My family has always said that I exaggerate a lot. Well, I don’t. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t. So there! I just tell it as I see it. It has also long been known in my family that me and spiders do not cohabit well. Especially the bigger spiders, like the Huntsmen with their long grey hairy legs (haven’t they heard of waxing in Spiderville?), the big fat black house spiders (don’t they have a spider Paleo diet?) and the even worse White Tail spiders with their nasty bites that you never feel (usually while you are asleep in bed, the rude buggers).
A couple of days ago, it rained here in Canberra like never before, at least not in the ten years I’ve been here in this drought ridden city. Three inches in three days, which will drive the outdoor spiders indoors. My diligent husband went around and sprayed under the eaves for spiders which seem to increase rapidly in numbers at this breeding time of year, early spring. The spraying will also drive spiders indoors, in particular under the roof into the roofspace. Which wouldn’t be a problem except that our bathrooms have heat lamps with an exhaust fan, which leaves gaps into the roofspace around the fittings.
Now, before I married my Charlie in 2004, I had 51 years of managing spiders myself, overcoming my natural instinctive fears and squashing many an interloper into my home. I have used thongs, brooms, big sticks, heavy boots, kitchen chairs and sundry other inventive spider squashing devices. They have plenty of world OUT THERE to live in, so go live OUT THERE! But I have a husband now, and a good one at that, and what are husbands really good for? Why, killing spiders of course. Any woman knows that. So, two days ago, I was doing my hair in the bathroom and noticed something in the mirror, something hovering just above my left shoulder. Turned around and EYEBALLED a big White Tail spider. Didn’t have time to move or scream, just hit it with my very hot hair tongs and fried it. It had come down on a single strand of web from the exhaust fan overhead. One fried spider gone. Didn’t think any more of it. Once I’d stopped shaking, that is.
BUT … the next day, I went into that bathroom and opened the drawer in the vanity unit to get a tissue and there, sitting on a large red velcro roller was THE BIGGEST, FATTEST BLACK SPIDER I HAVE EVER SEEN! And it was looking RIGHT AT ME! Now, anyone with arachnophobia will know that I speak the ABSOLUTE TRUTH! I am still having nightmares about how it got into a sealed drawer that I go into every day. Regardless of how it got in there, I know it went in there because it KNEW I go into that drawer every day, it KNEW that we had sprayed it’s web outside under the eaves and killed a lot of its mates (and probably its family as well) and it KNEW that I’d fried its best friend, the White Tail spider the day before.
My hand almost touched it. It clung to the velcro roller (or was it stuck to the velcro, will we ever know?) and it glared at me. I ran for my husband, who came and said calmly, “Oh, it really is a big one”, then picked up the velcro roller carefully and threw it into the spa. He looked at me, I looked at him, we looked down into the spa – AND THE SPIDER WAS GONE! Just the red velcro roller sitting in the bottom of the spa.
So … did that big fella go down the plughole, or into one of the spa outlets????? That is the question that haunts me now. I plugged up the plughole and there the plug remains, but I want to have a spa this afternoon and have decided to run a very hot one, turn on the motor and see what comes out of the outlets before I even think of putting my little toe into the water. And if it did go down the plughole, I’ll empty the spa AFTER I get out of the water, don’t want the bugger swimming it’s way up my leg as the water drains out! So, there you are. Not one iota of exaggeration in that story AT ALL! Don’t you agree? I’m off to run a spa. Will let you know the outcome.
(Postscript: I cooked myself in that spa, no sign of the spider, drained the water, it didn’t come back up the plughole, put the plug back in just in case, and am still looking out for that little monster. And its mates. Sigh….)
(Originally published 23 October 2010)S