A Healthy Fear Of Spiders

Today is Friday, the day I write about the issues in an attempt to raise awareness and start a constructive dialogue.   Hopefully this constructive dialogue will embed a great fear in your heart that you’ll carry around with you for the rest of your life, because that fear gives you the edge you need to survive.  Today I want to talk about the most terrifying creatures on this planet: Spiders.  Yesterday I saw a spider ninja-ing its way down from the ceiling, hovering above my hand.  It was about the size of a golf ball, its eight talons curled up and ready for a death strike.  I felt a great quivering of my soul, and I happened to glance over and spot it just in time, or else it would have poisoned me and laid its eggs in my eyes.  My two (as of now free from spider eggs) eyes locked on with those 5 pits of smoldering hatred the spider considers to be eyes, and we both knew it was kill or be killed.  I attacked it with great vengeance and struck it down without remorse, using a Pringle’s Can to bash the lemon sized monstrosity into a pulp.  It died with a hiss, knowing that good triumphed over evil.

 

Some people consider me to be arachnophobic and prone to exaggeration when it comes to these hellish abominations.  I don’t think that’s true.  I’ve been me pretty long (my entire life) and I think I’d know if I was an arachnophobe or an exaggerator.  I just happen to know that everyone else is not scared enough about spiders.  People think that spiders are all fun and games, and that myth is being perpetuated by Hollywood.  As seen in the movie “Harry Potter and the Snuggery of Spiders”, we see that two adolescent boys can outrun and outfight a multitude of slightly larger than usual spiders (roughly 3 feet tall) by waving sticks at them.  This kind of false information gets people killed, 3 foot spiders care nothing about your tiny stick, most likely could leap forty feet through the air, and run at a speed of 30 mph.  Another example is “Lord of the Rings: Darkness and a Giant Spider”.  In this one, the colossal spider is killed with a sword.  A sword is a terrible weapon to wield against actual spiders.  I refuse to watch “The Hobbit: A bunch of large spiders that were hinted at in the first movie”, because Peter Jackson is polluting the minds of people about the true nature of spiders.  In fact, ALL fantasy themed novels, movies, and video games will at some point feature a giant spider, as if these things were fake and able to be defeated.

Here are some facts about Spiders that I sort of remember but I’m way too scared to look up on the internet because these facts usually have pictures of spiders next to them.  I believe with my whole heart that these facts are completely true:
• One helpful website said something like there are 50,000 species of spiders, but don’t worry if you see a spider you don’t know, because only 2.5% of them are poisonous!  Okay helpful guy, what you said was obviously meant for an optimist, because what you said is terrifying to a pessimist.  So what you are saying is that humans are greatly outnumbered here (having only one species of human), and there are over a thousand species of poisonous spiders?  Not only that, but there are far too many kinds of spiders to keep track of, so there is no telling if this potato-sized spider that just bit me is poisonous or not?
• The largest species of spider is called the Goliath Birdeater.  Fully grown it can get up to 15 inches tall, weigh 25 pounds and jump 12 feet through the air.  They eat human children, because birds are hard to catch and children can’t fly away.  When there are not enough children around, they use their ability to jump 12 feet through the air to catch birds as they try to fly away to safety.  I’m pretty sure they are leaving the rainforest in droves because of deforestation and are heading to America where there is plenty of space under people’s beds.
• A “Hunstman” is a type of spider.  The Huntsman you are probably most familiar with is the Daddy-Longlegs.  If you type “Giant Huntsman” into Google, you’ll be presented with some terrifying images that will render a blogger sleepless for the next few nights and will forever be able to unsee.  The largest Hunstman has a leg span of 30 centimeters.  We never measured it in inches because that Huntsman ate the American scientist that was going to measure it, so we’ll never know.
• Spiders kill more people in the US than sharks.  Think about that.  Spiders are more deadly than sharks.  Granted, when I think “In the US”, I usually think “on US soil”.  If that’s the case the sharks are doing a great job of leaping onto the beach and nabbing somebody before they flop back into the water.  But I think we’re talking about some kind of US water territory.  Anyway, sharks can be easily avoided by not going in the ocean.  Every year, 6.5 people in the US are killed by spiders!  It is tragic that those 6 people lost their lives, but how much more cruel is it to only kill half of a person and let them suffer for the rest of their other half life?  Whereas sharks can easily be avoided by not going in water, you can’t stay away from spiders.  Spiders are everywhere.  In your yard, under your car, in your house, on your bath towel, and under your toilet seat.  For every one spider you see, there are 3 of equal or larger size in your bed.
• Now I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking “Well Steve, what if I just went into the water to avoid spiders, the same way you stay on land to avoid sharks?”  It’s a good thought, one that I’ve considered, but spiders won’t let you get away that easily.  Spiders have been known to craft diving bells out of their webs so they can go into the water and just live down there.  Their web acts like gills, allowing them to breath.  It’s a common tactic for a spider to pin a human under water and laugh maniacally while the human runs out of air and drowns.  Sometimes they whisper to the human, “It quiets itself.  It lets the water in.  Its eyes see the dark.  It feels the cold seep in”.
• As a rite of passage into womanhood, female spiders will try to lay their eggs into human ears while they sleep.  Once they do, they are considered to be an adult woman and they are thrown a party.  The eggs will hatch and the spiderlings  eat their host’s brain.  The screams of their prey, accompanied with the thrashing around from pain, will spark an adrenal response that helps them grow into adolescents.

