Shelob here was crouching in my front hall this morning, waiting for the opportune moment to terrorize me. This spider was so big it had its own zipcode. It could have swallowed Tink in one bite.
When I get to heaven, one of the first things I want to ask God is, “Was it really necessary to make something with eight long hairy legs and four glassy pairs of eyes, that makes a kind of squishing, crunching sound when you accidentally step on it, and crouches in a corner waiting all day for the chance to terrorize some innocent person?”
And yet God did create them, by the billions. Spiders can be found on every continent except Antarctica, where there are no land spiders, although they do have giant sea spiders. You folks in Australia are blessed with the most venomous spiders in the world, including the Sydney funnel-web, which has fangs so powerful they can pierce through toenails. I hope you don’t find one of those in your shower.
The one in my front hall was a wolf spider, so-called because they hunt their prey like wolves, instead of catching them in a web.
“HON! There’s a BIG SPIDER in the HALL!” I yelled to my husband. We have a rule in our house: if it’s heavy, smelly or scary, it’s a man job.
“What is she doing there?” Hubs asked. He always refers to spiders as “she” because his first language is French, and in French every noun is either masculine or feminine. The word for spider in French is “l’araignée,” and spiders are always “she.”
“I don’t know, but you’re going to have to do something,” I insisted.
He turned to Joe, who was busily ingesting eleven pounds of bacon and eggs. ”Joe, you’re a man now, do something about the spider.”
“Better get the shotgun,” Joe replied without looking up.
There are two schools of thought about what you should do with a spider.
- There’s the “Live and Let Live” school of thought; spiders eat their weight in bugs that are even worse, so let them live in your house and provide free pest control;
- Then there’s the ”KILL IT! KILL IT WITH FIRE!” school of thought, or, as my husband says, “You come in my house, you die.”
There is one other humane alternative. You can make a natural spider repellent by mixing a few drops of peppermint or spearmint oil in water and spray windowsills, doorsills and other points of entry to keep the spiders out.
But once the spider is in your house, you have to decide. It’s man vs spider.
I guess Hubs was feeling magnanimous this morning, because he scooped the ginormous spider up with a magazine and flipped her out onto the porch, where I’m sure she is still sitting and plotting her revenge. Spiders are very patient and they never forget.
Question: If spiders are always feminine in French, in France would Spiderman have to be a woman?
What do you think: kill all the spiders, or live and let live?