Sunday, May 22, 2011

Valhalla Can Wait

I did not get raptured yesterday.

According to Christian broadcaster, Harold Camping, May 21 was the day that all the good people of the world were to be whisked away to heaven, leaving the rest of us baddies behind.

That's okay with me. Because that meant that I got to spend time in my shop building a little table for our back porch.

And yet, I can't help but wonder what might have prevented me from being raptured.  I mean, I'm a nice lady.  I buy girl scout cookies, tip the mailman at Christmas, wear deodorant.

No, the only thing I can think of is that I used to be a spider-killer. My 8-legged nemeses and I now have a pact: I don't kill them, and they don't seek me out to torment.

You think I'm kidding?

True story: about 10 years ago while attending a church service in our sanctuary, I was menacingly threatened by a nefarious arachnid.

Our 150-year-old church has a peaked 56' ceiling.  I was sitting toward the middle of the center pew, attentively listening to the sermon, when a Honda-sized spider appeared right before my eyes—2" from my line of vision.

Now, in previous encounters with spiders, I have been known to leap from a front-passenger seat into the back seat of a car; swerve off the road and leap from my car, arms a-flailing; and awaken from slumber halfway out of the room, having leapt from my bed to escape the clutches of a dream-inspired arthropod. With fangs.

But I was in church. Where no leaping is allowed. Presbyterians are called the "frozen chosen" for a reason. We don't move, or sway, or clap. We sit stoically in the pews, eyes toward the pulpit.

So, what does a puritan do when faced with the wicked glare of a bedeviled creature? She, in one swift movement, uses her worship bulletin to sever its thread, lightly drop it to the floor, and gently encourage it to become a permanent part of the carpet fibers with the heel of her shoe.

I was smooth. In control. Cool hand Kari.  Through an herculean effort, I had overcome a monumental challenge....and no one would know.

Or so I thought.

Following the service, and for several years (years!) later, I was forced to relive the event through the  interminable recollections of the amused onlookers who had been sitting in the pews behind me.

"Man, we saw it coming all the way down from the ceiling, heading right for you!" they'd chuckle.

With a 56' ceiling, surely it would take at least a couple minutes for a spider to reach its target. Meaning, my brothers and sisters in Christ watched and waited as a freight train with eight legs made tracks for my face.

Nice way to "do unto others," guys.

So, for that event, as well as other equally fun spider confrontations, I am left behind.  With my workshop, and tools, and projects.

Which is the very reason I've included "squashing ants" on my to-do list.


tom buhl said...

happy weekend, kari

Tico Vogt said...

Hi Kari,

I sat in the front seat between an old lady driver and an older girl while car pooling to school my third grade year in Pompano Beach, Florida. One morning a tarantula crawled out from behind the rear view mirror directly above my head and started moving it's legs around as it looked prepared to leap. One of the scariest moments of my life! Our driver was very cool and said "Just sit still, dear, until we get to school and we'll leave the car very slowly and quietly." What? Why not stop the car then and there and get the hell away from this monster, I thought (and still think) rather than wait twenty minutes in a state of shear agony.

Helen said...

Okay, so I live by SF and kept sawing these billboards all around town...I kinda thought it was a joke until the media started to hype it up cuz there was no news to report :p We did have a mini earthquake about 7 pm last night LOL :)

Good thing we did not get raptured, we have all this time to WOODWORK!!! :) Happy Sunday!!!


Adrian Baird Ba Than said...

I did get raptured.Unfortunately heaven didn't need anything fixed or redesigned so I came back.Who wants to spend eternity in a place that was entirely designed by someone else...

Marilyn in Seattle said...

Really, you're fellow church members didn't tell you that spider was coming? MAN! That's brutal. Well, at least we know why they didn't get raptured. ;~D

My favorite spider story is by my poor vision Asian friend who also happened to have a very long and very black pony tail. She was camping in the desert and flipped over to see a very LARGE tarantula in her sleeping bag. Right before she screamed, she realized it was the end of her pony tail. heh!

Vic Hubbard said...

Spiders don't bother me. Snakes!! That's a whole different form of terror!! Sylvia likes to tell the stories of my various "snake dances" that occur just about any time I have one cross my path or vice versa.

Dyami Plotke said...

Glad you're still around. It'd be awfully lonely round these inter webs without nice folk like you.

Eric said...

I'm selfishly glad you got left behind with the rest of us.
I would have missed you.
And, there are no safe spiders in my shop!

David Scott said...

I am a member of a similar type of congergation A Church of Chirst. As with you we sit quitely, listen, pray and sing.
Even when one of the older brethern have a health episode they are quiet about it.

I did hear that the pastor in question hasn't been seen since yesterday. Maybe he wss the only one taken.

Tom Iovino said...

