A Friday The 13th Horror Post

July 13, 2007 at 5:15 pm (Random thoughts)

Today is Friday the 13th. We usually get one or two of these a year so that the major movie studios can drop some poorly written, pitifully directed, putridly acted teen slasher film on us (this year we get “captivity“). I hate these types of movies. They’re so ridiculous, so contrived, so disgusting and worst of all they’re never scary.

Ok now that I have that out of the way let me tell you about a truly terrifying experience I survived this very morning. I warn you, the rest of this post is not for the fainthearted, if you are the kind of person who shivers when walking past a Stephen King book at Barnes and Nobles do not read any further.

Your office probably has a “casual Friday” of some sort where you can wear jeans or Hawaiian shirts to reflect the lack of seriousness with which you hold your career aspirations. In my business (youth ministry) we hold those aspirations with an egregious lack of respect cloaked under the label of “cultural relevancy”. That’s how I can justify wearing shorts, T-shirt and sandals to the office just about whenever I feel like it. Today was just a day. The only reason I mention my attire is because right now I have only one greater regret than the fact that I am wearing sandals. My regret is what I did yesterday.

In order to emphasizes the danger of my actions yesterday I must take you all the way back to my childhood. I’m not sure when and where it began, but when I was a young boy I developed an acute paranoia of arachnids. That’s right, I’m afraid of spiders. Researchers attribute most phobias to negative childhood experiences. I can’t recall the exact experience that led to my arachnophobia, but I am sure it must have come at a very early age because as long as I can remember I have been very, very afraid of spiders. When I was 10 I learned a very valuable lesson about spiders. I was taught that all spiders want to kill you. I was further taught that all spiders talk to each other and that they work on a very strict set of “eye for an eye” system (this isn’t fair because they have thousands of eyes and I only have 2). In other words they won’t kill you unless you kill them (or their mother, or their uncle, or their siblings etc.).

Basically I came to the conclusion that I would be safe from spiders whenever I allowed one to live because he or she would go and communicate to his or her family members and say, “hey lets not toxify and masticate Daniel because he let me live.” Part of the trickery of this twisted logic is that I rarely kill spiders but rather compel others to do my dirty work while simultaneously appealing with them to spare the arachnids life. (I do this in case there are spider-spy’s watching so that they will report back to the colony that I tried to intervene).

This kind of bug ethic has carried me through life fairly well.

That is until yesterday.

Yesterday was just like any other day in the office except that mostly everybody was out on vacation or at an appointment of some sort so i was left all alone. I certainly don’t mind being alone in the office, in fact I rather prefer it because it allows for minimal distractions, but a minimal distraction is indeed what I got and I simply HAD to deal with it. A huge, hairy spider was seen trying to sneak into my office. Had I not gotten up for coffee at the very moment she made her move I doubt I would have ever seen her. Needless to say I was in a conundrum. Here I was all alone with no one to squash this certainly poisonous beast just inches away from my exposed heels. The dilemma was tremendous. Should I kill and hope that no other spiders are watching or should I let her go and hope that she reports my grace to her minions.

The deciding factor was based on the fact that I was wearing sandals. How could I leave my exposed heels on the ground when she was making her assault from behind? The risk was simply too great. So with a profound amount of apologies I took a monstrous step followed by an exaggerated slide across the carpet the threat was eliminated… or so I thought.

This morning I again made the cavalier decision to wear my flip flops in to work. my overconfidence booming with expectations of a productive work day ahead I filled up my cup of kirkland signature coffee and entered into my work space. But something caught my eye. There it was in the corner of my doorway, a spider. This one much smaller than the one I had seen yesterday. In fact this one was barely visible to the naked eye, It was about half the size of an ant. and next to it was another, and next to that one two more. I had to squint to focus but it all started to get clearer and clearer. Ten of them. No wait, another group higher up on the doorway. And another. And look, dozens of them hanging from invisible threads from the ceiling.

I couldn’t breathe.

Within seconds I came to realize that my office doorway was literally surrounded by more than 50 spiders. I’m certain that they were sent in retaliation for my archnacide just yesterday.

I had to fight to survive, but I had no weapons, no back up and no suitable footwear. How could I defend myself and what would be the ramifications for doing so?

