It started innocently enough: Friends with a fellow blogger, who is capturing the life of her family over here. Mum, Dad, three beautiful daughters, one of whom has similar disabilities to my Divine Miss L. She writes about all sorts of stuff, and in 2014 has been undertaking the “Photo a Day” challenge. Usually they are pretty cool photos: milestones, holidaying, water fun…
Late last week, she posted a photo that almost made me vomit:
I hate spiders. Particularly those huge, smug huntsmen.
They try and lull you into a false sense of security with the whole “I’m keeping away bugs” thing, and then drop from the ceiling and rip your nose off and slap you with all eight of their creepy hairy legs.
My first memorable spider interaction happened when I was around 6. I’d gone to wake up mum and dad. It was early, I was still in my nighty. I must have lifted my arms up to yawn, and then remember mum swatting at one of my pits. Curled up in the warmth of my unknowingly welcoming armpit was a huntsman.
Holy Jesus, save me.
Fast forward several years, and there I am in my car, driving to a uni class. I pull into the car park and the sun hits my eyes, so I automatically flip down the sun visor. Mr Huntsman lifts one leg and waves at me, cuing my shriek, swerve to the gutter and the slamming back up of the visor. I held that visor in place as tight as I could, until I realised I couldn’t get out of the car without risking the spider dropping on me.
Fast forward more years. I’ve walked in and out of my bedroom, going about my bedtime routine. It’s when I go to walk out for the 3rd time that I see it.
The thing was the size of a dog. And not a little dog. This was the great dane of the spider world. I was surprised my ceiling hadn’t begun to sink inwards due to the weight of the monster. I heard a deep, rattling baritone offer a slow and delighted giggle: hur hur hur…
I don’t know how I got out of my room. I know that there was no way I could kill it, because if it dropped on me I’d wind up with serious injuries. Seriously, the thing was fucking HUGE. From memory, I escaped then woke my flatmate, who was decidedly unimpressed by my antics. I was performing the freaky spider dance with great skill and dexterity, while praying in an extremely high pitched voice.
My flatmate told me to be quiet. Why? I wondered. Did she think she was going to talk the spider down? Did she think she would hear his plans for world domination, and then try to talk him out of it? Did she think she could reason with the beast?
Turns out she just wanted to wake up properly before trying to spray the guts out of it.
The spray wouldn’t reach.
It’s not reaching it’s not reaching! I shrieked helpfully.
My flatmate stumbled around before eventually telling me to go and sleep on the lounge, and wait til morning.
Wait til morning. Wait til morning?
Was she mad?
The fucking thing could have eaten us both by then, and then tried to hatch eggs in my bed.
My flatmate returned to bed, and I set up watch on the lounge.
The spider eventually died. Oh yes, he died.
However. Fast forward a year or so.
I’m lying in bed.
Gazing at my ceiling.
Wondering what those specks are.
I reach over, and put on my glasses. Turn on the big light.
Thousands of them.
Teeny, tiny baby huntsmen.
Teeny tiny huntsmen, hatching on my roof.
I picked up my pillow and blanket, and headed straight to the lounge.
Offered an apology to the ozone layer, and filled my bedroom with fly spray.
Shut the door.
And eventually, fell asleep.
But make no mistake: Even though the spiders were all gone the next day, I am under no illusion that I have won the war. I know that when I least expect it, another huntsman will make itself known. It will make itself known and demand that I worship it as king.
And I will.
As long as it leaves me alone.