Monday, April 4, 2016

A SPIDER IN THE TUB



That was the early me--seriously. 
My very first spider encounter was in  my highchair as a toddler. My chair was in a corner so there was a wall on either side of me. Don't know why I looked up but then I saw him. A giant creature was crawling down the wall towards me.


OK, he was only a daddy long legs, the most benign spider there is, but to a two year old, he was elephantine.  My screaming brought my brother to the rescue. Jack smushed him with a rolled up news paper making him look like a broken wagon wheel with no rim glued to the wall. They all laughed, I did not.

My second traumatic spider event occurred in my childhood home of Key West which is home to one of the largest spiders in the world that lives in the tropics.
 The Goliath Bird Killers. 


These spiders don't build a webs, they hunt and can jump over 10 feet.  I had the pleasure of having one fall off the top of the garage door to land on my shoulder. He was level with my eye as he stood on my shoulder like an ugly puppy.  It took six blocks of running full out while screaming and flogging myself before I could feel safe. Pretty sure Goliath fell off after the first two steps.  I shivered and peeked around corners for weeks after.

Most of my life, spiders have made me whimper and screech for help making me feel like that helpless two year old once more. Eventually I grew to not be so mortally afraid and actually learned to look at them with interest rather than
terror. Thank you Biology 101 in college, plus the story of Robert the Bruce.  Still, I do not wish to share personal space with one.

Spring brings the spider activity to full bore.  Often a spider will be sitting in your tub or sink in the early morning. It is a case of having fallen and can't get up. The smooth sides of the surfaces make them prisoners.

I graduated from spraying them with water down the drain to actually capturing them and releasing them out side. That is huge for an arachnophobe.

HOWEVER, the other day I was enjoying a soothing hot bubble bath.    I was reaching for my body wash container when I noticed movement.  Holy crap, a spider was hiding behind the bottle.  Once I removed the bottle, he only had inches to go before he would slide into the water to join me.

Now this was no Goliath. In fact it was a rather petite little spider but if you have the fear, size doesn't matter.  Eight legs is all that is necessary to make you crazy.

There was the time I would have run naked and sudsy into the street screaming to get away. That time is past but not by much. I knew if he fell in, he would seek the highest level out of the water to climb upon--which was me. I am not that much evolved.

Trying not to make waves or air currents while still in the tub I was able to grab my rinse cup and watched. Sure enough, he soon got too close to the edge and into my bath water he tumbled.  I scooped him up with the cup as he hit the water then watched for a second to make sure he couldn't climb out.

I should have then thrown him outside to live again but remember, I was naked, sudsy and live on a major road.  So I quickly finished my bath, got decent then addressed the issue.

Oddly the little bugger was still doing the back stroke. I am surprised the hot water didn't cook him and he was still paddling as I poured him among the roses.

Did he make it?? I have no idea but there is hope. At least he was clean.

What is your greatest fear?

53 comments :

  1. Boy, you really have evolved. Not me. I grew up in the south and saw more (and larger)insects than I care to recall. Spiders don't worry me too much, although the daddy longlegs that love our front porch creep me out. And I can deal with a lady bug or two, but anything larger and I'm running and swatting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marty,
      I know, what is with daddy long legs and front doors?

      Delete
  2. Living in the UK we don't have poisonous spiders so I have never had that fear. No my fear is cows! How or why I have no idea but you know that feeling when the palms start sweating and the breathing speeds up. That's it. I enjoy walking in the countryside and have had to confront the fear. I have crawled under hedges and paddled along the edge of a river - anything to avoid coming up close and personal to a cow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fun60,
      How cool not to have poisonous spiders. Interesting about cows. One must have scared you young. Cows should be easy to avoid. At least they don't come in the house:)

      Delete
  3. I'm not really friends with snakes. I know they can be very pretty but only when there is something between us. I don't have a phobia like you with spiders but I sure wouldn't want to step on one. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Djan,
      I'm only a little better with snakes than you but if one surprises me, I will holler.

      Delete
  4. My brother would pretend to throw them on me when I was a little girl. I was terrified. Now, sixty years later, I don't scream and run any more, but if they come into my living quarters, they forfeit their lives. Strangely though, I find jumping spiders have very cute little faces.

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    Replies
    1. Out to Pasture,
      What a typical brother. You made me curious so I looked up the jumping spiders. You are right, they are kind of cute.

