Would you like to hear a scream that will put everyone on high alert? Just dangle a spider in front of my face. I do hope that you’ve remembered to put in your ear plugs because if you haven’t, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up with shattered ear drums or hearing loss or both.
I don’t know what it is about those particular ‘creatures’ that gets me so stirred up, but they’ve been making me quite ‘uneasy’ for as far back as I can remember. As a child, I remember watching a movie that featured an enormous, mutant spider (much larger than a person) that caused quite an uproar and sent people running in all directions in order to avoid it’s deadly venom. It didn’t take long for that confounded spider to move off the TV screen and directly into my little 5 year old brain. I had nightmares FOR YEARS after that. If I’d been older when I watched it, and not an impressionable 5 year old, I probably wouldn’t have been as affected by it. It’s more akin to a comedy because there’s no way you can take it seriously. The special effects are so terrible, you can’t help but laugh. But at the time, when I’d only been part of the human race for a handful of years, viewing that movie really did a number on me and has left me with an irrational fear that has pervaded my life up to this very day.
Spiders are a very necessary part of the food chain, I know this. But why do they need to come inside and terrorize me so frequently? Can’t we all just get along? You stay outside and I’ll leave you alone, ok? But they never listen! They creep around all arrogant and smug. Some of them will actually rear up when you get too close, like they’re ready to come to blows.
What is quite puzzling is that they don’t mind getting ‘up close and personal’ when it’s on their terms, like when you’re sleeping or minding your own business. There is nothing like taking a long nap in the afternoon and awakening to a spider preparing to lower itself directly onto your face. That’ll get your heart started and bring you to your feet in a hurry! It makes me wonder when you hear about people dying in their sleep. I always have a sneaking suspicion that it isn’t simply because their heart gave out, but that a spider was somehow involved. I consider myself lucky that the incident when I awoke just at the time Mr. Spider was preparing to alight on my face didn’t give me a heart attack. But imagine if you did have a weak heart, clogged after years of eating a lot of greasy burgers and french fries, and you were minding your own business, sleeping in your own bed, and you had a similar experience? I could see the fright of such a close encounter with 4-legs-too-many likely to cause the heart to race at such a rapid pace that it would send you to the Great Beyond. I could see it. It would be an interesting thing to put on the death certificate, that’s for sure.
As far as encounters I’ve had when I’ve been minding my own business, I’ll tell you about one in the most abbreviated way possible. When we first moved into our current home, we had a great deal of work to do on it (still do). But our focus at the time was getting the kitchen done and I was working at chiseling out ceramic tile that was stuck to the floor with some sort of mind-blowing adhesive. It was hard work but I was determined to get the job done. Little by little, I chip away at the tile, holding the metal part of the chisel directly against it while tapping at the other end with a hammer. Apparently, I must have upset the other ‘residents’ in the building because suddenly a black widow decided to charge. I don’t even know where the heck she came from but she meant business. I think she must have gotten pretty rattled with all the noise and such going on after the house had laid dormant for the two years prior to our arrival.
Do you remember ‘the scream’ I mentioned earlier? The one that puts everyone on high alert? It happened on that particular day. And it got everyone’s attention in a hurry. I’m honestly surprised the police didn’t show up! Anyway, as I was flailing about, trying to smash Ms. Husband Killer while attempting to avoid getting bit, my husband and the contractors all came running, thinking something really terrible had happened, and that most assuredly blood would be involved. When they realized what the fuss was all about, they all rolled their eyes and shook their heads. And one by one, each turned on their heels and resumed working (and I felt a bit silly). In the end, there was no blood but ol’ Ms. Widow didn’t fare so well.
Look, call me what you will. Call me a killer, I don’t care. But I’m claiming self defense. If they think they can strut around my home all smug and arrogant and climb into my bed in the middle of the night and snack on my arm or crawl across the ceiling directly above me while I’m relaxing in my recliner or charge at me while I’m trying to take up a floor or crawl out of the bathtub drain at the most inconvenient time, all I have to say is they had it coming.