I hate spiders so much, and it’s not even because one of them ate my garage caterpillar for dinner. That was just the icing on the cake, another on my long list of reasons why spiders are hideous and evil.
My hatred of spiders goes way back. I know exactly when it happened. I was five. I was in the yard of our new house, in my new playhouse that didn’t yet have a roof, and I saw a fly get caught in a spider web in the corner. In a flash, a spider was upon it, wrapping it up and then sucking it dry, leaving a shell of a fly hanging there. I was horrified. I was not a fan of houseflies, for sure, having spent a lot of my time with Gram, who called them “Dirty, nasty, flies” and caught them in her bare hands, a feat I have yet to master. But even Gram carried those “Dirty, nasty, flies” to the screen door and set them free outside. I was raised with a healthy respect for all living things but, damn, I hate spiders.
After witnessing the murder and consumption of the housefly, I started having nightmares about spiders. I dreamt about giant black spiders invading the house. I dreamt that if you cut all the legs off on one of these spiders they would all grow into more spiders. Same if you cut them in half, you couldn’t kill them. Night after night I had the spider nightmare.
I stopped having the spider nightmare when I had Bunny. After that I had nightmares about tornadoes, always stuck somewhere with a million windows and no where to hide, so that I would have to throw my body on top of her to save her from being ripped from my arms.
It didn’t stop me hating on spiders, though. In the worst case of luck ever imaginable, on the very first day I lived in my brand new used house, I killed fifteen spiders. FIFTEEN. I would keep killing them for all of the nine years I lived there, and after finding GIANT spiders in the flower garden, I started having nightmares again. Nightmares that they got into the house. I seriously considered moving.
Bunny grew up a mighty spider hunter. We worked as a team, because someone had to watch the spider while someone else fetched a shoe to smash it. There was a lot of screaming at times, because as my sister Neala said, “You have black, jumping spiders at your house.”
Once when I called Bunny for dinner and it took her forever to come upstairs she said, “Sorry, I had to kill a spider” and it was a proud mom moment.
“Good little spider killing Bunny,” I said.
One morning I woke up and went to turn the coffee on, my first step of every morning, and there sat a spider on top of my coffee pot. I swear TO GOD it was taunting me. That day I called an exterminator.
Did you know that the spray that kills spiders is the same spray that kills roaches? That’s right, you can’t kill a spider with just any old spray. Those assholes are resilient. The spray worked for a while, but before long they were back in full force.
Along with the awesome black jumping spiders, we also had these little greenish white guys. It was one of them waiting for me at the coffee pot. Another infuriating thing they would do was in the shower- the towel bar in the shower was clear, and some mornings there would be a little greenish white spider inside of the rod. I could not access either opening, they were both tucked into the body of the shower behind the tiles. I was afraid he was trapped and I would have to look at a dead spider in my shower forevermore, but after a couple days he vanished.
At some point, someone in my life convinced me I should give spiders a chance. Told me they were good luck. I did have an over-abundance of some weird bugs with a lot of legs showing up in the basement, and I’d been seeing them dead in spider webs.
Maybe, I thought, I should make a deal with the spiders. I decided they could live in the basement if they ate the other bugs, but if they came upstairs it was over.
In return, they tried to take over the world. I saw one in the upstairs bathroom, the one attached to my bedroom, and I let it be. I ran in and out of the bathroom really fast for fear it would drop on my head. It disappeared from the ceiling and I saw it in the cupboard, walking around a bottle of conditioner. I left it be again.
In the morning, when I walked into the bathroom, I walked through a gigantic spider web spanning the entire doorway. That mf-er watched me go in and out of the bathroom for two days while I let him live, and then decided to try to catch me and eat me.
I smashed him with a shoe.
That was it for spiders, they blew the one chance I gave them. After that came giant garden spiders in the garden and in the garage and hanging off the eaves of my two story house. J, hating spiders as much as I did, brought a ladder over and killed a GIGANTIC spider that was living way up on the second story, under a light. I think he was afraid it would drop on his head one night on his way in. Or else he knew it would make me happy. Either way he was my hero.
I bought a brand new car, and one day on the way to work, when I stopped at a gas station, I noticed a spider web on my shoe. When I got back to the car, I looked under the dash where the gas pedal is. THERE WERE ONE MILLION BABY SPIDERS. Somehow, a spider had made it into my new car, set up shop and started a family.
I had a roll of paper towels in my car and I tried not to scream as I cleaned out the nursery web, spiders and all. I never saw the mom. It was a terrifying ride to work and back, after that I got out the vacuum and the spider spray because F THAT SHIT.
When I packed up my house to move with J, I packed one box a day for months.
“I swear we never had spiders before,” J said.
I suppose all those boxes were perfectly good spider habitat. However, there are no jumping black spiders, no greenish white tormenting spider a-holes and not one giant garden spider, so for the most part it’s a win.
Except for that spider that ate my caterpillar. I hate that guy. I hate that guy and all his evil little friends.
“Never let a spider go.”
That’s what I taught Bunny, and I stand by it.