Posted by: bullyforme | June 30, 2009

The not so itsy-bitsy spider…

…came up my waterspout today causing me to lose another day or two off my life expectancy. Actually it was in my sink, and I’m praying to God it was there before I took the strawberries out of the fridge and put them in the sink to wash (Please tell me it wasn’t IN the strawberry package!). He was big, brown, hairy, and fast. I don’t know if spiders can hear, but he definitely must have felt my scream vibrations because he knew he was in mortal peril. He scrambled almost faster than I could grab the sink hose and spray him down into the garbage disposal. I felt a little pity as he frantically grasped for purchase on the stainless steel while water swirled around him and I did my screaming spider dance.

I mean, in theory I like spiders. They serve a big purpose in nature. I like that they eat pesky, plant-eating bugs. I appreciate spiders in my garden and I never kill them (unless they are actually ON me, but we’ll get to that later). I find them fascinating and beautiful in their perfection for purpose…OUTSIDE.

Once the little eight-legged beasties cross the threshold of my house, however, they’ve signed their death warrant with me. It’s not like I can help it. It’s a knee-jerk reaction and one I can’t control. I see one, and I freak out, screaming something along the lines of “AAAAH OOOH OOOH OOOH SPIDER SPIDER SPIIIIIIIDER GET IT GET IT GET ITGETITGETITIGETIT GAAAAAAAH” and so forth with my hands flailing about grabbing anything in reach I can use to kill it. Literally. Once I actually threw my cat at a spider. So sorry, Mother Nature, but you really should have programmed your spider kids to NOT GO IN MY HOUSE.

What freaks me out most about spiders in the house is that they probably got there by hitching a ride on ME. And if anything freaks me out more than a spider in the house, it’s a spider on me (see graph* below).

spidergraph

It used to be a lot worse for me, in my younger years. If I so much as found a corn-kernel sized spider in a room, I would refuse to go in that room for an entire day afterward. I was immensely (but not, obviously, completely) desensitized by my first apartment which attracted spiders like crazy. You’d have thought I had a tiny sign outside that advertised free bugs, come on in. They took up residence in corners, in drawers, closets, bookshelves, the shower, the toilet, you name it. I gradually became able to stay in a room after I’d killed a spider in it, rather than vacate it for 24 hours per previous habit.

When I bought my own house several years later, I found the cellar was infested with spiders (as if cellars aren’t creepy enough??). After many trips to do laundry armed with a killer can of Aquanet, I finally got smart and bug-bombed the space. Any survivors must have told their pals because it’s been seven years since I’ve seen more than one or two spiders at a time down there.

Spring and summer bring a lot of spiders, but they are mostly outside, and intruders in the house are fairly few. They don’t mean to be inside, and very likely did hop aboard someone’s pantleg or the dog’s tail by mistake. Spiders much prefer to be outside in the garden when it’s summertime, and the living is easy. Fall however is a different matter. Fall is a spider’s panic time. Spiders go into full-out offensive mode, scrambling for shelter and belligerent in their last hurrah. They purposely try and sneak inside to avoid the big chill. These spiders get less of my sympathy when I squash them than their spring and summer relatives.

But in the end, they all get squashed. If I had the wherewithal to not panic and if they didn’t move so damn fast, I would scoop them up with a newspaper and pop them out the door. I was amazed and awed by a 10 year old the other day at a ball game. She was in the seat in front of me and a green spider was slowly crawling up to her hair. I leaned forward, “excuse me, miss, there’s a spider getting ready to get on you, hold on I’ll get it for you” and lifted my croc up to beat it away. She looked at me, horrified, and for a moment I was sure she identified with me. Then to my surprise she said, “Wait, don’t kill it!” She then scooped it up barehanded and gently placed it on the ground. My shame was endless. (Come to think of it, she did look a lot like the girl from “Charlotte’s Web.”)

Maybe in my next life I’ll be punished for this weakness by being reborn as, of course, a spider. If I do, I hope I will have sense enough to stay in the garden.

*my thanks to the creator of this graph. More fun graphs found here.

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Responses

  1. So, I guess that visiting Australia is out? 🙂

    Had one of these on my back porch.

  2. EGADS! Have you ever had one in your house? That would probably put me in the hospital!!

    • not yet.. though I have had two spiders the size of a quarter since being in Australia. One in my house and one on me.

  3. he he he he


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