Dressed only in my nightie, I was brushing my teeth. Why did I turn? I don’t know. But when I did, I saw……a huge, brown spider, at least 1 1/2 inches big with long legs. It was crawling in under the closed bathroom door. For a moment, I was fascinated by the size of the creature, until….I realized I was barefoot. Suddenly, I felt extremely vulnerable.
What kind of spider grows so large? Should I be scared? Yes! I was scared. It stopped in its tracks. It studied me. I grabbed a magazine and waved it menacingly at the critter, shouting: “Shoo! Go away! Out!”
The spider didn’t react or budge. It was determined. Did it move closer? Oh, oh..maybe it did. What do I know about spiders? Nothing. Would it bite my bare foot? Would the bite be dangerous? I didn’t like the situation. I handled it wisely if not with dignity. I ran out of there as fast as I could without rinsing my mouth, slamming the door behind me. (Not that the door had kept it out in the first place, mind you, but in panic mode, don’t expect me to think rationally.)
After rinsing my mouth in the other bathroom, I crawled into bed and lay there thinking. Spiders can climb, can’t they? I got up and checked all the blankets to be sure none were touching the floor. Okay, I admit that was silly. Beds don’t float in space. And, the useless exercise didn’t make me feel any better. I wrapped myself tightly within the blankets. It was too warm. Which would you rather, a big brown spider as a bedmate or a little discomfort?
It was Sunday. Every Sunday night 101FM replays old radio shows, like “The Shadow”, or “The Inner Sanctum”. These radio shows fascinated and terrified me when I was little, and I enjoy hearing them again. On this particular night “The Shadow” was on. What do you think the story was about?
A lonely, desperate, murderous madman lived in a small, dark room full of spider webs with his only friend and companion — a huge spider. What a coincidence. How could they do this to me??? The story was actually silly, but that didn’t make me feel any better. The spider was so large the Shadow had to use his gun to kill it. At any other time, I’d have been amused, but on this night with my own huge spider lurking about, it was somewhat disconcerting.
After a restless night, I arose and carefully donned slippers (which I don’t usually bother with) to get to my bath. I carefully studied the white tiled floor in the bathroom and checked the bathtub before I climbed in. Back in my bedroom, I dressed, shaking each garment out first — just in case, and then checked each shoe and shook it upside down before I put it on. I was thinking spider, spider, spider…. I went out for breakfast.
The daily local newspaper “24 Hours” had an article by Chris Campbell, on Sept. 2nd. The headline read: “Expert Says BC Spiders Invading Homes for Sex.”
Honest. Would I make this up? You can check it on the Internet. Apparently this is the time of year spiders are the largest, and it is their mating season, so the males enter homes looking for lovers. And, our province has more than 900 different kinds! Yikes!
A few days after first meeting my uninvited roommate, I was going through my new, careful, obsessive early morning routine when I spotted, on the carpet right in my bedroom, that same huge spider. He had crept silently into my oh-so private space and had the audacity to sit there on the carpet as if he owned the place. Absolutely unafraid, he watched me dress. How dare he! A veritable arachnid Peeping Tom!!
Enough was enough. I had had it! With vengeance on my mind and murder in my heart, I picked up a shoe I was sure could do him in as big as he was. I attacked the intruder who had managed to alter my life for days and ground him mercilessly into pulp. He is no more…..
This was not the first time I had an adventure with a spider, though the previous event was not as frightening and that spider wasn’t as large. I had just moved to town and celebrated the finding of my first job by buying myself some expensive, luxurious bubble-bath. I like bubble-baths and am convinced that if there is a heaven, they have them there. I poured the rich, blue liquid into my bath, and was just about to step in, when I noticed a black spider floating on the bubbles. I hesitated but a moment, then decided to take my bath with that spider. Later I wrote this silly poem to remember the occasion.
My Bath with a Spider
Early this morning
I took a bath
with a spider.
It was not my intention.
What I had planned
were some bubbles,
a cup of coffee,
leisure and relaxation.
I turned on the faucet,
poured the rich, blue
foam from the pretty jar
and felt like — Cleopatra.
Too late I saw
the little creature
to escape the swirling water.
I could think of no way to save him,
so I just continued with
my morning ritual,
and took my bath with a spider.