      Delete
  5. I have many and as I get older, the anxiety is worse. Most of my fears and anxiety revolve around my dogs including, but not limited to: losing them in the field, losing my job which leads to losing my home which leads to losing my dogs, crazy gun nuts in the woods, shooting my dogs, getting into a major car wreck with the dogs in the car, etc. As for wildlife, I'm ok with spiders particularly if I see them first. While I have yet to encounter a bear while hiking, that too is one of my fears. I'd love to see one, but I think the rest of the trip would be spent looking over my shoulder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barry,
      Aw, you are a great dog daddy. My biggest fear there is that my pets will out live me and will go into foster care or worse.
      Bears? They rank up there with sharks for me.

      Delete
  6. I don't care for spiders either. However, if they are small, I will get them to walk on some paper and put them outside. Now... *roaches* DH has to take care of. I won't even try to pick up a roach. Luckily we don't get many inside here in Texas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rian,
      That is how I release also though I do use cardboard and put a glass over them. I don't miss Florida for the roaches.

      Delete
  7. High places make me woozy, I don't like spiders, and that bird eater would have me running down the street also.

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    Replies
    1. joeh,
      Me too on heights. I hope you never get to see one of the bird eaters. They are other worldly.

      Delete
  8. I am so glad you are rescuing spiders and putting them outside. I do that too. I don't like them on me and I really hate seeing them in the bedroom, but I very carefully capture them and release them where I won't have to see them. I capture and release all the bugs I find in the house. I truly hate seeing signs of rodents in the house. Luckily we haven't had that problem in many years. But ugh, rodents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. robin,
      Good news for mice in the house that doesn't require killing. They hate the smell of peppermint so sprinkle a bit of the essential oil on cotton balls around where they might be and they will disappear. Also it leaves your house smelling minty fresh:)

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. Fran,
      Amen. One reason I no longer live in Florida.

      Delete
  10. Well, I don't love spiders or snakes, but I am not too jumpy around them. Once I pointed out a spider on our bedroom ceiling to Mike--meaning, by doing so, please get rid of it. He just told me to try and keep my mouth shut so I wouldn't swallow it in my sleep. Such a sense of humor.

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    Replies
    1. Olga,
      Ha ha, love it. You know people really do swallow spiders in our sleep--or so I've been told:))

      Delete
  11. Spiders are supposed to be our friends as they eat a lot of unpleasant insects. I suspect insects do not consider them friends. I refuse to share my living space with them. Sometimes I'm nice and release them outside and sometimes I just smash them. Snakes are much harder for me to handle, even living in Oregon where we have no poisonous snakes. Too many years in Texas I guess.

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    Replies
    1. Linda,
      Well snakes eat rats and destructive rodents, but they also eat baby birds. Guess no one is perfect:) How nice to live with no poisonous snakes.

      Delete
  12. I'm with you on spiders. Last year I was soaking in the tub and felt a drop of water on my shoulder. I looked up to see if there was a leak or something and then felt the water move down my back. Brushed off my back with my hand and suddenly there was a big black spider sharing the tub with me. Like you I hopped out. Then drained the tub, spider and all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carolyn,
      I came so close to that exact action and had the bugger been on me like he was you-I'd have done the same. Your story gave me shivers.

      Delete
  13. I don't really have any big fear of any critters that I come in contact with. I do check out the spiders and snakes to see if they are poisonous and if so I make sure to put lots of space between them and me. If poisonous spiders are in the house I will squash them, don't want to take chances with them. Hugs and sweet Patti hope you are feeling well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maggie,
      I am not really up on the poisonous snakes and spiders here in Arkansas. Maybe I should do a bit of studying as much for myself as my pets.

      Delete
  14. Sharks. I even think about them when I'm in a swimming pool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephen,
      ME TOO!!!! Well except for the swimming pool It was sharks that made me give up Marine Biology in college.

      Delete
  15. I have to confess I laughed. I'm sorry but it was a well told story.

    Scorpions would do the same to me.

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    Replies
    1. Gail,
      Thank you. I am so glad you laughed. That is what I was going for but feared I had missed the mark and was more creepy than funny.

      Delete
  16. My fear of spiders began in Panama with giant tarantulas. I'm sorry to say that most meet an untimely death if they get too close.
    You have calmed down immensely if you can sit nekked in a tub and calmly watch a spider jump in the bath water with you. :)

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    Replies
    1. Terri,
      Ha, ha. My outer me has calmed down, the inner me still needs work.

