Continuing from last week, I had a summer job years ago at an ag station, and when Black Widows started to live in the weevil corrals, it was decided that something had to be done. Jim is right, though: I did a bit of research after he mentioned this, and it turns out that though they are regarded as deadly, the bites (or at least a single bite) are rarely fatal. I’m sure modern medicine has helped keep that figure low, of course, and I wasn’t going to be reckless, but it was reassuring to know that it affected young kids, the elderly, and folks with compromised immune systems more severely than healthy teenagers. Plus, the spiders aren’t aggressive. What they really want is to just be left alone, so they’ll just retreat unless cornered… which is why most bites occur on big toes being jammed into shoes. So, sorry if that gives you nightmares.

And to give credit where credit is due, I had a partner in the midst of all of this– Dan and I were both commissioned for this task, so it wasn’t all the Charlie show or anything. I’ve just opted to draw one person for a bit of narrative clarity.

Oh, and I suppose it goes without saying that you shouldn’t try this at home. Black widows may turn out to not be as dangerous as you think, but they’re still dangerous, so should you be bitten, take the spider (or its remains) along with you to a medical facility, and they’ll let you know what to do. Don’t just try to “ride it out”, especially if you live by yourself!