Don’t Read if You Love Spiders

I know I’m in good company when I say I hate spiders. I see one, and revulsion explodes within me. I have been told often enough that the horrible critters are good for the earth and that I’m rebelling against God when I kill one. God forgive me, but that does not change the inner workings of my gut.

As John was driving our garbage to the collection center, I found a spider crawling in the tub, unable to get out. There was no use screaming, because no one would hear. I didn’t panic until I knocked my clean clothes into the tub. That would have given him a ladder of escape. Quick as a wink, I got the clothes back where they belonged. If I’d been thinking straight, I might have thought of something to kill it. As it was, the spider was out of reach. That’s when the phone rang – John telling me he was at the garage, leaving the Honda for repair. It was useless to moan or squeal. My thoughts: “Quick! How can I contain that monster while I pick John up? The dustbuster! Get the hand-held vac and suck it up. Great! Now what? I can’t see it. Don’t put it outside, because rain clouds are looming. Put the spider, dustbuster and all, in the tub. I am reasonably sure it can’t escape from the tub, even if it gets out of the vac. Now go get John.”

Later I tiptoed in the bathroom and peered into the tub. Nothing was visibly crawling except my skin. I fetched the camera for documentation.

031918 Dustbuster.JPG

I never thought to wonder if fear or curiosity would dictate my actions. Either curiosity won, or I was afraid of what might happen if I left that wicked spider to its own devices. Making sure there were no legs visible on the outside of the little machine, I picked it up. Turning it on seemed like a good idea. Spin the spider to oblivion. I couldn’t see it at all, but I did spot a lady beetle crawling about inside. Just what I needed! Not only was the spider most likely still inside, it now had a live lunch waiting for it. John and I needed to have breakfast, so I replaced the dustbuster in the tub. You will note that even though John was in the house, I did not seek his help. His spider rescues always start with laughter. Not a good sign!

After telling myself sternly that I had to deal with the spider, I checked the tub again after breakfast and picked up the dustbuster. The vile spider was inside with lots of dust bunnies. If you have arachnophobia, close this message immediately. Go on! Nothing to see here! Click on something pleasant!

I could deal with a dead spider, or even a stunned one, but this was an Iron Man Spider! Nothing seemed to faze it.

031918 Spider inside dustbuster.jpg
Wicked Iron Man Spider inside the dustbuster

In a scared little voice, I said, “John? Will you help me?”

After laughing, he said, “I can’t even see it. I’ll turn on the vac. There it is. I’ll thump it. Now it’s in the lower section. I don’t know how to empty this thing. Take it apart.”

We went on the deck as I told him to check which way the wind was blowing. He claimed there wasn’t any wind. Yeah! Right! There wasn’t any wind until I pulled the innards out of the vacuum. A gust blew dust back at us. By rights, I should have let out a blood-curdling scream. He picked up the two sections and shook them. The spider was gone then, but where had it gone? Had it blown back onto my jacket? I wish I’d thought to pull off the jacket and flick it violently in the air. For all I know, it latched onto the garment and is hunched down in terror, waiting for me to be still and quiet. I am typing on the computer, telling myself the spider should not be poisonous. If it’s waiting to get me, I should survive a bite. If you don’t see another message from me in a few days, you could check the obituaries for either John or Anne. If the spider were venomous, look for me. If John continued to laugh, I murdered him.