I really, reeeally reeeeeeeeally hate them, Spiders, that is, and I do not feel the list bit odd about that because I know bug aversions are so common in society, especially fear of spiders. Recently I found myself wondering why they scare me the way they do. They’re actually quite pretty; they’re symmetrical, and sometimes have pretty patterns on their back or legs…ok wait, that’s it! They have legs,,, and I think that’s what invokes fear! Legs! (too many of them) It allows them to move too fast. On the other hand, centipedes have dozens of legs and they don’t bother me at all. (I’m just glad I don’t have to buy their shoes)
About a month ago I went into my basement heading to the freezer when in the corner of my eye I caught sight of something dark on the rubber mat of my treadmill. It was a spider, and not a small one I might add. Now let’s face it, I’ve encountered lots of spiders in my life but most were small house spiders, the kind you scoop up and squish with a Kleenex.
Seventeen years ago, my husband and I moved to a home surrounded by forest. Trees and shrubs and wildlife and…….bugs. Big bugs, so spotting yet another massive spider in my basement, while not a surprise, was still worthy of a lot of screaming and dancing around. Eventually, I realized no one was home so the screaming was futile. I was also surprised that when I screamed and jumped……the spider seemed to ‘jump’. (ok, so they can hear) It scurried under the treadmill so I turn it on and as the rubber mat rotated, so did the spider, he’s here, he’s gone, he’s here, he’s gone. I screamed again to see if it affected him and it did. He flinched, and I actually felt kind of sorry for him. Looked like this little guy was as scared of me as I was of him. (that, or he was laughing at me)
I debated what to do. If I kill him, I have peace of mind. If I don’t he’ll be lurking somewhere here, and we can’t have that. I grabbed a box of Kleenex and waited for the treadmill to recycle him into view and then wham, I pounded the whole box down on him. Despite a good slam he didn’t seem bothered. In fact he scurried under again apparently unharmed. Ok, this is creepy, how resilient are these things?
I found a book, a great big one, and I waited again for the treadmill to bring him back around. As I waited I heard the radio announcer in the background talking, oddly enough, about spiders in his basement. He went on to say he didn’t much care for them but let them be because they ate other bugs. Was this some weird coincidence, or was it a subliminal message to me? He made me feel guilty for killing something that was actually of benefit to humanity.
The spider didn’t resurface (I think he’s on to me) and eventually I put the book away and went upstairs grudgingly acknowledging that sparing this small creatures life would be my good deed for the day.
I opened my front door, as I often do, because I love to have the daylight stream in and what do I see on the inside of my screen door? Yup, you guessed it, a nice big spider (probably a relative of my friend downstairs) I gasp and jump back preparing to scream and dance again, then realize quickly it’d be a wasted effort, (what’s the point of carrying on like an idiot if you don’t have an audience to humiliate you?) so I sit back on the bottom step to think about what to do. Will this one keep other bugs out of my home too? (how many do we need for bug control?)
I stare at the door deep in thought. Is my fear of these creatures really justified? I mean, what harm are they really? I wonder if they feel fear when in the face of a human. As I struggle with my conscience the spider moves slightly and my decision is made. I get up, grab my husband’s size 10 boot, open the door knocking him onto the concrete porch and pound him into mush.
One good deed a day is enough