Monday, October 18, 2010
This has not always been a case.
As a child, I'm sure I was tolerant of arachnids.
But one day in primary school, a substitute teacher told us a story of a woman who was bitten by a certain type of spider, and whose skin subsequently rotted away and she died.
Since then, my fear of spiders has gotten worse and worse, and now I have no hesitation in calling it a phobia.
As such, I am always a little bit proud of myself when I manage to kill one - firstly because I had rid the world of one more of the little bastards, but mostly because I know I got close enough to the sucker to kill it!
And so I relate today's incident...
There has been a spider living in a gap in the brickwork outside our front door for quite some time. I've known about it, but as long as I can't see it when I walk past, I can pretend to myself that I'm ok. However, today I finally decided to do something about it.
Now, knowing the randomly scuttling habits of dying spiders, I donned boots and long sleeves, and armed myself with an almost-full bottle of crawling insect killer - I know spiders aren't insects, but it does work.
So, with the baby safely in bed and out of the way, I began spraying. I was saying to myself over and over (yes, out loud), "You stay in your hole, spider, die in there, do not come out..." So, what did my friend decide to do? You guessed it - out he scuttled, ran halfway across the ceiling of the porch, and dropped to the ground, still moving, running every whichway.
And me? I was hyperventilating, my pulse was racing, and I kept on spraying! "Die, you bastard, die!"
Very shortly the spider's erratic course brought him towards the door. This meant it was moving away from me, but this could be even worse! If that spider got inside the house, I was definitely going to freak out. More. I couldn't handle it being in my house. It had to die before crawling under the door. Had to! I sprayed some more!
Oh god, yes, it was beginning to slow down! It fell into the gap between the doormat and the door. A spider who falls is a spider who is nearly dead. Oh yes! It curled up and died, right there beside the doormat.
It is there yet. No matter how dead a spider is, you won't catch me touching it or going any nearer than I have to. But I can handle stepping over it while it is obscured by the doormat!
So, the effect on me? Yes, my little bit of pride. But I'm also a shivering wreck. This always happens to me after a close encounter; my skin crawls, I imagine that every mark on the ceiling and every thread that touches me is a spider, in my mind they're everywhere. I can feel one on my back right now, I know it is there just as surely as I know it isn't! It is highly likely I will dream of spiders tonight.
But I won.