Me and my spider

It’s not actually my spider, he just lives outside my front door. Normally, I’d kill a spider living around my front door. I’d go out and spray him with insect spray until he stopped running or twitching. But I decided this time it would be different. However, I still didn’t want him building webs for me to walk through when I’m coming or going from my apartment.

So I trained him. With judicious use of knocking down web strands, I have trained this spider to build only on my neighbor’s side of the front stoop. This spider started out pretty small, but the stoop has lights on it that we, the apartment dwellers, can’t turn off, so it attracts its fair share of flying bugs. So he eats well. He’s pretty big now, I’d say his body is the size of a nickel, and with the legs he’s easily a half-dollar. And the webs he makes are pretty interesting. One night he managed to spin a perfect octogonal web, eight main lines with smaller and smaller octogons at regular intervals. Then one night he made an intricate web with two central points, which might have been an accident, or maybe he was supposed to have a guest. It’s become a nightly ritual for me to walk the dog and check out the web he’s spinning before going to bed. And he only spins his web at night… one, because only at night are the lights on that attract the bugs; and two, because my neighbor keeps tearing down the web.

Unfortunately for my neighbor, he can’t train the spider like I have. That’s because when he gets up in the morning and walks through the web, the spider isn’t in it anymore. The spider gets his food at night, then hauls it up to the top of the stoop and webs himself into a corner with his catch for sleeping and feeding. In the morning the web is empty. Now, you might be wondering why I would train a spider to build a web that my neighbor walks through just about every day…

Well, I hate my neighbor. I live in a pretty ghetto neighborhood. Guys sit on their front step and drink forties, and hang out in packs or gangs and make horrendously rude comments toward any woman who dares walk by trying to be “player of the year” or something… But my next door neighbor doesn’t do that. He’s from South Africa. His whole family is. Now, I don’t have anything against South Africans per say… but in this case is means that there are two families with a total of about 9 people living in a 2 bedroom apartment. Most of my animosity toward these people comes from their attitudes. The kids like to use car parking spots to park their bikes. They like my dog and they want to pet him, but only if he sits still, faces away from them, and they pet him lightly on the back of the head from behind. Any attempt on the dog’s part to sniff or move toward the kids earns a response of screams and running, sometimes crying. Usually this is when the dad comes out and says we shouldn’t scare the kids. Umm… what? Anyway, when we moved in, we used to walk the dog out front to do his business. But we stopped doing that, and he does his business out back. Oh, at night before bed, I’ll let him pee out front, but for any number 2, he goes out back into the weeds and trees. However, for some reason, all the other shitheads in our neighborhood like to just let their dogs run without a leash… so they come over to our area to poop, following the smell. Even though its been over 18 months since our dog has pooped out front, other dogs still come there to do their business. And my neighbor, he yells at me for it… “All thees sheeting. I come outside to sit and its smelling sheet.” “Your dog is sheeting under my front window.” and so on… but its not my dog, I explain that, but he just waves me off and gives me nasty looks. And he complains about our dog barking and making noise, which is pretty rare… and when I try to mention his kids thumping up and down the stairs at all hours of the day and night, he waves me off again.

So I trained a spider to build webs in front of his door…

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