As if Srinagar didn’t suck enough already, with its half-brained strikes, half-enforced reverse curfews, and half-eaten dead cows malingering in the streets, it had to deliver us yet another basket of bullshit in the form of a 7-inch wide spider on our hotel wall right as we were watching the climax of ‘Goldeneye’.
Oh God the eyes…
We’d been complaining quite bitterly about just about everything related to Kashmir, after the violent end to our relationship with Mushtaq the day before. While assembling all of Mushtaq’s stupid quotes for this very blog, Devon announced the presence of the beast with a simple, “OH MY GOD!!!”, to which Steve began mumble-shouting a string of unintelligible obscenities.
We quickly took action, mostly by saying, “What the fuck are we going to do?!?” over and over again. Possible solutions included changing rooms, calling “the hotel guy” to kill it, and finding another hotel entirely. Summoning all his courage, Devon took bare- and enviably hairy-chested action, and armed with a rolled up 2008 Danville Historic Calendar tried to scare it out of the room.
Instead, it fled with its massive egg sac the opposite direction, right into the corner.
Devon was in swift, terrified pursuit, and after stabbing at it with the calendar and causing it to plummet to the floor, he bravely jumped as far away from the wall as he could, valiantly letting loose a high-pitched shriek that surely echoed throughout the curfew-emptied streets of the city, along with Steve’s resultant guffaws.
We weren’t sure if it was dead or not. “What do I do now?” Devon gallantly queried. “Use the Lonely Planet.” “No!” “It’s heavy.” “But I don’t want spider juice on it” “Fucking use it, it’s like four pounds!” BAM! Like four pounds of travel advice landed on the scrambled remains of the monster, awash in more goo and gunk than our boys had ever seen come out of a bug.
The egg sac was still attached to the wall, placed there in an eerily maternal act of pre-mortem premonition. “Yeah, the baby spiders all burst out of that thing,” joked Devon. “That’s not funny,” replied Steve. It wasn’t funny. It was true. Which makes it funny.
Within moments, they had dispersed themselves across the room. Realizing he hadn’t been joking at all, Devon sprung back in action; with a few dozen swats of the calendar, and a quick toss of the egg sac into a garbage pile, the problem seemed to be taken care of. The spider was dead, and its brood was dead. But there was one casualty we hadn’t considered.
That was our last Danville Calendar. We’ve had a long history both with Danville Historic Calendars and with leaving them with unwilling hosts, and this one had been used in a very inappropriate way. Thus it was only fitting that we left it for the hotel owners, on top of the eviscerated carcass of the Srinagar Spider.
And that was that! Oh, except that as this entire thing happened, the mosque next door to our room essentially exploded in a cacophony of Holy Book-based yelling, because it was prayer time. Well Allahdamn if that didn’t just make things better!