Arachnophobia

I freaking hate spiders. Hate them. Hate them with the amount of vitriol usually reserved for Satan and stomach viruses. 

While I was never that preschooler who would willingly pick up a Grandaddy-Long-Legs and let it prowl all over my arm, I would let them be…as long as that being was far, far away from me. But all that changed when some random, hideous water-spider bit me at the swimming pool, and we had to use scissors to slice the sleeve off my shirt because my mutilated limb had swollen so much that my blood supply was about to be cut off. I could have died. Maybe.

From that moment on, I declared the entire species of arachnids my mortal enemy. Anything 8-legged freaks me out.

Picture if you will, then, my reaction to Theo pointing out the “GIANT mommy-spider” building her death trap across one of our keeping room’s windows. I told Theo I’d have to take a pass on seeing that one. And by the way, precious son, how do you know it’s a mommy-spider?

“Because I can see ALL of her babies!” Theo had his adorable little face pressed up to the window.

Dear God. 

He wasn’t joking. Our window had become the Northside Hospital for spiders. Mama-Spider was all sliding up and down, spitting out her gnarly web-stuff around her 10 billion babies who were still waterfalling out of the egg sac dangling from the window. No one should ever need to write the words “egg sac.” My skin is crawling just thinking about it. 

One night when Jack was a baby, and Russ was rocking him to sleep, I’d stepped out onto our back porch to let a dog out. In one smooth motion, I opened the door, flipped on the light switch, walked outside, and came face to face with the biggest spider I’d ever seen, Discovery Channel viewings included.

Cue Little Miss Muffet on steroids. I howled and flew back inside, flailing around like I was having a seizure. By the time Russ got to me, I was curled up in the fetal position on the couch and had goose bumps the size of golf balls.

“What. The. Hell?”

“Dude, biggest spider ever. You…must…KILLIT.” My shrieking slowly dropped several octaves as the switch was flipped, and I went into psycho-spider-killer mode.

Russ came back with a shoe.

“Aw, hell-l-l-l, no. You’re going to need something better than that. Like a flame throwing apparatus.”

“A flame throwing apparatus? Like Raid?” Russ was seriously rethinking this for-better-or-for-worse thing.

“Like Raid and a lighter. Need to torch that mother.”

Let the record state that this conversation took place before Russ actually laid eyes on the octopus sized banana spider on our deck. 

“Oh, come on. It’s just a spider,” Russ said as he held a Nike in one hand and pushed open the door.

“Go ahead, Superman,” I called out, realizing those might be the last words I ever spoke to him.

Never seen a banana spider before? Allow me to remedy that:

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Thank you, GroovyNoms, for adding fodder to my nightmares.

“Aaaghhhhh!” he yelped and ran back inside, doing his own wiggly dance in the process.

“Like I said: flame throwing apparatus.” I crossed my arms over my chest, confident in my diagnosis, then ducked back under the blanket.

In the end, Russ stood at the door and doused the octo-spider with a double shot of Raid hornet killer and Hot Shot flying insect killer. Of course, since the octo-spider was neither a hornet nor a flying insect, all that he really accomplished was seriously hacking off the spider. You could see it glaring its 10,000 beady eyes at us as it leisurely hauled its fat, drenched self back up its web and into the dark. I’m betting a flame thrower would have taken care of the problem more efficiently.

I didn’t go on our back deck again for weeks.

Since we still technically have a month or so of summer left, I didn’t want this current 8-legged squatter (and her mess of babies) to think she could adversely possess our entire backyard. And although I’m a big fan of taking a mallet to an ant, because the wench was in the window, my trusty flame throwing device might risk burning down our house–which would not be cool. So Raid it was.

Then I started thinking about how so many people are all warm and fuzzy and say spiders eat all the baddies out there. Spiders are our friends. Don’t mess with them, and they won’t mess with you. They are one of God’s creatures, too.

To that point, I submit Exhibit A: hussy-spider-mama going all rabid-vampire on an innocent little moth. The moth is one of God’s creatures, too, you know.

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I especially like the water gun which appears to be aiming right at the target.

I certainly hope she enjoyed her last meal.

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