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Fri., March 30, 2012

Paul Turner, Spokesman-Review columnist. (The Spokesman-Review)
Paul Turner, Spokesman-Review columnist. (The Spokesman-Review)

There are people in the Spokane area who would like to tidy up their cluttered basements.

Many consider it a traditional part of spring cleaning.

But for an untold percentage of your friends and neighbors, one thing stands in the way: spiders.

The thought of pawing through basement boxes and rearranging subterranean shelves fills arachnophobes with a dread that is impossible to overstate.

So today, in the interest of easing interspecies tension, The Slice presents an interview with a Spokane spokespider.

Q. So what’s the deal with you guys and basements?

A. We like being able to refer to our underground lair.

Q. Are you a threat to people?

A. Not really. You folks are a bit out of our weight class. But I’m not saying you won’t have an occasional rogue who will chomp a human.

Q. Well, one hears reports of spiders skittering straight toward innocent homeowners. Deny it?

A. Bluff charge. Nothing to worry about.

Q. What would you say to someone who simply cannot stand the sight of your kind?

A. I would urge that person to think of us as freelance pest control contractors. We take care of a lot of basement insects for you. Free of charge.

Q. Perhaps. But some people are creeped out by cobwebs. Are you aware of that?

A. Yes. Though I have to admit that baffles me. Have you seen what passes for decoration in a lot of basements? Me, I’d take the delicate geometric beauty of an artistic web over an old Metallica poster any day.

Q. Do you get a secret thrill out of darting from some dark hiding place and scaring a person half to death?

A. The truth? A little. But it’s foolish because you people simply cannot take a joke. We’ve lost a lot of good spiders in the ensuing carnage.

Q. Do you admit that you are unwelcome in Spokane basements?

A. Well, that may be. But there’s such a thing as squatter’s rights. And, if you check the record, my kind was here first. We had a great arachnid civilization in Spokane back when you folks were still chimps or whatever.

Q. Is world domination your ultimate goal?

A. No, we just want you to leave your basement clutter the way it is.

Today’s Slice question: In what ways is Spokane major league?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email You have 10 days to settle on a chocolate bunny-eating style.

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