Boooyah! That's totally awesome, Kari. I'm still laughing.

Mike said...

I read once that you are never more than three feet from a spider! Great story! almost as good as the one about the guy who got two black eyes in church.
I have a bald headed uncle who came in to church and sat in the front pew(This is a small church in Nimrod, MN) He had a big band aid on his head. Before church stared the entire congregation was laughing!
I spent the rapture afternoon at a microbrewery, I figured it would be the first place Jesus stopped after being gone so long.
I have an ant squishing joke for Nancy to learn but I can't put it up here.

Jeff Branch said...

Funny post. I hate spiders too. Vic, I am not real fond of snakes either, but for some reason it is roaches that make me freak. I guess because they can fly. That is evil.

Anonymous said...

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8,9

Unknown said...

Thanks for the great laugh! Don't get me wrong - the same thing happened to me at an antique auction when I was a kid. My dad had drug me along, and I sat on an old sofa bored out of my mind when I noticed people wincing as they looked at my face.

It was only when I refocused that I realized the furry monster that was mere inches from my face. No sermon though, so I could calmly make my way around the beast and lay tracks!

I too try not to kill them unless they are bigguns that make it into the bedroom or family room.

Temperance in arachnicide is always a good bet!

Kari Hultman said...

Thanks, Tom, it was a great weekend.

Tico, that makes my skin crawl just reading it! I take it you escaped sans spider bite.

Helen, I couldn't agree more. :o)

Black, we're happy to have you back. ; )

Marilyn, gah! Another skin-crawling story. Yeesh. Glad there are no tarantulas around here. *looks under bed*

Vic, you and another friend (also male) do snake dances. Remind me to tell you the story about him, his raspberry bushes, and a neighbor's garden hose when we see you at WIA.

Thanks, Dyami. :o)

Eric, there are spiders AND mice in my shop thanks to a couple of lazy dogs.

David, I have a feeling that pastor might lay low for awhile....

Tom, I'm glad I could return the favor. You certainly make me laugh!

Mike, I heard that about spiders, too. Creepy. Oh, and thanks for sending me the ant squishing joke. We both giggled. :D

Jeff, ugh, roaches are horrible, gross things. And way worse than spiders. At least spiders kill mosquitoes.

Thanks, Anon.

Jason, spiders must have some knack for migrating toward the people who are most scared of them. :/

Rick Lapp said...

In case of Rapture, can I have your car? ;)

John Cashman said...

So, your church has a 56 foot tall ceiling. That seems very accurate. You brought your laser measuring device to church with you, didn't you? Sigh. Now I want to. I need to know.

Kari Hultman said...

Rick, you sure can. It's 13 years old, so it's all yours!

John, no laser device, just a friend with access to our church's historical records. But you still need one. Heh.

Doug F. said...


Traditionally, spiders have been considered good luck! Check this site out:

Also, I would have bet money that you kept the spider web and measured it to find the height to the church.:-)


Doug F.

Darnell said...

Kari, your list of nice lady requirements made me laugh out loud, thanks for that.
My insect adversary is moths. My friends have all seen it, they fly at my face like my nose is a porch light. It's been like this all my life. I tried to convince myself that it's my imagination, and that I don't need to be paranoid because they aren't after me. Then last year one flew into my ear canal. The sound and feeling of it beating its wings and scratching its feet made me a little mad. I'm glad my wife was there, she kept me from falling down the basement stairs due to my crazy blind thrashing. I think I've developed a phobia.

Gary Roberts said...

Death Of Spiders for rent. For a reasonable fee, I'm pleased to offer one of our cats, Ella, for spider/beetle/fly/centipede/moth extermination services. Satisfaction quaranteed. No mess left behind.

Price: feed and scratch behind ears as needed.


A.J. Hamler said...

Back when I was a radio DJ, my program director -- a practical joker -- knew of my arachnophobia. Our control room had a large speaker suspended from the ceiling in front of the control board. He got the nastiest rubber spider he could find, stuck a thumbtack in it and wrapped dark thread around the tack. He then put the spider behind the speaker, and ran the thread up over the speaker, across the ceiling and to the clock on the back wall. Just before I went on the air he noted that he'd had trouble with the clocks during his airshift, so I thought nothing of it when he got up on a chair at that clock just as I went on. I was about five seconds into my opening greeting for my show when he lowers the spider right down onto the control board in front of me. I screamed, pushed backward, and toppled the chair onto the floor. On-air hilarity ensued

Kari Hultman said...

Doug, I'm not sure I can bring myself to look at that link. I'll try.....

Darnell, that is too freaky. You're a moth magnet! I really do think certain critters seek us out. My mom is a bat magnet. She's had two land on her shoulder.

