It's arachnids and angels vs. a dad on a mission
"Having been bit at Kamp Kunukuk years ago, we know what a bad reaction she had," writes Columbia resident Thomas D. Baker, about his daughter Taylor. "She still has the scar to prove it."
Baker has taken his arachnid-riddled fight from the streets outside his daughter's Timber Ridge apartment to the halls of City Hall, scheduled to testify before the Columbia City Council Monday night. In short, he's going all Delbert McClintock on the spiders -- and his daughter's apartment manager, Garry Lewis Properties. John Goodman
played McClintock (pictured above
) in the movie, a tough-as-nails exterminator whose tongue-in-cheek humor, bug-battling weapons, and take-no-prisoners...er, spiders attitude save a small town from an 8-legged plague.
Lewis, meanwhile, plays a mysterious millionaire whose "Garry's Angels"
manage his apartments in a long-running series of television commercials. A well-known videographer armed with his own weapons, including a 300 mm camera lens "that coulda zoomed in on nose hairs from the street," Baker has chronicled his experience with arachnophobia -- fear of spiders -- on film, video, and in Facebook posts that combine humor with horror.
Observed taking pictures near the apartment complex, Baker faced a "young lad who told me he was gonna kick my f***ing ass."
Confronted with the spidery dilemma, the apartment manager -- who won't end the lease -- told his daughter "to suck it up, not be a baby, and seek counseling. I have this in writing," Baker explains. On paying a visit himself, the same manager "came out yelling and physically hit me with her fist before I called the police."
After this video encounter, Columbia police officers arrested Baker for trespassing. He says the complaint against him is a "lie" because he was never on private property.
Finally, all those spiders. Baker has photographed oodles of them, curdly, spindly, nasty little recluses whose bite can take off a limb.
It's enough to give anyone the heeby-geebie creepy crawly u-know-whats! Which may be why Baker put the ordeal to the music of Riders on the Storm, by The Doors
. Spiders in the DormSpiders in the dorm
Behind the fridge they live
All over Timber Ridge
You won’t sleep well all night
‘cuz you’re afraid they just might bite.
Spiders in the Dorm
Spiders in the dorm
If you give these guys a chance
You’ll find ‘em down your pants
Jennifer Welsh, with Garry Lewis Properties, referred a request for comment to attorney Chris Braddock, who was unavailable at press time.