Friday, July 6, 2012

Spider Island

Are you afraid of spiders?  If you said no, I can predict that you are sitting somewhere in a civilized, not-all-that-natural environment right now and there is virtually no danger of a spider the size of your hand running across your lap.  And you're a liar.  Spiders are scary.  And creepy.  And fast.  Yuck.

(Thank you to someone on Flickr for the photo of the gross spider.)

Amy has the most adorable little cabin on a perfect spot on a perfect lake.  For three months out of the year it is paradise.  Except for all the spiders.  Whenever I go out there I try to convince myself that:
A) they don't want to attack me, and if I leave them alone, they will leave me alone,
B) They are good because they eat bugs that bite me,
C) They are fascinating creatures, what with the spinning of webs and all.

It never works.  For one thing, they are EVERYWHERE.  Sure, they don't want to attack me, but say you are walking to the outhouse a little way into the woods; unless you make a conscious effort to blur your eyes, look only where you are going, and don't look at the buildings that have spider-web thatched roofs, you WILL see a frighteningly fast, DISGUSTING spider scurrying out of your way.

My dad said he saw a spider out back behind the shed that was as big as a small woman's hand and it was moving slowly because it was carrying an egg sac the size of a marble.  Just writing that sentence makes me want to throw up.  When my dad told that to my mom and me we both almost gagged.  I don't know what's worse: a spider that moves faster than lightning, or a spider that is slow because it is carrying a web-backpack full of millions more spiders.  When my dad saw our reaction he said, "They are good!  They eat bugs!" and my mom said what women have been saying for generations, "I'd rather have the other bugs."

Spiders are kind of interesting.  On TV.  Or on the opposite side of a pane of glass.  And only then when you chant, "She's just like Charlotte! She's just like Charlotte! She's just like Charlotte!" to yourself in a frantic cadence while doing Lamaze breathing.

I watched some fat-bodied non-giant spiders outside the sauna spinning webs.  It wasn't the worst thing in the world.  But if they were on the inside of the sauna, instead of the outside, I would have freaked out and smooshed them.  And then I'd be totally grossed out by how much their disgusting fat bodies squished.

Kira has always liked to tell me I'm a sissy when it comes to the spiders.  She acts all tough and even goes so far as to hold and play with Daddy Long Legs.  Gross.  Well, not this past week.  Amy and I were at the fire pit, and Kira came down from changing out of her swimming suit and she was frantically trying not to be frantic.  She was laughing a forced laugh that would have been screaming if she wasn't so stubborn and determined.  She had the curled up body of a spider on her towel and she said, "I caught this spider crawling ACROSS MY FACE!"  The spider was huge.  She said she noticed it and then did the international bug dance which flung him off of her, and then saw the spider trying to crawl away across my bed so she smashed it with my book.  I am so happy she had the wherewithal to smash it after she brushed it off her face.  It saved me from a sleepless night of wondering when the spider was going to crawl up my body and lay eggs in my mouth.  When all spread out with the legs and huge body, that spider was probably the size of the top of a coffee cup.  Kira was freaked out.  Amy and I (who are both terrified of spiders so our reassurance doesn't count for much) tried to tell her to forget about it.  Amy said, "Kira, in a ten foot square space anywhere on this island there are probably a thousand spiders.  They won't hurt you."  to which Kira replied with, "Yes, but they are not ON MY FACE!"  to which Amy and I said, "Touche," and we all sat there and shuddered for about an hour.   


  1. I am totally grossed out by spiders, too. Actually, all bugs bug the livin' daylights out of me!

    1. Eva, I don't think a Rainy Lake vacation would be very relaxing for you then!

  2. What, no Shelob? No Aragog?

    1. I would say a Shelob or Aragog comparison would be a slight exaggeration. But they were definitely comparable to Shelob's children. I really could use a trusty spider slaying sword like Sting!

  3. I'm 500 miles away, but still ... shuddering ... gagging ... whimpering.

    1. Remind me why we care so much about the environment again?


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