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So we all know it, after 8 hours of work you tend to be a little tired at the end of the day, you're looking forward to going home even if you have a somewhat long drive ahead of you. In my case I have a half hour drive home which can be a little relaxing. I don't have to fight rush hour traffic on the freeway and only in three spots do I have to be really careful about intense in-city traffic. In fact, in the middle of my trip I travel on a "country" road that narrows down into one lane each way as it winds around the large hill that stands between my work and my house.

So while I'm listening to music, relaxing in the familiarity of the road as I enter into said "canyon" in the hills as I call it, I happen to glance down at my dashboard. I like to check my fluid readings, having the car start to overheat at one time and nearly loose oil pressure has gotten me into this habit. Except this time I didn't see the readouts, no what I saw instead was...

A spider!!!

I like spiders... the fuzzy, little cute jumping spider types that is. This one, while I could tell it wasn't a Black Widow, had the shiny look and large abdomen. The fact that I didn't know <b><i>what</i></b> it was did little to ease the fear in me because that just meant that it wasn't the common "harmless" type I've seen dozens of times around the house (ie, daddy long legs, jumping spiders, garden spiders, etc). And when it moved the legs in front had that grabby kinda motion that I associate with Black Widows and similar types.

And it was on my steering wheeeeel!!

So I'm going down a two lane, two directional road that likes to have turns and corners as it follows the shape of the hill. It's a 45 mile zone and I've got plenty of cars behind me so there is no room to pull over, squealing like the girl I am to kick that I-don't-know-what-it-is spider <i>out</i>. And it's on the steering wheel, moving around in the middle though I can't always see where because I have to keep an eye on the road which is moving under my car at 45 mph.

Funny, despite my fear my first reaction was not "How can I kill it?" But more along the lines of "How can I get it away from me? (with the least harm to it <i>and</i> me)"

As it was, it was my pride more then anything that kept me from squealing and forcing myself not to over-correct in my driving. I was <b>not</b> going to run into a ditch or tumble my car off the road over a spider. No matter how freaky!! That type of story just wouldn't be good telling.

So I had to put up with it for another two loooong minutes as I made it through the rest of the canyon, all the while pulling a hand away as it got too close for comfort on one side or another. Each time I tipped my wheel to do a curve it seemed to want to go "uphill", which was nice since it stayed in the middle... sorta. Then there was a couple times it seemed to loose grip on the wheel and almost fall off to which I would cringe and plead with it "not on my skirt, oh please don't fall on my skirt!"

So finally the end is in sight! The stoplight at the end of the road, to which it widens out as it gets back into town proper. As I start slowing down and pulling up my car to the line I'm frantically thinking of what I can use to get the spider off my wheel and, at the very least into the passenger side of the car. I was hoping by the time he wandered back onto my side of the car I would be home.

As I was thinking about the passenger side, I saw the tin can my sister had shoved into my hands that very morning to help keep some small stuff from rattling around in the car. It was on the floor of the passenger side but within arm length, yes!!! I reached over, dumped the items out and grabbed the lid. But just as I was about to cage that spider, which was sitting on the edge of the steering wheel this time... the light turned greeen!!!

Dropping the pan, I had to take the light, which by the way was a turning to the left light which meant I had to... yes, crank the wheel in a 180 turn to do the turn and end up in my lane without plowing into the line of cars on the other side. "'xcuse me, sorry, spider on the wheel?"

Thankfully the next stoplight was just a few feet away and the spider hadn't moved off the wheel though it had come very close to dropping in my lap. Stomping on the brake, I grabbed the tin back up and quickly scooted it off the wheel and into the tin and.. slammed the lid shut!!!

Wheeew! Crisis adverted, and I was no longer tired and sleepy from the long day at work. Bonus? No car crashes!

The tin had a clear lid top so after I got home I took a longer look at the spider that had decided to give me a late night scare. (Didn't it know that Halloween was <i>yesterday</i>) I tried to take some pictures, but my only light source by this time was the inside car light so nothing came out. I wasn't going to take it inside so I carefully dumped it out in the garden yard. It better not try to make it back into the car is all I can say.

As far as I can tell though, it wasn't anything necessarily dangerous. The closest I could find on the net with 20 minutes of looking around was that it was an American House Spider. This is the closest online pic that looked like it: http://www.pawsforwildlife.co.uk/american_house_spider.php

I'm gonna go watch some funny tunes or play a game to wash the scare away so I can go to sleep! Fluffy small little jumping spiders, no problem. But this wasn't fluffy or cute!

In other news, I'm going through another Final Fantasy IX phase from digging out the soundtrack disk and listening to it. Most of the songs are pretty listenable, I'm quite surprised. Also surprising is my favorite "memory" track seems to be the regular battle song. Huh. Trying to get together some equipment so I can hook my PS2 to my computer monitor and play the game from the comforts of my room.