Saturday, September 14, 2013

I have seen fear and it is a spider

I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and knew something wasn't right. There was something on my neighbour's house and it was huge.
When I looked over I was stunned to see an arachnid so large it was hauling a cat into its web.
OK, maybe not a cat, but it was one of the biggest, ugliest black spiders I have ever seen in my life.
I stood and watched the beast for a few moments while trying not to wet myself as this monster of prehistoric proportions scurried along its web.
A shiver ran down my spine and I knew what I must do: kill the spider. The question was how. I was about as close to the critter as I planned on getting, so smashing it was out of the question. Besides, I did not have an elephant gun and it had crawled behind a downspout, which I assumed was its lair, making it nearly impossible to smash.
And if I failed in my noble quest to slay the beast with a manual form of attack, it would panic and who knows what havoc it would wreak upon an unsuspecting world.
Then I remembered I had a can of spider killer spray stuff in the garage, so I ran for the canister of death and dispatched my foe with extreme prejudice.
I sprayed half a can at the beast and when its convulsing body hit the ground, I actually heard the impact. 
A co-worker said the multi-legged terror was a cat-faced spider. So I went to the knower of all things worth knowing – Google – and sure enough, there was a picture of the creature in all its hideous glory.
Even seeing a photo of it on a computer monitor gave me the creeps, so you can imagine what coming across one in person did to me.
With the monster dead, I continued to mow my elderly neighbour's lawn and noticed more of the spiders that had strung massive webs between the cedars and the fence.
I am not sure if it is a particularly bad year for these kind of spiders, but it looked like they were having a convention at my neighbour's place, causing me great anxiety.
My fear of spiders is well documented, but I have not always been an arachnid wussy.
I came by my fear of spiders honestly when I was around 11 years old. Until 'the incident' I did not like spiders, but they did not warrant the stark-raving terror that grips me today.
It was during a school camping trip my fear was born when as some friends and myself were running through the woods.
I grew up in the country, so playing among the pines was one of my favourite activities and on this fine spring day I was leading the charge when it happened.
I ran full speed into a huge spider web that wrapped around my entire head like a sticky, silk helmet.
Sitting in the middle of the web was a spider of epic proportions. Upon hitting the web, the spider ended up in my left eye socket before it scurried across my face, over my head and was trying to hide down the back of my shirt.
I began to spin and gyrate like a madman while ripping off my shirt and throwing it to the ground.
But the panic did not end there. I still had the webbing wrapped around my cranium and the feeling of being encased in the fine white string gives me shivers to this day.
My friends, of course, thought this was the funniest thing they had ever seen and offered all the sympathy an 11-year-old boy can conjure up – none whatsoever.
I threw my shirt on the ground and stomped it with a blind fury. I went back to camp and grabbed a new shirt, leaving that one hanging in a tree incase the beast was somehow still alive. My fear of spiders was tattooed into my mind forever.
Even as I write this, I can feel little creepy crawlies scurrying all over my body. Time to think of something more pleasant, like a trip to the dentist.

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