I may have mentioned that our house is a bit of a spider nest in the macro sense, but yesterday’s discovery took my spider-hysteria to a whole new level.

Now, when I say hysteria, it’s not so much that I have anything against spiders. They’re fine and all and I appreciate that they keep the world from being overtaken by bugs. (Someone told me this would happen if the spiders went away. The whole earth would turn into something resembling an ice cream sandwich dropped on the patio in the middle of summer—one gigantic bug rave.)

In any case, we have a lot of spiders around here and when I asked an exterminator if there was anything we could do he said not unless I wanted to cut down the trees overhanging the house, which I don’t (being a fan of trees). He did, however, offer to coat the house in poisonous whatnot if I wanted.

“Will that help?” I asked.

“For a little bit,” he replied. “Until new ones from drop down from the trees.”


Also I should mention that a couple of years ago I had a spider bite that got infected, went systemic and made me ill enough to actually go to the doctor and take… God only knows what. (Medicines!) I have an intense dislike of doctors and I generally avoid medicines. Plus both my kids got pink eye at my doctor’s office, which meant then I still had some systemic spider poison problem but I also had to go to their doctor, who told me I had to wrestle eye drops into the kids’ eyes for a week.  

 In any case yesterday I went out to the porch to set the table for dinner. Now, our porch is not actually a porch, it is a sunroom-slash-breakfast room (that we eat dinner in) but because it was once a porch that I decided should have walls and windows and be inside rather than out (see previous post about editing the house) it’s really inside space but the spiders still think it’s outside space and tend to congregate in the upper corners of the ceiling and between the windows and screens.

 (Yes, I’m finally going to get around to the story now.) So yesterday I went out to set the table for dinner and I picked up a candlestick that generally sits in the middle of the table and from the hollow underside of it fall out about a thousand (okay, I’m exaggerating but it was a LOT) of teesy tiny spiders. They splayed out all over the table and they were so small that at first I thought some kind of bizarre dirt funk had just accumulated in there (I’m not the world’s best housekeeper and we do take these particular candlesticks outside from time to time) but then these eensy weensy things started to RUN really FAST all over the table and, needless to say, I FLIPPED.

Now, I’m not a screamer and tend to express my alarm physically rather than vocally so I dropped the candlestick, ran into the kitchen and started ripping open cabinets looking for something to stop the spider attack on the table. Jim was standing there doing something or other while I careened around at something approximating the speed of a panicked housefly. When he asked me what was “up” I’m sure I said “spiders” but could not, at the time, communicate the magnitude of the arachnid takeover that was currently happening. It was like the Trojan candlestick. They just fell out and scattered. Everywhere. Instantly I had visions of spiders in my bed, spiders in the dishwasher, spiders in the seat cushions. If either of our kittens had been around I would have thrown one of them onto the table to see if the creature had any skills at all, but of course they were nowhere to be seen. Probably sleeping. In my bed or something useful like that.

In any case I managed to get my hands on a bottle of Windex and created a flash flood of the stuff all over the table, drowning a good number of the baby spiders. This was a relief. Then, turning the candlestick over, I found the mama, the big spider responsible for it all (and by big I mean roughly the size of the pencil eraser), clinging to the bottom of the hole. There was shredded white filmy stuff clinging to the opening, which in some respects was vaguely interesting but really not, given the carnage splayed out across the table.

“Bummer for you,” I said to the spider. Then I made her a nice, blue pool to swim in.