I am spider bait

No I don't mean the band although I have always thought it might just be the best band name I've ever heard of. 

Let me say this first: I am an animal lover. 

A once-was vegetarian who is still unable to debone any animal and who goes weeks without feeding her family red meat; a 'let's relocate that cockroach/cricket/caterpillar' girl currently happily living with an enormous grasshopper in the living room.

It's just spiders.

Really. Really. Hate. Spiders.

Look I don't know what it's about. It's a primal and totally irrational fear. 

It started when I was young, about 12 I think, when I woke up with an intricate spiderweb right across my face. Not a lightweight one, either. 

Then there was an incident in the early days of my courtship with the Adman, where I was sitting, relaxed, in the passenger seat of his car, with his mother, sister and aunt across the back seat, when an enormous hairy huntsman (WARNING: images may disturb) crawled up the outside of my open window and hung about, considering its descent on the inside. 

I may have screamed. I may have leapt across onto the gearstick. We may have been on a very busy road (actually, the off-ramp of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 4 lane highway. Pretty busy.) 

Adam calmly asked me to get off the gearstick before he caused an accident, and I (and I still fail to feel remorse for this) took off my shoe, wacked the scary spider, and sent it flying onto the neighbouring car, a beaten up combi van driven by two fellas busy laughing at the screaming coming from our car. Karma, dudes.

Then there was another car-based incident when Henry was a tiny baby, I was driving my sister Naomi to the airport one night with Henry in the back in his seat, when Nomie started slapping the dashboard with her Bare Hands. (Am still deeply impressed.) Unfortunately failed to kill the spider trotting over to my side and I nearly killed us all running off the road but thankfully just destroyed the hubcaps on the left hand side. 

And then last week.

Over at a darling friend's house nearby, leaving late, pull the car out from the curb and an enormous spider crawls across my windscreen. I quickly put my wipers and water on, thinking I'll kill it (sorry spiders, it's me or you) and succeed in jimmying it over to my side window whereby it glares at me then vanishes into my doorframe. I park (actually I just pull the keys out; I'm pretty much in the middle of the road), I roll out the passenger side door and run back into my friend's house. 

She comes out armed with Mortein which she lets loose on the Prius on the proviso I wash the car the next day so as not to damage the paint. But there is no sign of the beast.

She looks at me. I look at her. She suggests driving me home in her car to get Adam (it's 10.30pm, I know he's asleep on the couch) which I think is a marvellous idea.

We pull up, I run in and wake him up and explain he needs to drive back to our friend's house and drive our car home, carrying on it somewhere a huntsman the size of a small country. He amiably agrees and I think (again) how lucky I was he picked me.

So the next morning, I get the kids in the car and I get in via the passenger side (just in case) and we drive around the block to the nearest carwash (for the first time in a year I'm happy to live in the inner city).

I ask whether thorough hosing underneath the car comes with the deluxe wash and they say it can be arranged. I explain the potential traveller. The carwash dude doesn't laugh at me. 

The kids and I wait inside the cafe (it's a hip carwash/cafe. Free flat white and baby cino's for the kids) and after 20 minutes the dude comes back and tells me they've found it and they decided to kill it rather than relocate it, given it's size. 

I consider the appropriateness of kissing him, decide against it, kiss the children instead.

And we're all good.

Till next time. 

Because there will always be a next time. 

I am spider bait.

Really, I should just catch the bus.


12 Comments on “I am spider bait

February 2, 2010 at 8:42 pm

This is hysterical! Great writing! Gripping story! And I feel the same way about Palmetto Bugs (grew up in Florida – think nuclear cockroaches!) and mice.

The Cooking Ninja
February 2, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Oh yes, I share your hate passion on spiders. I hate hate them. These buggers are everywhere. I once fall onto a spiderweb when I was growing up in a village. That spiderweb must be extremely strong for I felt the bounce back effect on my back when I fell onto it. Ooh…just recalling that gives me the goosebumps. The other time was I was 14 walking home from school when out of nowhere, a big spider fell from the tree and landed on my skirt. I was screaming, jumping, doing dancing steps and flipping my skirt but it stubbornly refused to drop off. In my frantic attempt to get it off, I had no choice but use my hand to brush it off, only to have it landed on my blouse. I was freaking out by then. Somehow in the midst of my freaking out, I managed to get it off me finally. Went home took a long shower and scrub & scrub but still couldn’t get rid of that skin crawling sensation.

