Hate them. Horrible things.
With their spindly legs and hairy bodies and too many eyes. And the way they move, skittish and random: a piece of fluff blown straight out of hell.
Just sharing this with you is making my teeth itch. I’m shuddering, skin crawling, reluctantly envisaging the cobwebs behind my bureau.
These are no ordinary cobwebs. They’re massive, grey and ancient and ripe with egg sacs that look like the white tips of swollen cotton buds.
It’s the hatchery of a monster.
It’s Shelob’s nest. The lair of Grendel’s mum.
Which is sort of unfortunate.
Because, apparently, the bureau is in the wrong place.
Apparently it has to go. Apparently I’m the one who has to move it and apparently, the fact that there is gigantic beast lurking behind it is no grounds for my not moving it into the bedroom where it would look much nicer and where it can be home to my partner’s assortment of make up and hair brushes.
I’ve tried reasoning with her.
I’ve pointed, wide eyed and pale, to the black legs, thick as pipe cleaners, that you can sometimes glimpse, poking out of the edge of the bureau.
She’s not having it. And the in laws are coming over next week, so it has to go.
Apparently, I’m being pathetic.
And worse, my time honoured method of dealing with spiders, which is to flap my arms wildly whilst screaming with unreasoning panic, is both unattractive and deeply unmanly.
A comment I found rather sexist actually (but that’s another post).
‘They’re probably more scared of you than you are of them,’ she has said on numerous occasions.
Which everyone knows is nonsense. Because why then do they always run towards you?
Still, her words have struck a chord.
After all, spiders can’t really hurt you. Not in England. Granted, I remember reading a newspaper article when I was a child about how some woman’s arms, legs and nose fell of when she was bitten by a common garden spider, but I think it was either in the Sun or the Daily Sport so probably safe to ignore.
So, why all the fear?
Am I really scared of something so small and harmless, or do I just think that I’m scared-brain washed into accepting that they’re terrifying because that’s the widely held status quo?
A bit like how everyone thinks that the new Star Wars film is amazing when in fact it’s a load of old rubbish?
So, ladies and gentlemen. I am going to put my presumed arachnophobia to the test: I am going to find a spider, a small one, obviously, (got to start somewhere) and I am going to pick it up. Not gingerly, dangling the poor sod by one of its legs and holding it out at arms length with gritted teeth, but properly, cupping it in my hand for a count of at least ten proper seconds (one elephant, two elephants, three-).
Franklin Roosevelt once said: the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
I would love to prove that. Imagine how liberating it would be if we suddenly discovered that some of the things that scare us aren’t really that scary at all.
Like the monster behind the bureau.
Maybe once I discover that all I have is a bad case of arachno-phonya (get it?), she won’t seem so massive and terrifying at all.
Maybe I’ll pick her up. Cup her in my strong,unwavering hands and carry her gently to the back door, before placing her softly on the ground with a murmur of ‘Go, in peace little one.’
Or I might just suck her up with my Dyson.