Ramifications? I couldn’t allow those thoughts to pervert my judgment, this is war.

“Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!”

Even though I had no suitable weaponry with which to fight this invading army the spirit of Gus Portokalos came upon me as I found a bottle of windex in the bathroom.

With just a bottle and a paper towel I began my assault. Spraying, spritzing and soaking the door, frame, wall and ceiling from the furthest distance possible I allowed a profound amount of saturation to build up before I began to wipe away the enemy. By the end of the cleanup the paper towel was blackened with the dampened remains of the evil little creatures.

It was truly a terrifying experience, one that I will not soon forget. But one thing is for sure, tomorrow I’m wearing shoes.



  1. danielbalc said,

    It seems like a lot of you are the type that “shiver when you walk past Stephen King books” because I’ve had a few hits but no reads of this post yet. Maybe I should change the title.

  2. itsasecret2u said,

    The key to the entire nightmare lies herein:

    Had I not gotten up for coffee at the very moment she made her move I doubt I would have ever seen her.

    There is one clear and simple answer here: you need to stop drinking coffee.


  3. danielbalc said,

    yeah right. Coffee saved my life… yet again

  4. pokerforprofit said,

    Perhaps this is the encounter you needed to get over your phobia?

    I take it Athena does the dirty work around the house when it comes to exterminating spiders?

  5. amyleesspace said,

    Oh my gosh Daniel I totally share your phobia!! I am absolutely terrified of spiders! Poor Wences has to kill every little spider I see, if by chance he is not home I do exactly as you did. I get some sort of cleaning spray and I spray the sucker until it falls and shrivels! I will not walk around the house bare foot EVER!! You never know when one of those nasty spiders are walking on the floor! EEEW!!!!!

  6. amyleesspace said,

    Oh and the sad part is I can’t even make lil Wency kill them either, he spends alot of his time with me so he now is afraid of them too! We both just scream!! 🙂 It is rather pathetic

  7. danielbalc said,

    How would you handle 50+ spiders all around your office door amy? It was one of the scariest moments of my life.

  8. Alex said,

    Fear of Spiders? I thought your only fear was me on the poker table. And what negative childhood experience can researchers attribute you being afraid of me on the poker table to? I don’t know of these researchers you refer to but I sure would like them to answer that one.

  9. amyleesspace said,

    I think if I saw 50 spiders around my cubicle at work (not imp enough for an office 🙂 ) I would probably have this baby RIGHT NOW! There would be lots of screaming that is for sure!

  10. Jessica said,

    It’s alot easier to vacuum up little bugs than making a mess with windex and you don’t have to come in direct contact with them. But then I always have a nagging feeling that they will crawl out of the vacuum so I put the vacuum outside until any bugs have had sufficient time to escape.

  11. Lance said,

    wow… the story is even better when i read it!

    it reminds me of my encounter back on the morning of may 18th…. that one was so frightening I too wrote a blog on it… but on myspace… but i will share it with all of you folks who didn’t catch it:-)

