Arachnophobia? What’s that?

Just to set the scene here, I’m not afraid of creepy crawlers and other nocturnal creatures. So, the events in this blog are based on other family member’s reactions.  Ok, I’m not too sure who I’m trying to fool here, myself or you.  I hate these eight legged freaks of nature, no matter how big or small they are.

BUT, because I’m a man and a father, I have to be seen to be tough, hence I normally just get on with the ritual of eliminating the opposition, using a piece of toilet paper – followed by the mandatory flushing toilet.  I do apologise if have just offended the spiderman community, but I can assure you the spider meets his/her creator painlessly.  I do feel bad for a split second, as I squeeze the little fella, but it’s a him or me situation.

Every year, when the weather gets worse, our house seems to get invaded by these eight legged silent ninja killers.  In our house, that means the screaming season has started, which would make Sully proud, and the daddy-shrimp-hero is called into action.  Spiders come in from all directions, so I have to be alert.  A cry for help can come from any direction.

Normally these yelps are more like “HHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLPPP   DAAAAAADDDYYYYYYYYY!!!!” or “WEEEEEEEEEE” – the first one is from my kids and the latter my wife (or sometimes me!).

Yesterday evening it was my turn to empty the kitchen bin, again, so I jumped in my daddy slippers and moved into the hallway.  I opened the front door to the front veranda.  It was dark, so I had to turn on the light.  Just as the light came to life, this ginormous eight legged monster smiled at me – it was sitting on the the door frame, right next to my head.  I let out a loud yelp and ran screaming into the house again, dropping trash behind me.  This freaking creature had actually smiled and waived at me.  I quickly grabbed some of the kids’ balls and started throwing them at the door frame.  After about 14 shots, the spider finally ran to safety and I could bring the bin out.

Last weekend, as me and the missus where cuddled up on the sofa watching The X-factor”, another eight legged animal was running across floor towards us.  Both of us jumped up on the back of the sofa, both waiting for the other to take action.  By the time I had build up courage, it had disappeared under the sofa.  If you’ve seen Harry Potter, then you would know what I was feeling.  Remember the scene where the monster book was hiding under the bed and Harry dropped his shoe on the floor.  The book attacked the shoe!!  What could I use for bait?  I whistled for one of the dogs and my plan worked.  The spider peeked and I jumped down, landing on it – damn it!  I had forgotten to put on the slippers, so the creature was now stuck underneath my foot, between my toes.

The worst thing happened this morning when taking a shower.  As I was standing there, washing my Schwarzenegger torso, and soap in my hair, I spotted this thing dropping slowly from the ceiling.  I quickly covered my body, why I don’t know, and I screamed for help.  My 6 year old daughter emerged. She told me to spray water on the spider – which I did and it worked.  Have these things not heard of privacy?

Of all spiders, the jumping spider is the most feared – at least for me.  It crawls slowly on walls, banisters, floors and ceilings.  but, when threatened, it actually jumps.  How freaky is that.  I normally scream like a frightened pig when these things happen.  Much to the amusement of my wife.

It’s not easy being a dad and a role model.  I can’t help having these moments of squeamishness.  I never said I was going to be the next He-Man or hero, especially when it comes to spiders.  In all other scenarios, I’m the man.  Bring on zombies, cows, swans, snakes, sharks, sheep, the lot, and I’ll protect my family.  Even Achilles had a weakness and he was a Greek hero!

I’m sure you have a phobia that you’ve managed to keep hidden for years – or maybe not!  Once my lovely wife reads this blogs, she realises that I’m not a superhero, but she still loves me.

NB!  Only common house / garden spiders where killed in the events outlined above.  No exotic and/or rare spiders were harmed.  I actually love animals in general.

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