Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Arachnophobia. 8 legs and an attitude.

Here's a story not for the sqeamish or those who are scared of spiders. As you know it's been hot and humid for a while and that's great for the creepie crawlies. This morning I wandered, half asleep, over to my Microwave workshop. I unlocked the door and went in. Immediately I felt something on my face. I swished. As you do. My arm got covered in the something as I moved around more and more stuff closed in on my head. It was thousands and thousands of single strand cobwebs. Hanging at the end of each strand was a tiny spider. In waving my arms I'd scooped hundreds of the little buggers closer to my body and they were all entangled in my arms my hair everywhere. I looked up and more and more were pouring out of the cracks in the soft board ceiling. I had hundreds of these tiny spiders crawling all over me. It was a scene from your worst nightmare if you don't like spiders. Each time I turned more spiders fell on me so I made a dash for the door and stood outside. I felt like Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen when he found loads of leaches all over his body. The little beggars. So I stood outside brushing them off.

So I've been finding them in my clothes all day. Everyso often one finds it's way up my neck and I'm going crazy. Customers look at me and ask whats wrong.
"I'm covered in bleedin spiders." I say swiping at my arms my neck and head. Of course they're so small the customers don't see them and they back off thinking I'm a drug addict being hit by a flashback.

So I go back into the work shop armed with a broom and gently scoop them all up by waving the broom through the air like making candyfloss on a stick. Except this candyfloss is alive and crawling. Outside I stand the broom upside down and watch the little beggars float away on their silken parachutes. I had to do this quite a few times before it was safe to go into the room unprotected. A friend said "Should've napalmed the lot of 'em. Did you see Arachnophobia? Best not take chances."

It's now 5pm and this little episode happened at 8:30 this morning. My skin is still crawling. Eeeek!!!!

Which reminds me of a little incident when my boy Jamie Da Hat was very young. He was terrified of spiders and would run round the house screaming if he saw one. So in an effort to break this behaiviour I found a small spider and had it on my hand.
"Look Jamie isn't it cute?" I said letting it crawl all over my hand. "Do you want to hold it?"
"No Daddy no!"
"It's OK it wont hurt you look it's on Daddies hand right now just minding it's own business. here you hold it?"
So he held out a very shakey hand and shut his eyes. It was on his hand for a minute before he opened his eyes and saw it was OK. "It's a cute spider Daddy." he said.
"Yep let's put him outside in the bushes. he'll like it there."
So we did and I went back into the sitting room to watch Formula one. Self satisfied that I'd cured the boy of his Arachnophobia.

Half hour later Jamie came into the sitting room. "Look Daddy. Look what I've got?"
"Shit! Shit! Oh Fuck!" in his hand was the biggest, blackest, hairiest spider you could imagine. I recoiled, almost jumping out the sitting room window.
"Do you want to hold it Daddy? It's really cute."
I'm depserate to maintain my cool, my composure. I don't want him to see the abject terror in my eyes.
"Er... no Jamie no thanks! Very kind of you to show me the lovely spider. But I think it would be happier outside. "
"Don't you want to stroke it?" he persisted.
"No no no." sweat starts beading on my forhead. He can smell the fear. He's got one over on me and he's only four years old.
"You're not scared are you daddy?" Bingo!!! "it's only a spider. Do you want it on your hand?"
"No Jamie, best you put it in the bush like the last one."
"OK Daddy." and he skips off with his new pet.
I slump back into my armchair, and wipe the sweat from my forehead. That's the last time I try to cure my children of anything like that.
Wife walks in. "What did Jamie have to show you?"
"Oh just a spider."
"He hates spiders."
"Not anymore."

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