I am an arachnophobe.
My other half is an arachnophobe.
We are arachnophobes.
This means we are frequently paralysed with fear when spiders intrude into our lives.
And they intrude a lot.
We would like to be rid of spiders.
We accept that there is a possibility of Aargh! Too Many Flies Syndrome exploding across the face of the planet but we welcome that and are prepared to cross that bridge when it comes to pass. Armed with a big swat.
We have ventured into garden centres and examined the shelves along the aisles. You can buy:
- fly killer,
- slug killer,
- ant killer,
- cockroach killer,
- rodent poison,
- anti-toad turrets,
- Butterfly-B-Gone commandable toxic clouds,
- portable snail oubliettes,
- Quicksand-4-Beetles spray.
There is nothing to get rid of spiders.
Let me clarify: there is not a single thing in any stores we visit that will attack the one thing more people are afraid of than anything else on the entire planet.
It is a conspiracy. The spiders are pulling the webs that bind us all behind the scenes.
"Ooh! But, but, but Mark, how can you be scared of something so tiny?"
That’s a good question, and while I ponder on an appropriate answer please lick this petri dish of ebola viruses, which, incidentally, don’t have eight eyes or fangs.
"Ooh! But, but, but, but Mark, spiders are more scared of you than you are of them!"
Really? Picture this:
I’m wandering around and suddenly see a vast building towering into the clouds clearly made by non-humans. Wow! I venture inside. The interior is strange, alien but it is as nothing compared to the inhabitant. He is huge, hundreds of feet high, a monster. He has eight legs; huge, long, hairy things. And a bulbous body with eyes – eight of them! – arranged at the front. Beneath is the mouth; a terrifying orifice from which protrude great, fearsome fangs.
I know! I’ll run across the floor at him!
Spiders are not more scared of me than I am of them. They are vicious, nasty, scary thingies. The myth of their supposed timid state is being perpetuated by those in league with the spider overlords.
Why are there so many arachnophobes in the world? Are nurses instructed to terrorise newly born babies with spiders for control purposes? Or is there some species memory at work here? And why wouldn’t my cat defend me the other night while I was watching Die Hard 2 for the hundredth time? Was I just the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time? How do spiders too large to fit through any gaps in the woodwork suddenly appear in a room? Have they mastered teleportation?
The conspirators know the answers. I know how to cry and curl up into a foetal ball.