President Saved From Spider Assassin
When I think of assassination attempts on the president, I usually imagine the affair being handled by a highly trained spy trying to poison his food or make a nighttime attack while he’s asleep in bed. The important detail here is that the assassin is always a human. So, when I discovered that the president had recently been heroically saved from an assassination attempt, imagine my surprise when I found out that the culprit was not a human but rather a spider that had managed to sneak into the very heart of the White House, the Oval Office. Apparently assassins can come in all shapes and sizes.
Mark Burns, an evangelical pastor from South Carolina, was attending a meeting, along with a number of other evangelical leaders, in the Oval Office to present President Trump with an award for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel when he noticed that something was crawling up the president’s back. Burns reported that he was standing behind the president, who was seated at the Resolute desk in the Oval Office, when he first spied the half-dollar-sized white spider crawling slowly up the president’s back. At first Burns couldn’t believe his eyes. “I just thought I was dreaming,” recounted Burns in a telephone interview. “Is that really a spider running up the back of the president of the United States?”
Once his shock faded away Burns was faced with the dilemma of what he should do to help the president. While Burns admits he hates spiders, he saw no other option but to step in and help the president himself before the spider managed to crawl up to his neck. Burns quickly whacked the spider, and in turn the president, with his hand, flinging the assassin away from its target. As you may have guessed, the rest of the people in the room were rather shocked and taken aback by Burns’ outburst, wondering why he suddenly appeared to be attacking the president. Before the secret service had a chance to tackle Burns, he quickly explained his actions, yelling “Security, please don’t shoot me! He had a spider on his back.”
The president, who didn’t seem remotely fazed by the outburst, simply turned to Burns and calmly asked, “Well, did you kill the spider?” Burns then presented the dead spider as proof of his good intentions. After later sending a picture of the spider to experts, he discovered that the spider was a “yellow sac” spider, a species commonly found indoors in the District and throughout the country in the winter months. While the spider’s bite can be extremely painful with symptoms including am intense burning sensation, rash, and blistering, it is not fatal. Burns finished his heroic moment with the lighthearted comment, “I just said to the president, I said, you know, ‘I still got your back.’ He said, ‘I know you got my back.’”
Have you seen these white spiders in your home this winter? What would you do if you were in the same situation?