Gary, you're lucky that you have an in-home pest controller! I have two lazy, good-fer-nuthin' dogs. So lazy that a mouse walked right past Rosie's nose as she slept on the floor. We saw the whole thing.

Kari Hultman said...

A.J. you had the meanest program director ever. EVER!

Maud Squad said...

My partner and I made a deal with spiders: Don't come into the house, and we won't kill you. We admonish the ones we find in the house with "you can't live here!" and smash them flat.

A few years ago, we had to make a similar deal with garden snakes, who were coming into the basement. We didn't kill them, just put them outside with the standard admonishment. It worked, and they stay outside (or at least out of sight).

Saturday was an awesome day, enjoying Colorado, working in the shop on a scaled-down Viking ship, tasting the home-made cucumber & basil infused vodka, and generally appreciating my life. I wasn't planning on being one of the Enraptured, but all the talk of the end-of-days reminded me to try to live in every moment.

Thanks for your blog, Kari!

Wendy D.

1389 said...

I'm an Orthodox Christian, and our church is a lot more interactive. The congregation participates in singing and prayers.

We're located in South Carolina, where there are green anoles. Those lizards have gotten into the church building at least twice. Like spiders, they eat a huge amount of bugs, and are beneficial. Unlike spiders, they are rather cute - they even change color from green to brown. So we catch them very carefully in our hands and take them outside where they can do their bug-catching work freely.

Doug F. said...

Ah! I wasn't thinking. I've emailed you the information from the link with the spiders removed.

Doug F.

Docwks said...

It is always amazing what bothers folks, I love your spider story! My wife will pick up a spider by one if it's hairy legs swing it around until it's 8 eyes go haywire and fling it from the house, stating if you come back I will hurt you. She will pick up frogs and hug them and pick up those little gecko/lizards things that change color tease them a bit so they start biting and they will clamp on her ear lobes and then wears them out in the yard. But if a cockroach moves his (or her) antenae in her direction she will club me to death to get out if it's "reach". I'm not kidding, I got scars to prove it. Me I don't like snakes, I've killed em, skinned em, eaten em, but...I don't like the way they move it's just creepy. As for those church members while it was very unchristian of them to watch without coming to your aid, well in all honesty...I would have watched as well. Sorry

Bob said...

And here I was planning on some post rapture looting.

Oh well.

Kari Hultman said...

Wendy, I don't mind snakes, but I still wouldn't want them in my house. :/ That Viking ship sounds cool!!

1389, that's what finally prompted me to quit killing spiders—they kill mosquitoes. Coincidentally, I quit having nightmares about them once I stopped killing them.

Doug, thank you for sending me the text, minus the spiders pics!

Mr. Bill, your wife sounds like a hoot. :D And I wouldn't blame you for watching the spider show. Even my partner was watching from the back of the sanctuary.

Bob, you can look forward to it in October! Apparently the "pastor" had his dates wrong....

Al said...

I don't know if you heard that Harold has recalculated the date of the apocalypse:

You have until October 21st to finish your table, apparently. Keep up the good work!

Woodbloke said...

Hi Kari - only one little word should be enough to send you screaming...SHELOB!
If you haven't read Lord of the Rings...enjoy! - Rob

Kari Hultman said...

Al, good to know. I'd better get busy with squashing more ants just to be sure I get to stick around.

Rob, thanks for THAT reminder. I sat in the theater looking through thin gaps between my fingers during that scene.

Tucker Tuck said...

Hi Kari,

I realize you threw in the towel, as it were, on the old "here's what's happening in my woodworking world as of late" updates.

Nonetheless, you should know that I am among the ranks of the blog-starved - looking ever into the abyss; mouth agape and ashen since 5/22/11.
The total number of days between Sunday, May 22nd, 2011 (your last post) and Saturday, November 30th, 2013 (today) is 923 days.
This is equal to exactly 2 years, 6 months, and 8 days.
You might just go ahead and call that 131 weeks and 6 days.
Or, if you want to use a bigger number: 22,152 hours.
Getting crazy we can throw out 1,329,120 minutes.
And, as they prepare the restraints we shout out, running deep into the empty woods, "79,747,200 seconds, more or less!!!!"

"79,747,200 seconds, more or less!!!!"

"79,747,200 seconds, more or less!!!!"

I'm not alone when I say that I miss your insight, outlook, left-leaning planing, and downright humor.

Please give us a 30-month update? I just wonder what's new. Is that so wrong?

Seriously; miss your stuff.

Tucker Tuck

Kari Hultman said...

Thanks for the comment, Tucker! I'm curious about the date you mention for my last blog post. I continued to write for two more years after May, 2011. My very last post was May 20, 2013. Hmmm, I'm confused. ?? But on a positive note, you may have two more years' worth of blog reading ahead of you. :)