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The Thing in my Shower (contains descriptions of spiders!) - Chronarchy

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October 22nd, 2012


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05:05 pm - The Thing in my Shower (contains descriptions of spiders!)
One of the drawbacks to wearing corrective lenses to improve your eyesight is that you can't always have those lenses on. I wear mine quite often, but if I don't have them on or in, I'm most likely doing one of two things: sleeping or showering.

This morning, after finishing the first, I moved onto the second (a bit earlier than usual, as they were shutting off the water to our house early this morning to work on the water main), and so I was without my glasses or contacts.

Being mostly blind without these lenses, I am used to finding my way through things like showering: it's not a big deal. But this morning, upon stepping into the shower, I happened to glance down, and I saw a giant, fuzzy, black dot moving about on the floor of my shower.

I have no active arachnophobia, but I know the way a spider moves, and this one, in my state of non-corrected vision, appeared to be at least the size of a silver dollar. And my vision, I know, is not good enough to see the legs of most spiders from 2 meters away.

(Also, if you have a fear of spiders, don't do a Google Image Search for "arachnophobia." Just trust me on that.)

I had just gotten into the shower, and (being on a schedule now that the water was due to be shut off) I couldn't stop the shower, take care of the spider-thing (I began to imagine what else might be that size, move in that way, and not be a spider moments after seeing it). So, I thought for a moment, decided that whatever it was, it was probably a spider, and it probably wasn't poisonous (I know my black widows and brown recluses, and neither get that big. . . or so I hoped). But I couldn't quite get over how large it was. It didn't help that I couldn't see it.

So I spent my time imagining how long the spider had been watching me over the past year or so of its life, hiding in a dark corner of my bathroom. I wondered if there were others (it's said that any time you kill a spider, 7 other spiders see you do it; the implication is that they immediately begin plotting vengeance). I had a momentary, terrible thought that this spider is probably a female, and she probably laid eggs somewhere, and I had a vision of the egg sac bursting out on me while I was in the shower (probably in spring, but why imagine a far-off danger when you can imagine one temporally closer to home?) and thousands of spiders cheerfully trying to figure out what part of me tasted best.

And of course, there was the notion that this really big spider wasn't a spider at all, but something else. I mostly tried to put that out of my mind, but it didn't stop me from being a bit uncomfortable about the drain below my feet, wondering what else might lurk there.

After my shower, I had to cross the threshold of the shower and get out. This was complicated by the fact that the fuzzy-black-dot-that-moved-like-a-spider-but-was-too-big-to-be-one had gone straight to the open corner of the threshold and I couldn't see it anymore. So I bent down, and. . . Yep, something leggy, fuzzy, and big was there. I worked my way across the threshold giving the thing plenty of distance so I wouldn't freak it out.

Yeah, that's me. Worried about freaking out the thing that probably wants to eat me and drag my soul to its cob-webby nest.

But I didn't want to kill it. I knew where it was now, but if it was a spider, it was beneficial. If it wasn't, well, we have a lovely entymology lab here on campus who could tell me just how dangerous the (likely innocent) creature was. So I decided to go get a jar.

Now, putting a spider in a jar is hard work. There's always worry that the thing is going to somehow leap from wherever it was and get stuck in your hair, where it will freak out because, hello, IT'S IN YOUR HAIR. . . and that's enough to freak out anyone.

I grabbed my glasses and took a good look. . . and with a sigh of relief, I saw it was, indeed, a spider. The biggest damn wolf spider I had ever seen. It actually was about the size I first thought it was. Holy hell.

So, now I had to find a jar big enough to move it outside. I still wasn't going to kill it: she was probably scared, too, and she's probably killed more insects (and, from her size, perhaps a few mice) in the house that I never knew about. I have a great deal of respect for creatures that kill other creatures so I don't have to. It's like we're on the same wavelength there.

At some point, while searching through the house, I realized that it would be very helpful if they created "spider-catching jars" that were square instead of round so that you could fit them into corners. In wondering why no one had ever thought of that, I realized (a bit sheepishly) that it is probably because it would be very difficult to screw the top onto a square jar.

Anyway, I found a jar and managed to (gently) back her into it, sealed it up, and took it upstairs where I set it on the stove until I could get dressed and put my shoes on. I warned my wife that there was a big wolf spider on the stove so that she wouldn't freak out if she wandered in before I'd done that (thankfully, she didn't), and then I took her outside once my shoes were on. I apologized for the temperature (it was chilly this morning), but she gracefully slipped out of the jar and didn't find a way to bounce into my hair, which I mentioned to her I was grateful for.