 

I wasn’t born with the knowledge that spiders should be feared.  I was conditioned by my early years.  I grew up in Iowa near the Mississippi river, which happens to be where one can find Carolina Wolf Spiders (I’ll call them CWS from now on, because saying their name out loud summons one into your underwear drawer).  These psychopaths go about murdering everything.  They don’t bother to build webs because that isn’t proactive enough.  These spiders are known for their speed, and are fueled by 100% murder.  They come out at night, mostly, racing through your lawn trying to murder something and eat it.  If they live next to water, they’ll jump onto the surface tension of the water and skitter across it, eating any fish it can catch.  They actually eat fish.  Because they don’t have webs, they are free to roam wherever they want, and that includes YOUR HOUSE.  When it gets cold out, these serial killers with abnormally large brains have figured out that the dwelling places of humans are nice and toasty.  They swarm into houses and then lurk.

 

I can recall some of my first experiences. Usually you’d find one just after flipping the light switch.  They like to just hang out on the wall at around eye-level, thinking about how they’ll murder the next human to turn on the light.  Their body can get up to two inches in length, and that doesn’t even begin to cover their leg span.  They laugh at you from their perch, knowing that you are helpless to defeat them.  You can either bash the sucker to a pulp and forever have a goo-stain the size of a credit card on your wall, or you can leave them be to forever mock you.  But killing them isn’t that easy.

 

Wolf spiders will lunge into the air to save their lives if they see you have gone into combat with them.  They wait for the first strike and dodge it!  They know their venom can cause lesions on a human, and with enough bites they can win the day, and then scamper into the human’s bed sheets to hide.  If you are quick enough to hit the spider, you have to keep hitting it!  Don’t let up because you think it is dead.  A CWS is extremely resilient and will keep going after a few smashes with a table leg (my weapon of choice).  Just keep swinging, because a CWS carries a nasty surprise.  Actually, a bunch of nasty surprises.  A CWS isn’t one CWS, it is many.  A CWS is known for carrying its young on its back.  You are not in battle with one, you are in a battle a swarm!  Once the big one is down, the young scatter onto your wallpaper and carpet.  Just keeps bashing away and pray to whatever gods you hold dear that you get them all.  Because they won’t forget that you murdered their mother, and they know exactly where you live.

 

There are a few good ways to know if a CWS is lurking in your house.  1.) They love the dark.  So if any room or area of your house is dark, they are probably there.  2.) They are quiet, nearly silent (except for their battle cry where they audibly hiss).  If there are dark and quiet places in your house, you’re probably being watched by at least 4 mother CWS’s and 600 baby CWS’s.  Keep your ears pugged and your eyes shut tight, and they shouldn’t be able to get their eggs on or in you.

 

If you get one thing from this blog post, is it that you should be afraid.  Be terrified.  Be more like me, a non-arachnophobe who has a healthy fear of spiders.

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