Remember that nursery rhyme? My kids used to love it. The words down came the rain and washed the spider out have currently never been truer in our house. Spiders abound. Yesterday I flicked back the kitchen curtains only to have a sizeable spider fall into the palm of my hand. I recoiled in horror. Flinging it like a javelin thrower, I stepped backwards. Straight into the dog’s water bowl.
The rest of the family haven’t fared much better. My daughter leapt into the shower only to discover she was sharing the cubicle with an eight-legged visitor. Walls instantly closed in and hyperventilation took place. And Mr V, comfortably enthroned in our bathroom, was horrified to discover a spider sharing his newspaper (he’s not very good with spiders. Or sharing his newspaper.).
However, pity my poor sister. A friend wanted to get rid of a greenhouse. My sister, a keen grower of all things vegetable, whizzed round to the friend’s house, and had it disassembled and stowed in her 4 x 4 before you could say Alan Titchmarsh. The friend did caution my sister to check it over for spiders first. One can only assume this warning fell on deaf ears. The following morning my sister set off to work. As she roared along the M25, in her peripheral vision she saw something black stroll across the ceiling. At this point she was travelling in the outside lane at 90 miles per hour. But that’s between you and me, and not to be shared with PC Plod. She most certainly wasn’t in a position to take her eyes off the motorway to check out what the something black was. However, sensing it might be something to scream about, she attempted to get onto the hard shoulder and investigate. But before she could even find a gap in the bumper-to-bumper traffic, the something black released a silvery thread. And dangled in front of her face. Her worst fears were confirmed. A huge spider. The sort that is thick bodied with legs that could benefit from hair removal cream. As it rotated before her nose, my sister began to scream. She screamed as her vehicle hurtled past a Tesco’s lorry, screamed as she carved up a pensioner hogging the middle lane, screamed as she finally edged into the inside lane, and screamed even more upon discovering the hard shoulder had run out and didn’t begin again for another two miles. The spider, possibly unnerved by all her noise, stopped rotating and dropped into her lap. My sister nearly fainted. Aware that causing a motorway pile-up simply wasn’t on, she managed to keep going until the next hard shoulder mercifully appeared. She later told me that she wondered what passing motorists made of the woman hopping around in one shoe as she thrashed the living daylights out of her car.
Even worse, on her drive home, exactly the same thing happened. And the saying that all things come in threes was never truer. Yes, the following morning, yet another horrendous vision was dangling in her rear view mirror whilst she once again zoomed up the M25. My sister was convinced that a hoard of spiders had transferred from the disassembled greenhouse and found a home in the lining of her vehicle’s roof. Needless to say the roof lining has been squashed to oblivion in an attempt to obliterate anything that might be lurking. Personally I’d trade the car in. To hell with the expense.
I can always remember my son, when a toddler, having his first encounter with a spider. He kept touching its leg and chuckling deliciously as the spider waved it about. Naturally I had a light bulb moment – train my toddler to adore spiders. And then get him to despatch them. ‘Awwww, look at the furry spider,’ I said (from a safe distance). ‘Give him a little stroke and then pop him outside for Mummy eh?’ ‘’Pider,’pider,’ said my son lovingly. It didn’t last. Six months later he had joined the rest of us folk with arachnophobia.
What is it about spiders that reduce us to gibbering wrecks? Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with this. Why did Mrs Spider buy a computer? Because she wanted a website...