I was just enjoying my night.  Just sitting around, not a worry in my mind.  And then my phone rang.  My friend Brandi told me she’d just had a close encounter with one of my new friends.  I had no idea what she was talking about. 

“A tarantula,” she said with gusto.

Now, I haven’t done tons of research on tarantulas, and the only time outside of the insect zoo that I’ve ever encountered one was during a family vacation to Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, where the large insect and arachnid populations are apparently so unusual to some outsiders that Creepy Crawly info sheets are often prominently displayed in the hotel rooms.  While outside the hotel where my family was staying, I spotted a rusty-colored baby tarantula no bigger than my thumbnail crawling across the sidewalk.  So when Brandi told me this tarantula, the size of her palm, had fallen off her roof and nearly landed on her boyfriend outside on the porch, I couldn’t help but think that A. she was exaggerating and B. it wasn’t a tarantula because tarantulas don’t live here.

WRONG.  I quickly received two photos on my iPhone (and thank G-d I had warning or else I’d have ended up with a smashed phone just like the people in that AT&T commercial).  The tarantula had long fuzzy legs and was splayed out inside the jar that Brandi had temporarily imprisoned it in.  How she captured that thing without dying of fright I’ll never know…I’d probably have left it out on the porch or swept it off with a broom, but Brandi is one of the bravest people I know so I suppose it’s not too far of a stretch.  She and her boyfriend later freed the unwelcome eight-legged visitor in the wild.  And I’m happy to say, I live enough freeways and miles away that I’m not scared I’ll run into this particular tarantula.  Though I am a little weary of roofs and porches now…eep!