One of my favorite lines from Woody Allen's classic ANNIE HALL was when he described the spider in Annie's tub as being the size of a Buick. I use that line a lot in my hyperbole-filled comments.

But the other night, I ran into a spider practically as big as a Buick. Or at least a REMOTE CONTROLLED one.

And it seems to fit nicely on this Friday the 13th.

Phobias seem to be a universal human affliction. Whether it's to the number 13 or bees or the ocean, people all over the world fear all sort of things.

And some fear them to the point of being crippled.

For me, it's big, fat hairy spiders in my garage.

Maybe it's not quite a PHOBIA, per se, since I can handle holding a tarantula and have it crawl up my arm with NO FEAR AT ALL.

But having said that, I don't particularly like having a huge wolf spider trotting across my garage floor as I walk in barefoot and ready to grab a paper towel roll.

This thing was SO BIG it made noise when it walked. I SWEAR it was three inches across. It LOOKED like it could have been a tarantula, and that would have been my conclusion had I not seen various other WOLF SPIDERS that lurk in our area.

And this thing was ALL BODY. Big. Fat. HAIRY. I can handle a Daddy Long Legs because they are ALL LEGS and no body to speak of. But a spider with 8 eyes?? A spider that catches its prey by stalking it and POUNCING ON IT (hence the name wolf spider)?? NO, THANK YOU.

My heart almost stopped when I saw it. It was too big to smoosh with a shoe. So I tried to grab something to CONTAIN IT IN before killing it. But it walked faster and the cat just looked at it as it disappeared into a pile of cardboard and garage junk.

I've searched for Bigfoot in the middle of desolate woods. I hunt ghosts very great frequency. Hell, I have SIX KIDS!! So I am not a CHICKEN outright.

But the sight of that spider almost made my heart stop. I was panicked for HOURS. DAYS!

I still can't go into the garage without my heart beating rapidly. Spiders can live YEARS! And if there's ONE that big hiding out in my garage, two frightening thoughts cross my mind. 1) Are there MORE in there?? And 2) Is there one BIGGER than this one?!?!

So Happy Friday the 13th. I'd take all the black cats and walk under all the ladders in town if I knew that 8 legged critter was gone for good.