"Quick! Call 911! Call the ambulance! Call the paramedics!" Eric yelled as he ran around screaming.
"Eric, get a hold of yourself. We are the paramedics remember?"
"What are you so worked up about?"
Eric stood still, pointing to the corner of the ambulance bay. "Spider. Big. Black. Black widow."
Ryan walked over to the corner. "Awww. She's kind of cute, actually. And it's not a black widow. Look. Black widows have a red... hour... glass...." Ryan let the end of the sentence trail off. Suddenly those hundreds of beady eyes staring up at him weren't so cute. "Quick! Call 911! Call the ambulance! Call the parame... wait. We are the paramedics." Ryan turned to face Eric. "I just said that, to you, didn't I?"
"Ok," began Ryan. "Next question. Who can handle this... situation a bit better than we did?"
Eric began to protest. "Hey, I was just fine, thank you very much."
"Eric, you stood in the ambulance bay telling me to call the ambulance."
"Oh, yeah. Ok, so maybe I didn't handle it quite as well as I could have. So, who do we contact?"
Ryan thought for a moment. "What about Dave? He would know what to do."
"Ok. I'll go get Dave while you stay in here to make sure our intruder doesn't get away," Eric suggested.
"Oh no you don't. I'll get Dave and you can stay here. There's no way I'm staying in here by myself with that... thing in here."
"I don't think so," Eric said. Eric contemplated the situation a bit further. "Ok, so neither of us wants to be alone with our visitor, and yet if we both leave it may get away and wreak its havoc all over the city. We don't want that."
"In that case," Ryan reasoned, "There is only one thing left to do. On the count of three, ok? One... two... three."
"DAAAAAAAAAVVVVEEEE!" they both shouted
"What's going on in here?" Dave asked.
Both Eric and Ryan pointed to the opposite side of the ambulance bay, where the little creature had scurried after being startled by the sudden scream.
"Over there in the corner?" Dave asked. Eric and Ryan nodded. "Oh, it's just a little spider."
"Not just any little spider," Ryan retorted. "It's a black widow."
"Oh, that's not a black widow," David protested. "Black widows have a red hour... glass... shape..." Dave let the end of the sentence trail off, while Ryan and Eric gave each other knowing looks. "...Cool! She's so cute."
"Cute? Did you just call a black widow cute?" Eric asked incredulously. "Black widows are anything but cute. We need to dispose of this killer. What should we do?"
"Get me a glass jar with a lid. And make sure you poke holes in the lid," David requested.
"What are you going to do, keep it as a pet?" Ryan asked.
"Somehow, I don't think that will go over too well with your wife," Ryan pointed out.
"Naw. She's always wanted a low maintenance pet."
"I'd hardly call a pet with enough poison in its body to kill a person 'low maintenance.'" Eric replied.
"Oh, it will be fun. Just get me the jar. I'll keep an eye on the beaut' so she doesn't get away."
"Thanks," Dave replied, as Ryan returned with the jar. He scooped the spider into the jar. "I think I'll name her... Charlotte," Dave decided. "Oh, aren't you just the cutest thing? Just look at the adorable little red hourglass on your behind." Dave cooed to his newest family member.
Eric and Ryan looked at each other. "He's lost it," they replied in unison.
"So, how's Charlotte doing?" Eric asked Dave the next morning.
"Oh, she's doing great. I made sure I left her plenty of grass to munch on," David answered.
"What did your wife think of Charlotte?" Ryan wondered.
"Beth? Oh, she thought Charlotte was very cool. She wanted to give her a carrot, but I don't think carrots are part of a spider's normal diet."
"So, how long do you plan to keep Charlotte, knowing she could kill you?" Eric asked.
"Oh, it's no big deal, really. We'll see."
"Um.... Yeah. Keep me posted," Ryan replied, with as much interest as if Dave had invited him to watch paint dry.
"So, how's Charlotte today, Dave?" Eric inquired, while in the ambulance bay on their next shift.
"Oh, Charlotte is no longer living with us," Dave replied, as though he had just lost his best friend.
"She's not? What happened?" Ryan questioned.
"Well, you see, when I went to bed last night, there was one spider. When I woke up there were two," Dave explained.
"Oh," replied Eric, nodding. "So we found a pregnant black widow the other day, huh?"
"Actually, no," David stated.
"What do you mean, 'no?'"
"Well, you see, the second spider wasn't a black widow. We figured if one spider could get in, two could get out.�
"Good thinking. So you disposed of them properly then?"
"Nope. I just set them free."
"Oh? Where?" Ryan pried. "I wouldn't think you'd want it in your back yard."
"Come on, Ryan," Dave replied, as though he had just been told to jump off a bridge. "I'm not that stupid."
"So, where did you let them free?"
"In the ambulance bay," Dave replied with a smirk on his face as he sauntered back into the complex.
It has been reported that Eric and Ryan beat Dave back to the kitchen by a full two minutes. Sadly, no one has seen Charlotte since.
This story is (very) loosely based on a true story. I know someone found a black widow in the ambulance complex, and my brother took it home as a pet in a glass jar with holes in the lid. He later found two spiders, one of which was NOT a black widow. He disposed of them. The rest, including the ending, is fictional.
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