I am afraid of spiders. There are many reasons why, but the scientific reason is that they freak me out.
It didn’t help much, that I lived in the south for a large portion of my life. Places in which the black widow and brown recluse both reside. Or that every time you turn a corner, you face plant a web. My fear probably stems from an incident in which I was almost buried alive by a mass of daddy long legs. But that is a different story. (Click here to read it)
It might have been about seventh grade that someone told me, “Spiders get into your house by dropping down on you when you walk through the front door.” Armed with this wonderful piece of information, walking into the house became an interesting routine.
Inspect screen door for spiders or webs
Open screen door and let it slam back shut, to shake loose any hidden spiders
Open screen door and quickly open front door, letting it swing inside, while simultaneously leaping backwards. So no spiders could have time to drop on me and also trying not to get hit by the screen door as it slams shut again.
Open screen door and fling myself through the open doorway as fast as the Flash, as to not allow any spiders who were trying to time their drop. Because I knew that they had been watching me do this for awhile.
Quickly slam door shut.
This went on for about a year.
I tried never to go out the back of the house. Since the way in and out was a sliding glass door, you could usually see a web that stretched from each of the four corners and from top to bottom. I’m 98.5% sure that it was that big in order to trap humans because in the south, the bugs are big, but not that big.
When people find out that you are afraid of spiders, they usually want to point them out to you or even put them on you for fun. It seems as if human nature is to torture someone with their biggest fear.
When I was in the Army, stationed in Louisiana, the guys in the barracks would catch spiders, put them in jars and leave them on my desk. After turning on the light, and finding myself face to face with the largest specimens you could imagine, I would usually let out a shriek, similar to that of an eight year old girl.
While training in the Mojave desert, my fellow soldiers thought it would be hilarious to catch tarantulas to see what my reaction would be.
Maybe, it was the ninja-like reflexes, in which I’ve perfected the backwards flying leap.
Maybe it was, the crazed look on my face and the twitching of my eye.
Or it probably could have been the fact, that I had a machine gun in my hands, that they never actually put them on me.
Right after my wife and I got married, anytime I would find any spiders in our apartment, I made her go get rid of them.
Even if it was late at night and she was in her t-shirt and underwear and the spider was in the hall outside the front door.
Yes, we are still married, thanks for asking.
After we moved out of the apartment and into a house, it didn’t take long before we discovered that the home we purchased was infested with spiders. Everywhere we turned we would find them. They give me the heebie jeebies and I don’t like to kill them. Killing them meant getting closer to them than I’m was comfortable with. Besides, dead spiders are even grosser than live ones.
So I perfected the long distance, spider retrieval method. Otherwise know as, the vacuum hose.
If you put the longest attachment on, you can effectively keep your distance from the creature. For some reason, they must think is is a little cave or escape hatch because they always run right in. You have to make sure that you go straight to the trash and empty the vacuum or else they crawl back out. Oh, and make sure you take it to the trash outside your house.
One evening, while we were watching a movie in the basement, something large scurried across the floor and under the couch. There was no doubt that it was a wolf spider. Chances of finishing the movie were pretty slim because we both knew it was underneath us. And because, it would have been difficult watching the movie standing up on the couch.
So, I decide to be brave and save my wife from this monster. The vacuum was upstairs and I couldn’t leave her alone and so I scanned the basement for a weapon. Spying an over-sized pink plastic baseball bat in the kids’ toy area, I used the backwards flying leap to retrieve it.
You never want to turn your back on your opponent.
My wife jumped onto the smaller couch as I made my way around to the front again. Summoning all my inner strength, I was able to flip the couch on it’s back with one hand because I need to keep a death grip on the big pink bat with the other hand. There, poised for attack, was the gargantuan beast, staring back at me as if to say, “You’re going down!”
With a two handed grip, I held the pink bat above my head just like the poster from the movie, Conan The Barbarian. Only looking a lot less like him and more like Napoleon DynaMike.
With a crazed look on my face and a twitch in my eye, I shouted with a high and most shrill voice, “I am bigger that the spider, I am bigger than the spider!” while pummeling the monster into oblivion.
In that moment, I was the hero. Staring down my nemesis into all eight eyes and conquering my fear while saving the damsel in distress.
All I needed was a wild stallion to ride off on, to make the picture perfect.
Share your biggest fear in the comments below. Let me know if you have conquered it.