I am not afraid of very many things. Snakes and frogs don’t bother me, I’m OK with heights, rollercoasters, clowns — stuff like that. I’m not fond of flying, but I attribute that mostly to the fact I get air sick, not really a fear of the planes themselves.
Now I’m not saying I’m fearless. Far from it. I’m sure if I was confronted by a crazy axe murderer I would pee my pants like anyone else. If I was in a real-life horror movie, I have no illusions of being “final girl” and making it out alive. I’d probably be one of the first to go — most likely while I went outside to check out a creepy noise after telling my friends “I’ll be right back.”
But there is one thing (besides crazy axe murderers) that just creeps me out to no end: spiders.
Their spindly legs, erratic movements and ability to disappear into a shag carpet just moments after a shoe has been thrown at them completely gives me the chills and if I happen to accidentally walk into a web, I instantly turn into a ninja.
Cliche? Yeah, probably. Lot’s of people are afraid of spiders. But in my mind that only validates the phobia. Of course they’re scary, it is the most common fear in the world. The world! YOU’RE the weird ones for not being afraid. I’m quite sure they can kill you.
(Side note: Two seconds of Googling assured me that the vast majority of spiders cannot, in fact, kill you but I am taking no chances.)
Two days ago I was sitting on the floor changing my 10-month-old’s diaper when my older son, Ben, just casually said “Spider’s pretty, Mommy.”
I thought he was talking about seeing a spider on TV or something until I saw the movement out of the corner of my eye. It was huge. HUGE. At least the size of a nickel. To make matters worse he was walking — not scurrying, walking, like he owned the place — right across the bedroom carpet.
I screamed and threw the dirty diaper in its general direction while scooping up the baby and retreating to safety — all of which Ben found incredibly funny. My husband (hearing me scream) came running in to find his wife cowering up on the bed clutching the baby, his son laughing hysterically and a dirty diaper now splattered across the floor.
(In hindsight I should have looked for something else — anything else — to throw.)
When I told my husband about the giant, mutant spider that was at least the size of a quarter, he looked but could find no evidence of our arachnid intruder with the exception of a single hairy leg that I apparently had managed to take out with my Pampers missile.
Any spider big enough to leave behind a leg that size has to be abnormal in size, I said to my husband. At least as big as a 50-cent piece.
Twenty minutes later, he still couldn’t find the spider’s body and I was convinced we’d have to burn the house down to be spared from the (now) seven-legged creature that would surely want his revenge. Either that, or sell the place. After all, I’m not completely unreasonable.
“How big was this spider again?” he asked, peering under the nightstand.
“Massive,” I told him. “At least the size of a silver dollar.”
He pulled out a spider from under the furniture piece that was curled up, slightly twitching and missing a leg.
“This is what all the fuss was over? Jeez Kasie, I thought you had seen a tarantula or something.”
I didn’t appreciate the sarcasm. It was big, just not as big as I had thought — about the size of a dime.
Two days later, I’m still not completely convinced he found the same spider and that the original one is still lurking around the house. I’m telling you, he was gigantic.
At least the size of a mouse.
Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Easley Progress and The Pickens Sentinel and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.