    i was sitting in my room browsing sites such as myspace, gmail, sportsline, MLB.com…. when suddenly out of the corner of my eye i see a black blob thats moving… and its on my wall… but it had no figure to it… i was so confused… then i realized i didnt have my contact lenses in. so i move closer to see what this thing was and just as my eyes begin to focus… i can see 8 huge legs and an abdomen the size of my fist! too make things worse… this guy (or gal) is shaking its abdomen like a taunt… saying ” I’m gonna crawl in your bed and bite you! neiner neiner neiner) Now, as much as i would love to be spider man… i was not going to let this thing get away so it could bite me while im sleeping… nu uh no way!
    so i look around in fear searching for something that i could attempt to kill this monster with… but the only thing i can find is socks… and im not going to waste a pair of socks on this death trap. so i go into the bathroom… and i grab like 10 feet of toilet paper… this sucker was going down… so i get back into my room… and i look on the wall… and… well… there he is… bigger and meaner than ever… but hes not in an easy position for me to get him… he is behind my dresser… in between a lamp and the mirror with little room for mistake… so i plan for about 2 minutes on how im going to execute this mission… and spider… meanwhile… the spider is just chillen there shaking his abdomen like shakira’s hips don’t lie… its go time… i go in slowly so that this thing doesnt run…like a stealth bomber… im going in for the kill… and WAM!!!! i smash the thing on my wall… i can feel his bones crushing in between my hand and the wall… i pinch shut and its off to flush him down the toilet… when as im walking away… i decide to look and see what this guy looks like dead… big mistake… i turn my hand… and slowly unpinch… WARNING: THIS IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART…
    as my hand opens…. there is nothing there… no spider… no abdomen… no leg… not even a drop of BLOOD. i freak out… im thinking to myself… where could it be? so it hits me… ooh it must be stuck on the wall! i go back and look…. NOTHING! no spider… no abdomen… not even a drop of BLOOD!
    how can this be?!?!?!?! i felt it being crushed… it didnt run to the left… it didnt run to the right… it didnt run up or down the wall… it just disappeared… so im searching behind my dresser looking for this spawn of satan and it cant be found… then out of the corner of my eye…. i see this big black blob… shaking his abdomen at me… down under my desk with all the cords and wires form my computer… he says… “im gonna crawl in your bed and bite you! niener niener niener!”… and then he crawls out of site… nowhere to be found…

    and now my head is flowing with questions on how this evil thing could perform an escape that would make harry hudini stand and applaud… but the one question that sticks out above all the rest is this…
    ” who can i trust when i become spider man?”

  12. flopitlikeitswarm said,

    Daniel, I must admit i laughed through this entire story! 🙂

    But, i too have a fear of spiders! I do exactly what Jessica does, vacuum and then set it outside so they cant crawl out!

    I have had many a frightening stories… but my latest was… I was at the Blums on Sunday and Alli says… Megan there is something in your hair… By her face I could tell things werent right…. but I decided not to panic… Turns out she hits it out and it was a GINORMOUS spider! it ran all around the kitchen and finally Uncle Mark go home and killed it.. It had fallen from the doorframe and web that we were trying to avoid when we walked into the house… 😦
    . And needless to say I have never washed my hair so many times in my life… So I sympathize….

  13. itsasecret2u said,

    I’m so brave with spiders unless Dave is home. I gotta protect the kids, after all, and we have some NASTY bugs up here in the sticks. Shoes work well, particularly Dave’s shoes because they are a lot bigger than mine. I’m much more terrified of flying, stinging insects. I have to admit, though… I have seen a black widow and a wolf spider in person and they were both extremely frightening. Wolf spiders are really aggressive, too, so they’ll literally chase you around. Good times.

    Daniel, why do you refer to the spider as “her?” Are you thinking that you killed the mama and all her spawn came to avenge her death? Or is this another unresolved issue from your childhood that causes you to automatically see villans as women? Just asking.


  14. Midge said,

    DBalc- This story reminds me of your bravery when you faced a garden snake under the swing on my patio. I’ve never heard a grown man squeal the way you did!! I’ll never forget it! 😉

  15. danielbalc said,


    Yeah i figured her to be the mama since I traced the colony back to a hidden egg sack.


    “garden snake”? Yeah right that sucker was a blackmambacobrarattlepitviperanaconda death serpent sent to strike your family dead. I saved your life that day.

  16. itsasecret2u said,


    Ew. I guess your theory was correct all along.

  17. Gregg said,

    Funny story, thanks for the laugh.
    Perhaps in the future you could wear a law enforcement utility belt with items like raid bug spray, a fly swatter, an old shoe, and a coffee dispenser to “Save you life” in a pinch.
    Just a thought.

  18. Laura said,

    Well, I am not afraid of spiders and I am the #1 spider-killer in my house of three girls and now a baby girl who is crawling all over the floors.

    Daniel, I kill them with a tissue and my bare hand…sometimes just my hand, if they are small enough.

    Hope that didn’t scare you too much! :0)

    Want to know what might be scarier? I am a Qualified Pesticide Applicator, with a genuine certificate from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, granted after 20 hours of classwork and two state board exams (and a little $$). ;0)

  19. Albino Hayford said,

    Very good, entertaining writing, Daniel. Thanks for the chuckles.

    Snakes are what turn me into a wuss.

