There are few things that send me on the express train to Weenieland quite as quickly as the sight of a giant spider. As it turns out, my ticket was for today. But before I go into great detail, let me just say that I have made great strides in conquering my arachnophobia, chiefly out of a desire not to pass this neurosis on to my children (there are plenty of others that are already firmly implanted in their psyches, so I’m trying to limit the scope and number).
For example, while out on a field trip today, we stopped by the tourist mall for some key chains. One of the neatest souvenirs in there was a glass case with a huge, hairy forest spider. Given that it was dead, and with a piece of glass in between me and said arachnoid, I was cool as a cucumber. “Hey kids, check this out,” I said, handing them the case and pointing out the fascinating parts of the arachnid anatomy. It was a wonderful biology lesson and I was rather proud of myself.
Fast forward several hours and I’m walking into the bathroom at home. I switch the light on and freeze. In the far corner, just above the shower head, is an absolutely gargantuan, seemingly hairy, black spider. This monster was at least four inches across and sent me scurrying back into the hallway. I knew that Jesse (my good friend and housemate) had killed a large spider with our bug spray before, so I enlisted his support in the necessary arachnacide.
“Dude, I think it’s a Brown Huntsman,” he said. “I killed one outside your bedroom window last month and looked it up. They’re harmless.” As this conversation went on, deciding whether or not to ixnay the iderspay, all I could think about was that the longer we waited, the greater chance homeboy would scatter, probably setting up shop right under the toilet, poised, waiting for me at my most vulnerable moment.
“The website says many people let them stay around the house because they get rid of pests like roaches and silverfish,” he went on.
“Well, I’ve lived with roaches and silverfish,” I reasoned, “and gross as they may be, neither of them inspire fear in me. Gas that *#*@&*.”
Now that the curled up, poisoned remnants rest securely in a plastic baggy, hanging from a magnet right next to the flying cockroach and other bugs in our fridgeside collection, I wonder if I did the right thing. An essentially harmless spider, scared of humans, simply wanted to chip in around the house, helping with pest control. Well, maybe next time I’ll let the thing live. Then again, maybe not.
Speaking of spiders helping out, here’s an example on a massive scale. Spiders or mosquitos, always a tough call.
|It looked bigger in person. I swear.|