Spiders are for boys.
I do NOT like spiders. I do not particularly like bugs or arachnids of any kind, actually. My son’s obsession with a show called Monster Bug Wars helped me a tad with my utter disgust for all things hairy and leggy and pincer-y and antennaed. Some genius thought it would be rrrrrreally cool to shoot bugs up close with an HD camera and show people what they look like when they devour each other.
It ain’t pretty. I’ll save you a DVR spot. It’s mostly green goop being oozed all over something eating it with pincers or mandibles. It’s gross. And to further drive the point home, and confuse all the young viewers, they overlay ridiculous sound effects. Like a jaguar roaring…. but it’s a close up of a centipede. An elephant trumpeting .. close up of a mob of ants eating a hercules beetle from the INSIDE OUT.
Did i mention it’s disgusting? My child thinks spiders and ants charge to a war cry now. “No honey, the music isn’t real. Bugs dont make noises.” Hopefully he wont go out on a jungle expedition someday and feel completely safe in the knowledge he will hear a tiger growl before the tarantula bites his toe.
So in the various places we’ve lived here in the old US of A, i’ve had a few run-ins that have solidified my hatred and loathing of creepy crawlies. The first few are from my childhood home in Lomita, CA. We didn’t live in a trailer park, per say, but the walls were pretty thin and the water bugs were a-plenty. Those things are particularly evil because they are black and love to scurry across the linoleum when they see bare kid feet. Every time my mom fumigated the house, if i was thirsty or had to pee that night, i held it. The only thing worse than a bug is the underside of a bug. And after fumigating, they feel pay back is having to look at their dead twitchy carcasses littered about the kitchen floor.
Another memory is my cat, Charlie (same house) stalking the living room rug one night. We noticed a big bump underneath that she was batting at. My mom, much wiser than my 10/12 ish years, knew right away what it was. She went outside, got a shovel, walked back in (all of this witnessed from my vantage point on top of the couch squealing “WHAT IS IT?! WHAT IS IT?! EEEEEEWWWEE!!!!”) She dramatically threw back the rug to reveal a potato bug waddling around.
The rest of the night we walked around on furniture like lava had puddled through the front door.
In my little studio apartment in San Pedro i got to know the local wildlife up close and personal. A cockroach decided to room with me and not pay rent. The thing was the size of my thumb … and if you saw my thumbs, you would know that isn’t just a speck of a bug. Huge. Brown. Legs scurrying about. Deee-sgust-ing. I thought i was a warrior chasing that thing with my can of raid. I was independent woman. I was in MY apartment. A bug-free zone, damnit. There was no mom and shovel to save me. It was him or me , and since i paid the rent, it would be him. I thought i was badass walking up to him – tiptoeing – thrusting out the Raid can – shakily pushing it towards his vicinity – and when that thing went vertical up the wall, i knew he knew i meant business. – it gave me even more distance from it.
I was Wonder Woman! … until i hit the ‘spray’ button. The spray hit that things hellish outter shell and then it decided to retaliate. It brought out it’s wings.
Yes, WINGS!!! That a-hole brought wings to a Raid party and i screamed like a 12 year old at a Justin Bieber concert. And i’m not ashamed to say i ran out of the room screaming and flapping my arms. I don’t know how i didn’t accidentally blind myself with the poison.
There have been a handful of other experiences, living in Arizona i got up close and personal with a few scorpions (dead, thank god) and wolf spiders. In Austin, TX i was the victim of a chigger attack. those effers are like ninjas. Terrible terrible experience. Felt like a walking lepper…. it’s hard to do that in Texas!
So arriving in Washington, i expected something … outside. Nothing INSIDE my safe home. ’til the last time my husband was away on business. A GIANT leggy spider challenged me one evening after the kids were in bed. I was poorly prepared… in that i was not at all prepared. I grabbed the 409 from the kitchen. If you know me, it’s more shocking i had that than actual bug spray. I sprayed that thing, it laughed and did a front somersalt into my son’s craft box so that it could continue to terrify me at any given moment.
My husband, knowing my abhorrence of bugs, thought it would be funny to play a trick on me last night. I’m watching TV when he calls me on the phone from the basement. “Hey … can you come downstairs and bring a wad of paper towels with you?”
“No reason, just come down.”
“The paper towels ARE in the basement. Just grab a new roll.”
“Just come down here.”
So i’m thinking, Gee. What could possibly have happened? The kids are in bed. The animals were all upstairs. And it dawns on me.. .bug. I go down the stairs very slowly to find him at the base of the steps with his iphone (with flash) pointed at me. I know already what i’m gonna see, i just don’t know where it is. He points the phone down on the door frame and i see it. Big hairy eyeballs looking at me. I can see it’s fangs, too. Evil little fucker. (the spider, not necessarily my husband) I managed not to put on the show my husband was hoping for.
I can thank the Rolodex of pests from my previous encounters for giving me the common sense not to walk into the next YouTube hit or Ellen video.