Sunday, August 15, 2010

The horror, the horror...

I hate spiders.

I really really hate spiders.

I hate them because they scare the heebee-geebees out of me and I don't like to be scared.  

I hate their little beady eyes and their fangs and their eight legs all moving independently of each other.  I hate the way that they shoot sticky web out of their butts.  I hate how they scuttle - zip, pause, zip, pause.  I hate how they weave their webs with their back legs while they clean their mandibles with their front legs.  All while watching you.  I hate their multi-jointed legs with too many knees and their bloated abdomens and their little horrible heads.

I hate spiders.

I suffered some spiders in my home for the last few weeks because I wanted something to take care of the mosquito problem and the gnat pestilence that followed.  Despite there being a huge number of bugs in the house, all of the spiders seem to be dying of starvation while the bugs died of old age.  I have never seen such a useless branch of evolution in all my life.

And then, last week, the most horrible species of spider began showing up in the house.

Okay, no, they aren't venomous (nothing in Denmark is venomous other than the Danish People's Party) and I've been told the whole "it's more scared of you than you are of it."  But their brains are the size of of a 12 point Times New Roman period!  That's not the brain of something that fears or gets angry.  They are going to bite everything because anything could be a threat or possibly lunch!  Why ponder the existential difference between a mortal threat and the large warm bodied thing that bumped your web?  I doubt they refer to wikipedia to decide if what they see before their tiny eyes is edible or dangerous.

Get it, there is no fear or aggression in a spider, just biting!!

So when this very large, very active species of spider began invading my home every evening, I got rather upset about it.  They are about the size of a Snapple lid or a round Danish plug (that's including the leg span).  They have orange knees.  They have two huge black fangs.  And they love to bungee jump from the ceiling on silken thread, legs extended, probably shouting "weeeeeeee!"  We had five of them in the bathroom one night, swinging from the light fixtures and the air vent.

If they stay still I try to wait until my husband wanders by and I can borrow his spider wrangling skills to de-arachnid whatever room I wish to be in, but over the last week he's been very busy wrangling a larger pest: possible tenants for a room in our apartment in Århus.  Over 200 phone calls, text messages, and emails.  Calls coming in before 8 am until after 10 pm.  Ugh.

But the spiders....

So I can't always wait for him to finish sending an email downstairs.  Especially if I need to pee and there is a bouncing spider in my way.  This has resulted in an increasingly frustrated husband who wanted to know why I didn't just come back downstairs and use the spider-free toilet.  Because, I patiently told him, I had to keep an eye on the spider until he got rid of it.  WHAT IF IT HID WHILE I WAS AWAY??  It could TOTALLY come back and get me in the middle of the night!

Every night for a week I had a grumpier and grumpier man trudging upstairs to answer my calls for assistance.  He wanted to know why I couldn't just wait for him to be done with his stuff downstairs and I wanted to know why he couldn't just come upstairs with me, remove the spiders, and then go back to do whatever it was that he wanted to do.  I like to read in bed for a bit before turning off the light and this is the only way to not inconvenience him when he'd like to go to sleep.  His sighs of frustrations and annoyance could be heard every night as he trudged up stairs to yet again remove more spiders from the bathroom.

It may have gone on like this for quite a while, but then, just a few nights ago, as we were washing dishes, a spider bungeed down from the cupboard just inches from my face.

Do you know what happens when the Archaeogoddess is startled?  I scream and jump.

Do you know what happens when the Archaeogoddess is startled by a large nasty spider inches from her face?  There was a piercing shriek from the depths of my soul.  I think they heard me in Berlin.  I shot straight up in the air and then levitated backwards about three feet before landing with a resounding thump.

My husband was standing next to me at the time.  He was, shall we say, startled by my reaction.

DB: OHMYGOD!!  What the hell?!

AG: *bursts into hysterical tears and point at the spider*

And after that, not another frustrated sigh was heard from his lips.  He goes upstairs every night before I do to check for spiders in the bathroom and the bedroom.  He hurries to my aid if I holler "honey, there's a spider in here" and he has a special spider-catching-cup and lid both upstairs and downstairs, to quickly and safely capture and remove the spider from my presence.

Apparently, 7 years of me telling him that I'm scared of spiders did not really sink in until I had a proper hysterical breakdown.  I guess he finally realized that if his wife, who can calmly bandage wounds on herself and others, give injections, remove dead rats from traps, move to a country where she couldn't understand a single word, who in many other ways is very very brave, is THAT scared of spiders, then she is REALLY FREAKIN' SCARED OF SPIDERS!


  1. Yikes - what a sweet guy! We all have our weak points - mine are wasps. I'm hysterical around them...

    Thanks for sharing your peeing in the dark story.... :-)

  2. Oh, love...I've seen that hysterical reaction. Remember the daddy long legs that was crawling on you that day at Daffodil Hill? I thought you were dying or something...

    I have to say I can kinda understand DB's stance on this. You are one of the bravest most confident women I know, so the idea that something the size of a quarter could terrify you is hard to wrap the brain around...

  3. Oi veh. You have my sympathy and luckily you have a good husband.

    After not being able to use a swollen leg for days after a brown recluse spider bite (in Arkansas), in my bedroom (and he got away!), I can understand your fear.

  4. Hmmm...I would like to know how you will react if you wake up and find a Pia K or a pair of very long balls crawling up your wall.

  5. You need a dog. Our dogs eat the spiders. Quite handy really.

  6. I totally understand. I hate spiders, they scare me. If Emma is confronted with one, she immediately starts to shake and cry.

    Peter always has to kill them, but if they are particularly impressive he has to photograph it first. Especially when he first moved here, he had never seen such huge spiders like Wolf Spiders and Black Widows.

  7. The greatest line in here is:
    "Nothing in Denmark is venomous other than the Danish People's Party"

    Sorry about the 8 legged varmints! Hope your Viking decides it is his duty to slay them all for you!

  8. Two thoughts here...

    1 - you mean he's not killing them outright? What if they're coming back into the house!?


    2 - how did you ever live through camel spiders in your tent? (No mean-ness intended, just curiosity)

    In Texas and Oklahoma we have brown recluse spiders. I taught my sons to kill any spider with skinny legs, not the ones with fuzzy legs. This kills the fiddlebacks and saves the nice pest-eating wolf spiders for the garden.

    The only bug that has ever made me scream is (and I'm embarrassed to say it) a june bug. Shudder. Sticky, hair entangling legs... Shudder.


Keep it clean, don't be mean....