Ideas haven’t exactly been coursing and sparking through my brain, lately. I often feel that I should be putting energy and effort (even creative effort) to some better use. Blogging feels like a trap-door, because that writing urge should be applied to a more practical medium.
*I hate practical mediums.*
At any rate, the one entity in my world that screams ‘Write me’ right now is Mr. Spider.
Mr. Spider is my omnipresent fear. This should be self-evident by the very use of the name ‘Mr. Spider’. I think it’s pretty stupid to anthropomorphize non-human things by calling them ‘Mr.’ or ‘Mrs.’, thus rendering them cutesy and folksy, and also (oddly) legally wed.
But Mr. Spider skitters in a way that makes my blood turn to icicles, so cutesifying him is both bizarre and necessary.
Most of my fears are more distant, conceptual terrors, not actual physical realities. In every day life, I hardly ever have to face werewolves, deadly hemorrhagic pathogens or a disgruntled tiger who talks like Jeremy Irons. These things exist only in dreams and movies and the depths of Africa. (The last referring to hemorrhagic pathogens, not talking tigers. As far as I’m aware, Africa doesn’t harbor tigers, and if it does, they sound closer to Walter Cronkite than Jeremy Irons, which really isn’t so terrifying.)
But spiders… spiders exist. Boy, do they. Spiders waltz across my ceiling, lie in wait in the bathtub. They bite these legs/arms at least twice a year. And once, terrifyingly, I woke to a huge, hairy nightmare inches from my face on the pillow. Gak!
So immediate are the little monsters, that I’ve made an odd alliance with a spidery creature in order to limit the chances of ever repeating that pillow encounter.
Enter Pholcidae, the common house spider. If you live in North America, you probably identify this creature as ‘Daddy Long Legs’. Mr. Daddy Long-legs, while fantastically disinterested in human beings except as the occasional jungle gym, is pretty interested in our mites, our lice, our ants, our mosquitos, and best of all, those big, hairy bitey spiders that snack on our flesh.
To my mind, it is a talisman against the brown recluse and the hobo spider to have a nice, gangly pholcidae in the corner of every room. (We have two in the bathroom right now. It’s rather hard to keep two of them in one place though, cus if they get hungry, they eat each other up.)
It isn’t that I’m not afraid of the common house spider, but I’m not terrified all to hell. The wispy, leggy look of it, and that tiny wedge shaped body are possible to tolerate in light of its wonderful diet.
Unfortunately, despite many discussions regarding the cost/benefit analysis of harboring Mr. Pholcidae in order to counteract Mr. Big, Black and Bulbous, my daughter, who has inherited every ounce of my arachnaphobia magnified ten-fold, does not make the distinction. If there is a daddy long legs hanging out next to the shower, she will very happily go dirty. If one has crawled its way to the no-spider-land outpost of her bedroom ceiling, it is generally understood that neither she nor I, nor anyone in a 5 mile radius will be getting any sleep.
Sierra wants Mr. House Spider dead. And though I see the error in that view, that doesn’t mean I necessarily want to deal with the capture and transport of one of our little spider-eating legion.
For while Mr. Daddy Long-legs is an ally, he still moves. And in my arachnid fearing mind, the skitter is much worse than the bite.
So we generally have a stand off that ends with me swiping the spider with a towell, and when it attaches I run, howling and blind, out of the room and throw the towell (with or without the spider attached) at whatever distant wall I can find that isn’t in her immediate living space.
Does the spider survive this exercise?
I. don’t. know.
Does the spider ever manage to run it’s way up the towell and attach to my clothing before I can propel it into a corner?
I fervently do not wish to know. The whole exercise is a little humiliating, so if I see a house spider in the bathroom, or hanging in Sierra’s room, I become engaged in a game of mental keepaway, trying to distract my darling from the knowledge of her little friend, until such a time as she discovers it, and then I’m so surprised, of course, to see it there, and with much unfelt enthusiasm I describe how lucky she is to have a spider protector in her corner, and she puts on that face that says ‘I’m not buying it’, and very shortly after that I’m once more looking for a towel.
Alas, fears are hard to reason with, but let’s look on the bright side:
The removal of a werewolf or a Jeremy-Irons-voiced-talking-tiger would probably require more than fortitude and a hand towel.
So I guess things turned out relatively well.