I found the most enormous spider in the tub the other day. It freaked me out, as I totally hate spiders and the air they breathe. That is a grandiose way of saying they scare the shit out of me. I thought about taking a photo but I decided the only thing worse than finding an enormous spider in the tub is finding one, running to get a camera and then finding it gone upon your return. I would not have been able to bathe in comfort after that. In fact even though I know I washed that little bastard down the drain I still am wary upon entering the shower.
I have a very chequered past with spiders. I grew up in a house that spawned brown hairy 8-legged beasties the size of cats. It was not uncommon to be sitting in the basement TV room and something catching your attention out of the corner of your eye. Something large and crawling towards you. My family got very used to me jumping up in the middle of some program to run shrieking from the room. My very dramatic reaction to spiders resulted in many family jokes at my expense.
One night I was walking up the stairs leading to the top floor bedrooms when it became necessary to throw myself up the remaining five steps due to a simply HUGE spider on the stairs. Most would simply walk past the spider by skipping that step when confronted with that situation. Not me. I was effectively trapped on that floor. Normally I would have called on a parent to save me from eminent peril but that night I was alone in the house. Fortunately I did have access to a bathroom but as time went on I became quite hungry and wanted a snack from the kitchen one floor below. I wracked my brains to how I could deal with my predicament. Do I climb out a window and then break into the basement? Do I jump over the spider by clearing a dozen steps in a super hero leap? What do I do? I suddenly got a brain wave. Bathroom cleaner. I would spray the spider with toilet foam killing it and rendering it harmless. My own chemical jihad.
Picture me standing on the top step with a can of Sani-foam, sweating profusely and giggling maniacally as I am apt to do under great stress. Picture me emptying a whole can of cleaner onto a single step. Then picture my parents coming home to find me and a 3-foot high mound of evil smelling foam barring the way to their room. Finally picture me grounded for a good long time. Once all the froth was shovelled off, the poor shrivelled up spider, greatly diminished in size since my last sighting, was no help to my cause.
Another time I found a spider on the same stairs in almost the exact circumstances except this time I was going down which meant I landed in a quivering pile of sweaty jelly on the middle floor. And this time my parents where home to spare me the ordeal of handling the situation myself. I ran to my father and told him that there was a HUGE spider on the stairs that he needed to get rid of. I must have seen something in his expression as I immediately regretted my decision wishing I had told my mom instead as she was much more sympathetic to my fears. My dad grabbed a handful of Kleenex and walked over the steps saying the whole time that I just had to get over my phobias and that spiders were wonderful creatures deserving praise as they killed off other undesirable bugs in the house. But as you all know, when one is almost hyperventilating with terror the only thing one hears is, “Blah blah blah spider, blah blah blah spider blah.” My father, my protector, my role model reached with his Kleenex, picked up the spider and then proceeded to walk towards me. With the spider. Yes, I said WITH THE FUCKING SPIDER!!! in his possession. I did what any self-respecting arachnophobe would do. I jumped onto the couch and crawled behind my mother screaming bloody murder, completely trampling her as she was trying to peacefully read. My mother swears I was emitting such a high-pitched sound she almost blacked out. And my father, my protector, the man who can do no wrong in a little girl’s eyes, stood over me and shook the Kleenex out over my head thereby releasing the spider into my aura causing my soul to melt. I then came close to blacking out myself. I am not kidding. Once my life stopped flashing before my eyes and I quit swallowing my tongue I realised that there was no spider. The Kleenex was empty. The evil man had left it on the stairs.
Obviously my father, my protector, the man who hangs the moon, is Satan. I paid him back for this with my teenage years.