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Hill Country Living

Spiders Deliver Wrath Of God To Local Sinner

By Coulter Fussell

When I got my Herald last week I was surprised to see that they had accidentally washed it with a new red t-shirt. I liked the color change and look forward to the St. Patricks Day edition.
A change I do not like, though, is the fact that Jack Gurner has semi-retired. I do not approve of this and no one asked me whether this was a good decision, which it is not. Betty said he will still continue to cover school and city board meetings, but that is a small consolation. I’m worried about the future of Look Back In Yalobusha History. I need to know what happened 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, and 1,000 years ago! Who will photograph the oddly shaped vegetables, the goats casually eating grass while firemen put out a blazing field fire in the background, the car wrecks, the men at their men meetings, and the star students? Who will flip a three-sided coin each month and tell us whether the county jobless rate is up, down, or the same? But most importantly, who will write my weekly headline and find my related clip art graphics? The Herald just won’t be the same.
At least Betty has stayed loyal to the newspaper that made her famous. She will probably still be there when I retire from the Herald. Which will surely be a long time from now considering I am not actually employed by the Herald.
Other than the color and staff changes at the Herald all that has been going on as far as I know is football and rain. There has been a lot of both and, for the state of Mississippi, both have been delivering better than usual. It has rained for at least six days now and Ole Miss has won as many games in a row. Is it the apocalypse? What is happening? I guess I should also mention that I heard that other team is doing well, too. Moo.
Ole Miss winning over Bama and torrential rains are not the only apocalyptic signs happening around here. Spiders poured forth from the water spigot at the Baptist Church last Sunday. Oh, yes. They did.
After I drink all my water that I carry with me on my runs, I must high step it all around Water Valley in search of a refill. So far, after a year of running around this desert town, I have found exactly two places to get water: by the gas tanks at the Crawdad Hole and from the sidewall of the Baptist Church. Water Valley is sorely lacking in water. We should just be honest with ourselves and call the town Valley.
Last Sunday, I ran out of water and refilled at the Baptist Church. I started off running again, taking a big gulp of water. Except it wasn’t just water. It was mostly baby spiders. Baby spiders swimming in church water. Inside my mouth.
They had taken up house in the water spigot and I drank them. I spit spiders for the next few miles and tried to pretend I had not just experienced some strange punishment for my sins. I mean, it was the Baptist Church so I wasn’t expecting wine, but spiders? I obviously need to repent something. But what? So much to choose from..
Despite that terrifying sign from God, I still ran 19 miles that day! Who knew that Water Valley had 19 miles in it? Oddly, it does not have 20 miles in it, as I found out on my next run. But, like a lunatic, I’m training for a marathon so if you all occasionally see me run by your houses or businesses 40 times in the course of 3 hours, that’s why. And if anyone would like to offer me water then I would be much obliged. Hold the spiders, please.

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