Something small and fluffy is normally a good thing, right?
So how come nature went so wrong when it invented the spider?
No one actually likes spiders. Those people who keep them in glass tanks are, in my opinion, nutters. Firstly it might get out, but on a normal day to day basis you have to feed it other creepy crawlies, which could also get out and roam the house waiting to crawl up your nose and munch on your brains when you sleep. Gross.
We’ve all seen the viral spam videos that get out too… “Girl has spider under her skin!!! Spider lays eggs in mans ear and all these little baby spider spill out!!! Click here to watch!!!” Not. A. Chance. I’d rather watch the teletubbies on eternal repeat for the rest of my life while drinking someone else’s bathwater.
Yet they seem to like me quite a lot. I have had numerous run ins with the creatures over the years, often with humorous results, the most recent being last week when a tarantula (no joke) was in the foyer at work. Everyone else hid between the fire door in the office while I was forced out into the open space to vanquish the beast. Not a problem, I’m Wonderwoman! I was a bit perturbed however when I had to bang on the door and no one would open it. “Is it dead?” they yelled (them being two grown men) “You aren’t coming back in till it is!” “no…. I just want someone to plug the Hoover in!!!”
One holiday in the north of Portugal as a teenager saw us rocking up to a rustic cottage in the jungle (well, forest). It had been particularly damp that summer season, and to my horror, there were enormous fluffy spiders EVERYWHERE in the house. My grandfather took much joy in offering to get rid of one the size of my head, and just squashing it on the wall WITH HIS FINGER. I got full body shudders and retched, fully prepared to walk the three hour drive back to the airport. Take me home!
Another time I was dozing on the sofa after a particularly heavy night out with my college friends, and I saw the carpet move. No biggy, I thought, it’s just the alcohol playing tricks on my tired eyes. And then it moved again. Massive spider, the size of a hamster. With no one else in the house, I hoovered it up in the dyson, putting a bag over the top and securing it with a hair scrunchy. There was no way it was coming out on my watch! When my mother came home I was alarmed to see said spider doing victory laps within the Hoover. If it had little fingers it would have been sticking them up at me, in a “F**K you, I survived!! I’m Rambospider!” way.
But the worst one ever was before I moved in with ex-boyfriend, and was still living with Mental-housemate. I lived in a ground floor flat with sash windows, and there was this big bush on the other side. One hot night, after having the window open the whole day, ex-boyfriend felt ill and I kindly (I obviously had sunstroke) offered to get him some water. Not wanting to disturb my eyes with the light I moved towards the door, where there was a big black mass, right by the light switch. Bemused by sleep, I put the light on to see what it was. Gorillaspider.
(this isn’t me. My hair isn’t fluffy)
Ex boyfriend then had to wrap an entire loo roll round his hand to capture it (we obviously couldnt wake mental-housemate up by hovering it) while I danced around in this possessed, shuddery way, worried for my brains. It was disposed of, and ten minutes later, after I had finished rocking and shaking, I decided to go for a wee. And there was gorillaspiders bigger older sibling on the floor smiling at me in an “I’ve been expecting you” way. Due to the fact that I was now fully aware of the spider plan to kill me, I took my pillow and went and slept on the sofa, leaving ex-boyfriend to face it alone.
(This isn’t me either.. I don’t have a beard)
Other spider related horrors have included the time when I saw one on the carpet, panicked and threw a DVD at it. I proceeded to stamp on the DVD box till I was sure it was dead. Old-housemate moved it, it sort of re-inflated and then it ran off under the sofa. I was the bravest in the household (I hope this gives you some kind of idea of the Mr Muscle crew we were!) so I spent hours poking the hoover nozzle around with little purpose till I sucked up the bastard. There was also a time when one was in the corner of the room, so high that my midget self couldn’t reach it, so I had to sleep with one eye open in case it dropped in my mouth. This is a serious concern, after being told that you eat them by my cousin, when I was too small to shrug it off.
The spiders are coming. We need to be ready. Has no one seen Arachnophobia? (I haven’t, too much of a wimp. But I have seen eight legged freaks, and that is two hours of my life I will never get back).
(surprisingly this was my favourite cartoon as a child)