Melissa Linardon
February 2, 2010 at 10:58 pm

i am crying tears of laughter because i have experienced all of those things the worse one being where i had my car keys attached to one of those long springy then which was attached to my belt. (i was working in a locked psych ward at the time) Whilst keys were attached to springy thing and in the ignition whilst i was driving a large hand sized huntsman (i kid you freaking not) decided to crawl along the window of the drivers door which to my horror was half way down. I very quickly slammed on breaks barely missing a tree and flung the door open in a very frantic attempt to exit my car. One big problem i was physically attached to the keys in the ignition and nearly bungied myself right back at hand sized spider. To top it off i had a very macho male passenger who witnessed the whole incident and still falls off his chair laughing when he recalls it. I am still suffering from PTSD and nightmares. My philosophy if it has more than 4 legs it dies. Sorry this includes offending cockroaches the size of mice. xx

International Woman of Mystery
February 2, 2010 at 11:44 pm

Too too funny. Am still laughing. And I liked the bit where I was totally heroic. Also liked Melly’s story. Ah, Australia. How strange that the biggest, hairiest of all the arachnids are the least harmful…yet definitely the most chaos-inducing!

February 3, 2010 at 9:26 am

I relate to this one so much. When I lived with Adam in a group house in Canberra we went to the Canberra show one night. I had my parents 4 wheel drive as they were away on holidays (or something like that). With Adam and Tamsin in the car, we were about to drive off when a huge Huntsman (see the capital to demonstrate how huge…) ran across the windscreen. Like you, I tried the wipers, but then drove off the edge of the road, down into the culvert, on purpose, and then under the fairly low branches of a tree in order to try and ‘wipe’ the spider off onto the tree. The success of this was unknown. Then on the way home we had to stop in a well lit car park, in order to exit the vehicle and do a thorough inspection. We couldn’t find the spider, so I spent the next few days driving with the mantra in my head “don’t crash if it comes out…”!

Leah King
February 3, 2010 at 9:49 am

I recall some spider antics in the big guestroom above the shed in Gerringong. A group of us went down to Fi’s parents farm for a hens weekend and we couldn’t turn the light out or go to sleep until this poor innocent spider was dislodged from its corner some 4.5 metres up the wall! If I remember correctly, we had to resort to throwing a rubber thong to the heavans to try and convince it to down. That was also the weekend we made Fi’s dad his first c**ksucking cowboy!

February 3, 2010 at 11:06 am

my ex husband came round a few months ago, jumped out of the car and asked for a broom (??)

so i handed over a broom and he proceeded to sweep away a rather small ( by Sydney standards) hunstman from the inside of the car. He’s from Canada though so they probably all look huge to him.
He turned to me and asked me if they travel in pairs. i was soooooooo tempted to say ‘yes packs, actually’ but i refrained…

February 3, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Can I just say that was a FABULOUS read… just excellent!

I promise I only giggled a little bit here and there. Having grown up with a mother who on occasion vomited from her extreme fear of spiders I have learnt to respect the phobia and those afflicted.

Me, I am happy to catch them in a glass and take them outside, as long as they don’t crawl on me… tho had I woken up with a major web on my face I mightn’t be so amiable!

February 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Darling Sezzie, I believe there is another spider story involving you that Adam tells, you were driving, you used the wipers to dislodge a huntsman on the windscreen that then cartwheeled off the wipers through the open sunroof and onto Adam, Tams and Anne Horvarth who all simultaneously tied to exit the vehicle travelling at 80kms per hour.
Well that’s how Ad tells the story!!!
(I can’t believe you tried to “wipe” the spider off on a tree. You’re insane. And hilarious.)

February 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm

The spiders that reside in that there loft are the biggest in the world. I had forgotten that particular incident! Thanks babe.

February 3, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Ha! Funny! I have a very sensible Canadian friend who showed up for his first visit to Sydney in boots in mid-summer because he thought it was too dangerous to wear sandals. Adam and I lived in Darlinghurst at the time, known for it’s bush-like terrain.

February 4, 2010 at 5:01 am

So here’s the thing, I actually had to scroll line by line to read this for fear of a PICTURE of thing surfacing on the page before me….

Adam could tell tell you about the time he and Paulie saved a picture of Paulie’s pet tarantula as my screensaver on my PC at the Buck and I ran around the office screaming, refusing to go near my computer until IT wiped the file.

Despite the cold, despite the distance between me and mum, one thing I LOVE about living in the arctic circle is that there are NO HUNTSMANS. No need to check every cornice when I return home to an empty house. And no need to keep the vacuum out of the cupboard in case of unwelcome visitors.



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