Warning: This post includes a picture of a tarantula. Exit now if arachnophobic. You’ve been warned.

But first, a spider story!

Many years ago I worked with a motley team of college students, ex-cons, and other ne’er-do-wells in a hamburger place called Moreland’s Mesquite Grill, home of the Toonerville burger.

Since this was a mesquite grill and all, as can be imagined, we needed mesquite to cook over, so every week or so we got a shipment of mesquite logs dumped off on the back porch. It was the job of the kitchen crew to grab armloads of wood to keep that grill stoked.

At that time, the cook was the ex-con brother of the manager. He’d been in for murder, and was on parole, and was the sweetest guy you’d ever meet. At least 300 pounds, and man, he had a way with a burger. Then there was me, the clumsy grad school linguistics chick (remind me to tell you about the time I dumped the queso in the fryer), and there were a bunch more UT students and you’d get the Austin slackers, and all told, we were quite a bunch.

Anyway, one of the busboys came in with an armload of wood and then suddenly screamed and dropped it all over the floor, logs of papery mesquite flying everywhere.

In the middle of it all was the biggest damn spider I’ve ever seen. It was silver and hairy, and so big that when it turned to look at you you could see the pinpoints of glitter where the light reflected off its eyes.

Now the spider has the entire kitchen crew at bay. The cook is cowering over by the grill. Everyone is screaming or whimpering or shouting things like, “Jesus Christ! That is a big fucking spider!”

The manager on duty came storming in to tell us to shut up, that the customers were going, “what the hell?” and she saw the spider and went right back out the swinging door again.

Someone bravely took a swipe at it with a broom and the spider jumped over the broom. Fuck. Finally, I don’t know who, someone got it to stick to the broom and then someone else opened the door and we threw the broom out the door and closed and locked it.

After that, when we brought the wood in, we brought it in one log at a time, held by the end between finger and thumb.

But that spider? That spider was smaller than this spider, which I photographed in Lost Maples yesterday.




Maria Ragucci · November 11, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Graet story- passed over picture, though!

Patrice Sarath · November 12, 2010 at 8:04 am

Texas has big spiders, man.

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