We left off with Papa Smith making his daily commute to his job as Chief Envelope Licker for the US Postal Service. He was cruising at highway speeds, listening to Celine Dion’s Greatest Hits on CD. A slight rain was covering the roadways, and the rhythmic passing of highway lights were lulling him into that glazed, numb feeling we’ve all had while driving. He looked through the windshield, keeping a semi-watchful eye for a sudden flash of red brake lights among the cadence of orange orbs passing him. His mind turned to the rhythm of his windshield wipers. He had begun to notice that the swishing of the wiper blades back and forth across his windshield was nearly synced with the sudden brightening and subsequent dimming of the street lights. The swish, the light, the hum of the tires on the road, and an International Superstar belting out “My Heart Will Go On.” Could it get any more relaxing than this? Not for him.
He shifted his gaze, alternating between the customary 2-3 car lengths ahead of him and following the path of his windshield wipers. Suddenly, something on the top of the windshield caught his eye. Ninja Spider had returned. Papa Smith leaned forward, his hands at 10 and 2. He traded quick glances between the road and the quarter-sized spider crawling across the top of his windshield. The glass was still intermittently bathed in orange light from the street lamps, making it difficult to determine if the spider was inside or outside the car. In a thought that quickly formed in his mind, he deduced that even Shaolin Spider wouldn’t be able to hold on to a wet glass surface with 65 mph winds striking it. General concern transformed into horror movie-style panic when he realized– THE SPIDER IS IN THE CAR! (cue dramatic horror movie music)
His fight-or-flight reflexes kicked in. Except they were fight-or-drive reflexes. Because he was driving. On a wet highway. At 65 mph. At night.
He devised a plan. Located on the back floorboard was a bright safety vest he wore while he was working. He would roll the safety vest up and turn it into the Fluorescent Yellow Hammer of Extermination. He fumbled around, one hand searching the floor behind his seat, one hand on the wheel, trying to locate his chosen weapon. Albino Kund Fu Spider crawled across the windshield towards the driver’s door, zeroing in on his chosen victim. Papa Smith finally felt the polyester and nylon blend of his Safety Extermination Device and brought it to his lap. Just as he was about to perform his patented Safety Garment Newspaper Roll, Arachnid Gladiator the Pale reached the top of the driver’s window.
Everybody has dealt with a dumb bug in their car before. A fly or a mosquito gets trapped in the car with you and you turn into a bug life-coach. You encourage the bug to move towards the window. Gently at first. “Come on, buddy. Fly over here so I can let you out.” Then your patience starts to wear thin. “Go to the window, you stupid F*ck. Don’t you want to leave? Don’t you want to see your dumb bug family again?” The bug finally gains some sense and flies towards the window. Normally, all you have to do is crack the window and the suction that is created by the 65 mph winds passing by the outside of your car instantly sucks the bug out of both your vehicle and your life, forever.
This was what Papa Smith thought would happen. Seeing his opportunity, he depressed the switch to lower the window. He expected the wind to uproot Albino Ninja Spider and straight-up vortex his ass the hell out of there.
You all know that I would not be writing about this if that shit would have actually happened.
Papa Smith watched as Ninja Spider was momentarily caught by the Vortex of Highway Doom. His pale body hung in the open space between the window and the door frame for what seemed like minutes, but was actually only a few milliseconds. Then, with help from either the Ancient Spider Spirits of the Arachnid Clan or a sudden gust of wind, Shaolin Assassin Spider was blown back into the car and onto Papa Smith’s lap.
History has been witness to many inexplicable events. However, on only two occasions has it been recorded that somebody successfully pulled a car to the side of the road while simultaneously trying to crawl into the back seat. The first was during the British Eggplant Riots of the 1930’s. Those were dark days that we don’t have time to discuss right now. The second time was when a quarter-sized, albino spider landed in the lap of a man who was driving down the highway at cruising speeds. When Papa Smith recalls the events of that day, he claims that his memory is broken into pieces. He remembers the spider landing in his lap. He recalls levitating off of his seat. He also remembers not being able to levitate too far from his seat because his butthole had puckered up so tight that part of the seat cloth was caught between his butt cheeks. The next thing he remembers is standing next to his car on the side of the highway. He somehow managed to safely pull his vehicle to the side of the wet highway while closing his eyes, slapping his crotch, and emitting a scream that was so high-pitched that for miles dogs in their homes began cocking their heads from side to side, searching for the source of whoever was blowing on a dog whistle.
There is only one thing on the this planet that is more terrifying than having a spider jump on you. And that’s losing sight of the spider that just jumped on you. After Papa Smith finished slapping every inch of his body, looking like a deranged homeless person in the process, he turned his attention to the vehicle he had just performed an emergency evacuation from at highway speeds. What the hell was he supposed to do now? The simplest and most reasonable solution would be to light the car on fire, trapping Kung Fu Arachnid in the burning car and sending him straight to hell where he belongs. Unfortunately, the technical term for that is “arson.” And he still needed to get to work.
Well, what if he emptied the entire contents of his vehicle onto the side of the highway? He had a tool kit in the trunk. All of the seats could go as well. That would eliminate all of the hiding spots. And he was certain he could operate the vehicle from the floorboards. Well, that wouldn’t work unless he removed the carpet as well. And he didn’t have time for that.
He could call an Uber and leave the car on the side of the road for a few weeks. Shaolin Spider would eventually die of starvation or dehydration. Three problems with that. First, he didn’t think Uber would pick him up on the side of the highway. Second, he was pretty sure his car would be towed away at some point. Then, an unknowing tow truck driver would eventually try to open the car and expose Ninja Arachnid to the rest of the world. And, finally, he wasn’t entirely sure whether or not a spider would die if locked in a car for three weeks. I mean, there’s all kinds of stuff for them to eat. Discarded Goldfish crackers from his kids, gummy bears, cookie crumbs. Can spiders eat cookies? Probably not. Can Ninja Spiders eat cookies? Almost certainly.
Only one thing left to do. He would have to face his fears. He would have to assert his dominance over his kingdom and everything in it, including his car. He marched up to the car, flung the door open, and bellowed out “NOT IN MY HOUSE, SPIDER!” And then he realized that didn’t make sense because he was yelling into a car.
He sat in the driver’s seat and put his vehicle into gear. He merged back into what light traffic there was on the highway. Ain’t no stupid bug was gonna keep him from providing for his family. He sat upright in his seat, chin held high. He almost wished Ninja Spider would show his smug face again. He’d squish that little son of– there was a sudden sensation on the back of his neck. In that moment, what he would later discover was only a piece of hair on his collar felt like the return of Shaolin Arachnid going in for the kill. He let out another dog whistle scream, slapped the back of his neck, and pressed the gas pedal to the floor. Even with the emergency evacuation of his vehicle on the side of the highway that day, he made it to work in record time. After his shift ended, he called his wife to give him a ride home. Legend has it that the vehicle sits, abandoned in the parking lot, the spirit of a Ninja Spider appearing on rainy nights and every third full moon.