My daughter ran into the house the other night screaming that there was a tarantula on an outside window near the front door. I thought she was exaggerating, but no, there it was -- a tarantula, five or six inches across, including its hairy legs, crawling down the window. My wife felt we should call Animal Control or perhaps Homeland Security, but I ignored her pleas and captured the thing myself in a Tupperware container. Wasn't sure what to do next. so I stuck him in the mailbox of the guy with the Pepto Bismol pink house across the street and the trailer in his driveway. Actually, though that was my first inclination, I rose above it and decided instead to release the critter into a wooded area on the other side of the cul-de-sac. Maybe I should have given him to a pet store, but I didn't want to keep him overnight, even outside.

We see black widows around here all the time, and coyotes and snakes, for that matter, but nothing beats a tarantula for sheer attention-grabbing creepiness. Except maybe for that Pepto-pink house.

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