Friday, April 25, 2008


The other day I was having a coffee break in a Leeds cafe with my fellow super heroes, Superman and Batman. As we were 'off the clock' and so dressed in our civvies, we were left alone and cats everywhere had to wait to be rescued from tree branches. Tough, we needed a break.

Anyway the conversation came round to which of us had the hardest job. That Batman is always bitching about having to stand for hours on top of buildings waiting for some WW2 searchlight or some such to light up the sky so he can go do some good deed. Superman gets pissed off flying around for ages looking for something to do and at his age he's getting a bit past it. Altitude sickness I think he calls it. I've told him over and over that at his age he really NEEDS to be wearing his skivvies underneath his tights as he can't keep expecting the pigeons to take the blame when he gets one of his 'attacks'.

I said they both had it easy. They should try moving around in Leeds with only a web to use. Leeds has about 2 skyscrapers of any note and you try going any distance in a city where most buildings are only a few feet above the height of the buses. My arse is red raw by the time I get home and the missus has sewn more patches on the ass of the old Spidey suit than on a quilt.

Mine isn't indestructible you know. And neither is my ass.

They'd never thought of such problems and finally agreed that being Spiderman in Leeds pretty much sucked. We were arguing over how much of a tip to leave (Batman is such a tight bastard) when my alarm went off. Why was my alarm going off in a cafe ?

Then I woke up. Or had a shower. In any case it had all been just a dream. Hurrah.

I have some bizarre dreams but this one didn't need a lot of explanation.

Just before I finally got out of my chair last night and left a shroud like body impression behind me, I noticed movement on my living room curtains. I looked closer and saw a huge spider slowly climbing upwards, disappearing and reappearing as it moved partially sideways over the folds in the fabric.

This monster of nature was at least half an inch long with legs as thick as.....well a human hair. I kid you not. It was huge. If it had landed on my face, it would've smothered me for sure !!

What is it with us and spiders ? I mean I'll happily cup a crane fly in my hands and gently take it outside to let it fly free and bother someone else. It has even bigger, longer legs. It makes a noise for God's sake. We should be terrified of them. But words like 'it tickles' come to mind when I take one outside in my hands.

Maybe it's the common name that makes us treat them differently. The Daddy Long Legs. Cute. Like a pet. Not scary at all.

But spiders. Ohhhhhhh get them out of our sight. They scuttle. Maybe that's it. If they flew, we might like them a bit more. But they scuttle around in dark places and remind us that we have parts of our houses that we've not dusted in years. Little tell tales. Squash them.

But that's just it. They don't hang around like good little pests and let us kill them easily. Pull off a leg and they've plenty to spare. We look for cups and glasses and tumblers to scoop them into and then treat them as if they're radioactive or are capable of giving us 20 zillion volts. We do a sort of frantic dance if they scuttle our way and climb up onto chairs as if they are 100 times the size they really are.

"Ohhhhhh it's coming this way" we scream. Oh for goodness sake, it's a half inch little critter that has never been known to have eaten a human being, ever, and we're up on a chair poking a broom at it as if it's a rampaging rhino.

Well I could've let my little visitor roam free but then I'd not have slept last night knowing it might climb 14 stairs, cross the landing, open my bedroom door, scale the bed leg and proceed to smother me as I lay helpless below its formidable body. Don't laugh. It might've done all those things. You don't know.

Damn that "Incredible Shrinking Man' movie. It put me off spiders for life.

So I did what any brave, resourceful man would do. I flicked it into a cup, placed a napkin on top and set a cast iron frying pan on top of the lot. Push your way out of THAT, little fella.

Then I went to bed and planned to deal with him in the morning. But you can probably guess the rest.

This morning I lifted the frying pan, lifted the napkin and peered into the cup with mounting disbelief and alarm - the cup was empty.

What the %^&*$ ??!! Now I have to live in this house with one seriously pissed off spider on the prowl. I hope I'll be back to post again but look for a very fat spider if I'm not.

Where is a Super Hero when you want one ?


Daphne said...

I think you're right - it's the scuttling people don't like. They don't like fluttering either, as in moths, but don't mind the slower pace of butterflies' wings. There must be a reason for this, but sadly I don't know quite what it is. I don't mind any such things, don't know why not, and my skills in spider-taming have been called on quite frequently throughout my life.

Jennyta said...

Thoughts of flying spiders are even more terrifying than the ordinary kind. I recomment spraying it with hairspray (the kind that sets solidly)and then hoovering up the wretched creature, but leave the hoover running for about 2 hours, because, as you have seen, they are cunning so and sos.

Jennyta said...

PS I know someone for whom the menopause not only resulted in her straight hair starting to grow curly, but also in her losing her terror of spiders. Trouble is, although I would like to be similarly affected on both counts, she has no tips to give me.

Anonymous said...

I love spiders - they are cute adoreable little creatures. And - I've heard they are good to have in your house as they eat other bugs. xxx Jen

Jay said...

Were you and my Other Half separated at birth? He swears he can tell if there's a spider in the room even if he can't immediately see it, and he won't rest till it's gone, just in case it performs one of those superspider feats you were talking about!

I think our fear of spiders - and snakes - is a race memory thing. Our ancestors came from places where spiders were indeed something to be feared. We might not have dangerous spiders in this country, but there are some nasty little devils about, and somewhere in our tiny brains we know about them and instinctively fear all spiders because of it. Me, I don't mind them too much, so I'm the Designated Catcher.

Jennyta - Ah! I wasn't aware that the menopause had much in the way of benefits, but I see my mistake now!

Daphne said...

Jennyta - - I have no fear of spiders and my hair already curls like the curliest thing you could imagine. What on earth will happen to me after the menopause, I wonder? (Sorry to hijack your blog with these girly topics, Mr Silverback, I hope you will find them both educational and interesting).

Debby said...

Hmmmmm and YOU'RE the one I trust to protect me from arachnids in FL????

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