in a bunch of grapes I was about to eat. First all I knew was that I was washing the grapes and something was moving. I dropped them into the sink in alarm and saw a large, shiny, black spider. As I tried to wash it off the grapes with the spray nozzle it flipped upside-down and I could clearly see the red hourglass on the spider’s abdomen. After that I was really alarmed. Then it turned into some kind of horrifying, Glenn-Close-in-Fatal-Attraction-style Spider That Would Not Die. I finally got it washed into the disposal, which I ran for a good long time. I think it’s gone. I think. All my nerves are hyper-sensitized, and anytime a mote of dust lands anywhere on my skin I’m frantically checking for creepy-crawlies. Basically I have a king-sized case of the jibblies right now.

Of course, I immediately went to the net to find out if finding black widows in grapes is something that, y’know, happens. Turns out it is. Yikes. It’s apparently a result of using fewer pesticides on produce, which I support, but still, I think I’m off grapes for a while, especially considering we bought those grapes for Dante. Shudder.

This is the kind of thing that, when it happens, I immediately want to tell someone. However, everyone here is asleep, and it’s too late to call anybody over something like this. So thanks for listening, blogville.




Meme time


  1. Hmm, I wasn’t sure what to reply to this, but I see nobody else has replied either so I kind of feel like saying something just to acknowledge this crazy experience of yours.

    A black widow!!?!?!?!!!!!!!

    So, er, that’s what I have to say.

  2. poor baby

    I wish I’d been there to save you from the spider and pat you afterwards! Just so you know, my new addiction to WoW keeps me up ’til 1:00 most nights, so feel free to call for spider-related comfort, or whatever.

    • Re: poor baby

      I can’t tell whether this is real pity or fake pity. If it’s real pity, of course I welcome it. If it’s fake pity then HEY! I don’t need your fake pity! Just because you’re out there slaying virtual giant spiders with your +5 Vorpal Sword of Snicker-Snack doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t be scared if there was an actual big poisonous spider in your own personal sink, you know. It’s scary!

      • Anonymous

        Re: poor baby

        It’s real pity! Stupid lack of contextual clues! And it’s not really pity, it’s more like sympathy. I do kill a lot of great big fake spiders, though. And then I sell the spider parts.

  3. The first article you link to blames pesticide reductions, but then there’s a comment from a spider guy who says he doubts increasing pesticides would change things. The second article says

    The stowaways likely aren’t the result of the public’s desire for more organically grown produce, grown without the use of pesticides, Epstein said. Rather, she thinks it’s likely because grapes now come into supermarkets pre-bagged, which makes in-store inspections more difficult.

    So who knows.

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