All told, she probably thought I was crazy.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: awake
Current Music: "The Pascagoula Run", -JB

(16 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:moonwolf1999
Date:October 22nd, 2012 09:42 pm (UTC)

Spiders and showers

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As you know I also wear contact. I am actually legally blind without them. I don't really have a fear of spiders... but.....When we moved to Ohio from PA we were told about the spiders in Ohio that can bite and possibly kill you.. Well when we got our first place on our own in Ohio I took my glasses off.. got in the shower turned on the water and saw this big black thing run towards me. With my eyesight just that it was big enough for me to see it meant it was pretty big. Well after I let out this unmanly shriek and jumped out of the shower... put my glasses on and took a look... I saw a bunch of hair that was at the drain and the water in the tub made it "run" towards me...
Luckily there was no one else home to hear my girly shriek or to torment me in my time of distress
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:October 23rd, 2012 03:17 am (UTC)
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All the best stories involve girly shrieks, don't they?
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From:rfunk
Date:October 22nd, 2012 10:38 pm (UTC)
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You know, for someone who claims no arachnophobia, you sure seem to have an aversion to spiders jumping into your hair.....

(This from someone who would've jumped out, found my glasses, then smashed the thing. In order to avoid any surprises, of course.)

At our place, the dark thing in the shower could be hair, a spider, or a bat. No wonder I often forget my glasses in the bathroom in the morning.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:October 23rd, 2012 03:16 am (UTC)
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I consider it merely "accepting their nature as leapers and small-brained creatures." clearly, becoming tangled in hair is simply one of their many skills, no?
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From:romandruid
Date:October 23rd, 2012 12:55 am (UTC)
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I wish I hadn't read this now; it had never occurred to me that a spider (and we got 'em a lot bigger than silver-dollar size out here) might decide to leap into my hair.

Seriously. Never. Occurred. To. Me.

*body-wracking shudder*

Thanks a lot, bro. As if a room full of 9th graders isn't scary enough. Thanks.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:October 23rd, 2012 03:14 am (UTC)
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I tried to warn folks that "Thar be spiders," but perhaps I did not provide enough warning :)
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From:suicidekttn
Date:October 23rd, 2012 02:11 am (UTC)
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In an effort to be less terrified of spiders, since they seem to be an inherited totem animal of mine, I've started to capture them. Especially at work, where there are lots in the local produce. Then I give them to my Buddhist friend and he lets them go. I haven't gotten to the letting go stage, but I can catch them.
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From:chronarchy
Date:October 23rd, 2012 03:19 am (UTC)
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Oh, yeah: they travel from far afield! I had forgotten that!

They are pretty awesome critters, really. I tend to think of them mostly as very considerate toward us, what with eatin' the things we don't like, and all that.
[User Picture]
From:just_lisbet
Date:October 23rd, 2012 02:54 am (UTC)
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Awwww.... that was so nice of you to catch it and let it go! (and also to warn your wife!). I am pretty much an arachnophobe, myself. And yeah, I know about the legend of the 7 others. I always thought too that if you killed a spider, it would send out death emissions to other spiders, telling them to come and get you (in vengeance, I guess?).

Oh and those plug-in devices that emit high frequency sounds or vibrations, that are supposed to keep the bugs (and presumably spiders) away? We had one in our basement when I was growing up. They don't work. I think they just drive the bugs and spiders insane, and so then you have crazed spiders running around, doing goodness knows what. Plotting to kill us, no doubt.
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From:chronarchy
Date:October 23rd, 2012 03:23 am (UTC)
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Ooh, death emissions! What a nifty thing to worry about (I mean that sympathetically, seriously).

I tend to think that one should move them outside whenever possible, rather than squishing, though I have my limits: spiders in my bed are likely to be crushed with little remorse. The same with spiders that I cannot manage to brush off after repeated attempts.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 23rd, 2012 11:50 am (UTC)

Having kids helps getting brave

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As I know that many phobias are learned, since I have kids I don't shriek anymore, but bravely go to the dust cleaner. Your way with the jar is far nicer for nature, but I would have to get too close, which I can only do with spiders as big as 3mm.
I'm dreading the moment a patient will ever ask me to help him cures his arachnophobia - a probably will have to give them the phonenumber of a colleague.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:October 23rd, 2012 01:21 pm (UTC)

Re: Having kids helps getting brave

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Yes, this one was definitely a bit larger than 3mm :)
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From:athenamsb
Date:October 23rd, 2012 02:52 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, that's me. Worried about freaking out the thing that probably wants to eat me and drag my soul to its cob-webby nest.

Don't they all want to eat you and drag your soul into their cob-webby nests? :)

Thanks for the laugh. I needed that. Also, I totally would have called for Jessie. She handles the spiders in my house, which probably will not come as a surprise to anyone who knows her!
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:October 23rd, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
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Any time :)
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From:tanrinia
Date:October 23rd, 2012 05:49 pm (UTC)
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I would love a square jar for getting spiders in the corner. You don't need a lid though. Just a piece of stiff paper (those mailers from political candidates work fine.)
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:October 23rd, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
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A use for "occupant" mail! Yeah!

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