I’m generally not a terribly jumpy person. I had that stomped out of me by my late father, who decided early on that the best way to help his children to grow up well-adjusted adults, capable of contributing to society, was to lurk around corners and doorways and leap out to scare us to the point of forcing a change of undergarments. (One time, he snuck into our room while we were almost going to bed, and hid in the gap between the wall and my brother’s bed, then waited until the lights were out and we had calmed down, then reached up over the bed, grabbed my brother, and let out a terrifying bellow. Then laughed until he nearly made himself puke. Yeah…explains a lot doesn’t it?) I miss him!
Anyway, as a result of thoroughly non-traumatizing upbringing, I have learned to keep my cool in several startling situations. There are only a few things that freak me out, like steroids and botox, or eating raw tomatoes by themselves (it’s like eating acidic snot). But there is one single thing that freaks me right the. HELL out. One single thing that can cause me to poop my pants, puke, and scream like a pre-pubescent girl simultaneously. This one thing can make me renounce God and beg for his mercy in the same breath. What is this unholy demon that freaks me out?
So, there’s a thoroughly horrifying reason why I hate spiders the way I do. The year was 1998. I was ten years old, and then, much like now, I rarely slept through the night. I had arisen in the middle of the night to get a drink of water. I had my red footy pajamas that I had far outgrown, and that had the feet cut off. I padded softly across the flooring of our kitchen in Kericho, got my drink of water, and was heading back to go back to bed, when I saw a HUGE spider on the kitchen floor. It wasn’t tarantula huge, but the body was at least the size of a quarter. Back then, I didn’t turn into a quivery pile of jelly at the sight of a spider, so I simply picked up a shoe sitting by the back door and smashed the spider.
What happened next would forever change the course of my life.
The spider that I had sent directly to Hell was, what I have since come to believe, a Wolf Spider. These charming little creatures carry their babies on their back…and the foul beast I had just dispatched was, shall we say, ‘in a family way.’ Unfortunately, in throwing mama from the train, I had unleashed a hoard of small, furious baby spiders. These little back dots of evil scattered across the kitchen. They climbed the walls, they climbed the cupboards. They climbed the legs of a young girl wearing red footy pajamas with the feet cut off because they were too small. They were EVERYWHERE.
It was 2:35 AM, it was so dark, and I was covered with baby spiders, each, I’m certain, entirely focused on exacting their revenge for my brutal murder of their beloved mother. That one single episode is single-handedly responsible for everything that has ever been wrong in my life. It is solely responsible for my screwed up love life. It even prescribed prescription painkillers to Michael Jackson.
Well, yester night after the Germany-Argentina game, I was once again reminded of that fateful night, lo, those many years ago. I was closing the curtains in my living room to prepare to get ready for bed, when something fell from the curtains and onto my head. As I am lacking most of my hair on my forehead, I could feel it scuttling across my head. It then leaped down the back of my t-shirt, crawled down my back, and fell out the back of my t-shirt onto the floor, where it managed to run faster than 70 miles an hour underneath my chair to meet up with his evil friends to laugh at my expense.
I’m not too proud to fully admit that I LOST IT. I ran to the door, grabbed a shoe, and threw it across the room in a feat of strength I didn’t think possible to dispatch the foul creature. I then killed the spider, took off all my clothes, went out onto my bedroom completely naked (thank goodness nobody was walking by just then) grabbed the air conditioner spray, and coated my curtains, my walls, all the windows, and the door in liquid spider death. Then I had to take a shower. I seriously shook out my towel before using it to make sure it didn’t have any spiders in it, and had to check all of my clothes as well. I did manage to keep from screaming , but only just barely.
I then sat on my bed, thought about typing this blog post, and trying to convince myself that I don’t need to take off all the bed sheets, inspect them, shake them out, spray them with poison, and then put them back on the bed.
Man, I really hate spiders.