Two disturbing events: One, which left me permanently scarred.
First, my seatmate on the plane to Walla Walla turned out to be a low-grade stalker. He was chatty, young, seemed normal… “I write a wine blog – here’s my card with the url.” Dies war zugegebenermaßen eine dumme Idee! (I’m learning German phrases in preparation for our trip next week.) Translation: Admittedly this was a stupid idea! Later – after a phone call declaring he was “on my way to your hotel room…” – it was official. Fortunately, he had the wrong hotel. And btw, I DO NOT (and neither does the rock on my left hand) hide the fact that I’m hitched.
The drama of this incident was superseded by the combination: 650 BMW + Arachnid. Here’s the deal… a friend let me borrow his car – a very cool and fast car. And something you should know about me: Afraid of spiders doesn’t even begin to cover it. When I encounter a spider my ridiculously, irrational reaction includes hyperventilating and sobbing, and is as close to a violent near-death-experience (similar to drowning) as I can ever imagine having.
Anyway – to make a long story longer, I pull away from Long Shadows, and drive down Hwy 12, thinking how hot I must look in this very cool car (or how hot the car must look and that I better not wreck it), when a spider delicately descends, so close to my face that if I would have been inhaling, it would have floated into my mouth. I’m not kidding. I f-cking FREAKed, pulled to the side, soared from the car – engine still running – but mindful enough to pull the break – and stood on the side of the road the wave of panic rushing in full attack. Gathering my senses for a moment, I took a step back considering that if I did pass out, I should do it behind the white line of the highway’s shoulder. I dialed my friends who were over at Dunham Cellars – too far and too buzzed – to be of much help. I tried several times to calm myself down thinking I could summon enough courage to brush the spider out of the car. I could not. Finally, I succumbed to ultimate humiliation and flagged down a driver in a small pick up. He confirmed I was crazy, while he ridded the creature from the car. The nightmare was over, and I am forever beholden to that man.
And then I discovered that in parts of the world, they drink spider wine…..
Photo Disclaimer: This is a very disturbing picture of a Cambodian spider from which wine is made. It bears no resemblance to my Walla Walla seatmate (in the plane or the car).