I just spent 10 minutes in the shower looking straight up. There was a spider on the ceiling, and I was fairly sure that at any moment he would swan dive down onto my face and proceed to eat my soul.
It’s curious the way we as humans are generally scared of bugs. The size ratio between this spider and myself is immense. It sees me as a massive object. It’s like me looking at a Home Depot.
Spider is to human as human is to Home Depot. You get it?
Sure, a tiny spider can sometimes infect a giant person with some sort of toxin that would destroy them, just as I could eventually destroy a Home Depot if I had enough time. But both things are pretty unlikely. Particularly when this spider is a little white stupid thing living in my shower in Pennsylvania.
What a weird analogy.
Spiders are gross and scary and awful, but I like to pretend I’m not afraid of them because I also find them fascinating. The way they create webs is amazing, and seeing a huge perfectly-crafted one is like looking at art.
The silk itself is also a wondrous thing. If science could figure out how to effectively synthesize it, we could make bulletproof vests far stronger than Kevlar that would weigh almost nothing. That’s incredible.
But they also watch you shower and plot your murder. And when you’ve seen one and lost sight of it, it’s impossible to not feel like it’s crawling on you until you find the thing.
I go to great lengths to dispose of spiders in my house. Laura won’t touch them, so anytime one is found, it’s my job to play Dalek and exterminate. I usually take the old-fashioned tissue pickup route, but I don’t like the way they squish under my fingers. I usually grab 5 or 6 tissues so I can’t feel them crunch, and grab them with such speed that I often jam a finger into the drywall. I continually overestimate the athletic and evasive abilities of the common household spider.
There are fly swatters stationed in 3 locations in my home for quick bug removal, but are to be used only when necessary or when the menace is out of reach. The fly swatter approach usually ends in cleaning bug goo off the wall, which is less than ideal.
It’s not just spiders that people don’t like. All bugs, when indoors, are pretty terrible. Centipedes are one of the world’s worst creations. These jerks are not fascinating in any way. They are evil and need to be told how evil they are.
Laura and I have a centipede disposal tactic we invented a number of years ago when we moved into our second apartment. We had nothing unpacked yet, and saw five of these little Satans on our new walls. Knowing we either had to remove them immediately or set the building on fire, we looked in the few boxes that had been brought inside for something to use to assassinate them.
We found a Rubbermaid ice tea pitcher, and I instantly became a centipede hitman of legend.
The trick is to pin the little guy against the wall with the pitcher, let him run inside (because they’re faster than Usain Bolt, you see), and then put the lid on the pitcher. Shake briskly. Pour out, point and laugh. It will be so dead.
It does make me a little sad to kill these things. They won’t hurt me. They’re just trying to survive and be bugs.
But you know…
I get over it.