      Delete
  17. Spiders also freak me out and I could never manage a Goliath...6 blocks...I'd still be running. Yuck!

    Frankly, just about any kind of bug creep me out. We had an infestation of maple bugs in our office last fall. At the time we were housed in the lower level (basement or dungeon also describes it). One day I looked down to see one of the bugs crawling across my hand. I shrieked like a little girl and flung the damn thing off me. One of my staff killed the first one, but I got braver as the time went on and the visitors continued. I think I do better when they don't touch me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eileen,
      I had to look up Maple bugs and yikes, they are ugly. Sure glad we don't have them here.

      Delete
  18. Just reading your post about spiders made me chill. I don't like them either... Loved that first quote about burning the house down. HA HA....

    I have quite a few fears ---spiders, snakes, those old flying roaches that we had in Texas, etc....

    Hugs,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Betsy,
      That cartoon cracked me up when I saw it and had to post it.
      Oh yes, flying roaches were in Fla also. Yuck.

      Delete
  19. Spiders I can deal with. Snakes - no way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda R,
      I am pretty good about snakes unless they startle me. Then I just look to see if they are poisonous or not. If they are, sorry fella but I have pets to consider but if not, live long and prosper Mr. Snake.

      Delete
  20. I have always admired you, Patti, but now I'm in open mouthed awe. Seriously! I am an arachnophobe. I would be running down the street naked and sudsy. I might never take a bath again. I can't get myself to study them. I have two fears in my life. Driving and spiders. You are amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kay,
      Aw, thank you. Still laughing about your never taking a bath again. Kind of what the movie Psycho did for me and showers.
      Once I had a spider crawl up my leg while driving. Your two worst fears. He did put me in a ditch.

      Delete
    2. You asked me to tell you if I found a cure for that annoying UACS with the PND. By golly! I think the ENT guy was right. I'm off the meds and just doing the nasal rinse. I sip water and take the occasional cough lozenge and I really think I'm improving much faster. Art doesn't count seconds before my next throat clearing anymore. It's not over... but definitely, positively getting there.

      Delete
  21. Spiders do not frighten me but I can guarantee that from now on when I see one I will think of you and laugh and laugh!! Sorry, I know it is not funny to think of you running and screaming down the road but you painted the pictures.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Annie,
      So glad you found the humor. It was what I was going for. To me if it doesn't involve a death, cruelty or injury to a family member, friend or animal, everything is usually pretty funny with a little time.

      Delete
    3. Annie,
      So glad you found the humor. It was what I was going for. To me if it doesn't involve a death, cruelty or injury to a family member, friend or animal, everything is usually pretty funny with a little time.

      Delete
  22. I'm deathly afraid of brown recluse spiders and they are very common in Missouri, I'm told. I don't know if that is so in your state. If I see one, it gets smashed. Snakes are another that I could cheerfully live without, but if I see them first then I can handle it much better than seeing one slither out of the tall weeds I've just put my hand in to pull!
    My two biggest fears besides the brown recluse are tornadoes and riding with people that can't drive worth a toot. :)

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    Replies
    1. Cheryl,
      Me too about the brown recluse. I have never seen one and hope I never do. I had a friend left with horrible scarring on her leg from one of them.
      I join you also in those other two.

      Delete
  23. Large rattlesnakes do it for me. Reaching into a thicket for some wild raspberries a huge rattle lying on a log gave me a warning. Noticing it I threw myself backward to the ground. Nuff said...

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    Replies
    1. TB,
      Well you have to give rattlers credit. They do at least warn a person.

      Delete
  24. You write the BEST stories, Patti! I was both shivering and giggling by the end. A friend (??) held a wiggling garter snake in my face in Junior high - I was backed into a corner at the school. I've had a snake phobia ever since. Luckily, no snakes where I hike at high altitude. However, when I'm lower, I keep an eye out! I'm not fond of spiders but usually catch and release. Squishing one is also a big no-no for me!

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    1. Barb,
      Aw, thanks so much. So glad I could amuse. I think when things are thrust in our faces when young have a lasting effect. How lucky to live in a snake free area.

      Delete
  25. snakes, spiders, and rats scare me.

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    1. shortybear,
      Welcome to TNS and thanks for commenting. Your fears certainly keep you on the alert.

      Delete