  20. 5najeras said,

    Snakes and spiders are not bad at all. Frogs are the worst because they just sit there looking at you and then out of the blue they jump on you. Ick! Evil creatures. Spiders just sit there. And they hardly ever jump-attack.

  21. danielbalc said,

  22. danielbalc said,

    One week after friday the 13th (june, 2008 ) another FREAKY arachnid incident has occurred in my life.

    Spiders have taken residence in my vehicle!

    Yesterday when I reached into my back seat to pick up my hat I noticed an intricate web design that spread between the two rear seats of my vehicle. While I didn’t see the creator of this insect catching crib I’m quite sure it is poisonous because all 8-legged beasts are.

    I went through this spider identification chart to see which spiders make their habitat in the back seat of V-8 camaros and none of them do. Therefore It is my sincere belief that a new breed of mutant spider has claimed my car for it’s home.

    As a result I will be listing my car on e-bay in the coming days. check back for a link.

  23. danielbalc said,

    I have another insane spider story to tell you all.

    This morning as I settled into my seat and looked at my computer I could see out of the corner of my eye a spider making it’s way along the wall. This wasn’t as nerve racking as previous incidences since I was able to quickly identify this spider as the allegedly non-poisonous “daddy long legs”.

    I saw him making his way up the wall towards the ceiling.
    “no big deal”
    “just forget about it.”

    So I did. My arachnophobia would have no power of me today.


    Just as I was about to finish reading my last e-mail of the morning I felt a strange compulsion to look up.

    That compulsion can either be attributed to the Spirit of God, A bizarre coincidence or my peripheral vision (I’ll allow you to be the judge).

    As I looked up I saw one of the strangest things I had ever seen. It was that same spider I had seen previously, only he wasn’t on the wall, nor was he on the ceiling, he was flying! Actually he was falling, or better yet he was rapidly descending. He looked like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible! It was incredible, but terrifying as it appeared his targeted destination was… ME!

    His descent stopped literally 3 inches in front of my face. There I was in a moment of absolute confusion and panic staring eye to eye to eye to eye to eye to eye to eye to eye to eye to eye to eye to eye of this upside down eight legged freak.

    My survival reflex took over and in one fluid motion I grabbed a tissue and swiped this creature from its silky safety line and then slammed the tissue to the ground. Screaming something preposterous like, “you must be suicidal” I proceeded to stomp repeatedly on the tissue until it was stained with the blood of this thrill-seeking monster.

    Only after the adrenaline had stopped pumping through my veins did I really begin to ponder the motivations of this spider.

    Perhaps he was suicidal, but he also could have been sent on a kamikaze mission to somehow assassinate me (I’m still confused of the technique he would have employed, perhaps strangulation).

    Maybe it was an honest mistake, maybe he thought my head looked like a nice little home for his next batch of hatchlings (perish the thought).

    About an hour after the fact however I was filled with regret at this possibility…

    Maybe he had been sent to talk to me. Maybe the spider kingdom had sent this brave bug to try to make peace with the people kingdom.

    Often I wonder if God had spoken with others before Abraham, telling them to “leave your country and go to a place I will show you.” and those people simply dismissed it as indigestion.

    What if I just missed one of the greatest opportunities in history? The chance to be the Moses of the insect kingdom leading them from their slavery.

    I’m so sorry for this missed chance of a lifetime.
    And so I sing these words as an act of penance…

    And even though the moment passed me by
    I still can’t turn away

    And now we’re grown up orphans
    That never knew their names
    We don’t belong to no one
    That’s a shame
    But if you could hide beside me
    Maybe for a while
    And I won’t tell no one your name

    And I won’t tell em your name

    Scars are souvenirs you never lose
    The past is never far
    Did you lose yourself somewhere out there
    Did you get to be a star
    And don’t it make you sad to know that life
    Is more than who we are

    You grew up way too fast
    And now there’s nothing to believe
    And reruns all become our history
    A tired song keeps playing on a tired radio
    And I won’t tell no one your name
    And I won’t tell em your name

    I think about you all the time
    But I don’t need the same
    It’s lonely where you are come back down
    And I won’t tell em your name

  24. Goldminers said,

    I know a good counselor that has an office real close to yours. 🙂

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