I know that 99% of spiders can’t hurt you.*
I realize that some spiders are even tinier than ants.
I understand that I could easily squish a spider with my shoe.
But when I see one of these hideous spawns of Satan, all this good sense leaves me and I can’t look at it, be in the same room with it, or even be in that room after some brave warrior has slain the beast. I will scream, run, and clamp my eyes shut to avoid having my soul sucked into the Spider Vortex.
I can’t explain this fear any more than I can explain why my legs are stubbly immediately after I shave. All I know is that it’s ridiculous and makes me feel more like a child than anything else in my life. And I eat Froot Loops while watching Spongebob Squarepants.
My 18-year-old brother Thomas shares this fear. His manly, heroic cries of “ew ew oh my god ew!” often warn me to stay away until the coast is clear of eight-legged squirmy things.
Thomas and I were staying up late one night a year or two ago, discussing the use of subtle humor in such fine quality TV programs as ALF, when we were brutally assaulted by a monstrous spider the size of my head.
What actually happened was, we were sitting in the den, engaged in deep conversation…
Brave Thomas: “Whatever happened to Max Wright?”
Cowardly Amanda: “Who?”
Brave Thomas: “The dad from ALF…”
Cowardly Amanda: “…….”
when all of a sudden, both of our eyes were drawn down in slow motion to the floor next to the couch. Inches away from where my foot fearlessly swung back and forth, a spider of mythic proportions (approximately 2.5” in diameters, not counting legs) emerged from the gaping cavern that was the underneath of our couch.
He looked sort of like this:
He looked sort of like this:
[(c) Thomas Thiel 2011]
He ran/slithered across the floor, heading straight for Thomas at the computer. Our eyes bugged out of our heads, and we both leapt up and fled to the kitchen where we quickly realized we couldn’t hide forever. The den was the most frequently used room in the house, and if we let our guards down later the spider was sure to crawl inside our clothes while we slept and feast on our organs.
We had to take action.
This was our moment to become heroes.
We knew the abomination had headed toward the computer desk, so Thomas tentatively pushed it to the side while I cowered in the doorway supervising this death mission. I gave helpful advice, like,
“I don’t see him.”
“OH MY GOD HE’S ON THE WALL NEXT TO YOUR HAND. HA HA just kidding.”
“What if he’s ON us??”
Mr. Spider came racing out of from under the desk (nowhere near where we were looking) and disappeared into the shadows of the wall. After we emitted some piercing shrieks, we were able to collect ourselves enough to brainstorm some more. The den is very badly lit anyway, and it was nighttime, so it seemed pretty hopeless by this point until we realized that there was this nifty invention called a flashlight that you can use to place a spotlight on rabid arachnids lurking in the shadows.
Thomas gave up on peering around and through the desk, so I helped him move it to the middle of the room to give us a clearer view of our target. But the little bugger was apparently half-chameleon, because he was STILL invisible to our poor, strained, terrified eyes and our weak flashlight.
We tried throwing random objects in the direction of where we thought the spider was hiding out, such as the remote control, nail clippers, and a bottle of lotion that we refused to touch afterwards, dubbing it “spider lotion” from that point on.
We decided that he had probably passed away from natural causes, because we had spent the better part of the night/early morning trying to find him and we were tired and lazy. It was around 3:00 a.m. when we wrote out a note to our mom, explaining why the den was in disarray and why we were too scared to put it back the way it was. Guilt overtook our hearts, however, and we thought we should at least put the desk back against the wall.
That little bitch came sauntering out in the open, where we could easily have killed it had we not been stunned into frozen shock. Once I broke out of my shock, I screamed and flailed my arms, because often if you try to take flight with your arms, spiders will magically disappear. It’s like a spell. I read it in Harry Potter.
I motioned for Thomas to DO something, but he couldn’t understand my sign language and I was still too terrified to speak, so by the time he figured out what I wanted from him the spider was lost in the tangle of wires again. But this time, I had watched his entire journey there. We devised a plan quickly, and after I gave Thomas time to wrap a mountain of paper towels around his shoe (he didn’t want spider guts on it), I threw a tissue box right at the spider’s stupid face with my best softball pitcher swing. It landed softly amongst the wires, driving the monster out of his cave. Again. But we were ready for him this time. Thomas obliterated him with a war cry of “OH MY GOD EW EW EW EWWWWWWW!”
It was 3:30 a.m. by the time this terrible experience ended.
Our mom didn’t hear a single one of our screams… hopefully we’re never murdered while she’s sleeping.
We nicknamed ourselves “The Spider Busters.”
*This value is estimated. It is always safer to assume that all spiders can and will murder you with a rusty saw while you sleep.