...I do have a life long problem with spiders. So much so that I had hypnotherapy for it in my twenties. I've now reached the point where, rather than screaming like a shark's chomping me, I can at least get a glass over the latest monster and evict it from my home. I can't bring myself to kill them. It's bad luck. Well, definitely from the spider's point of view at least.
But I do not like them not at all. Especially the big house spiders. Some people might tsk at my fears. It's not as if I live somewhere like Australia where pretty much all of them are poisonous. Or the South American rainforest where the world's largest spider lives - the Goliath birdeater. Strangely tarantulas don't bother me. But one of those local eight-legged freaks skittering across my carpet while I'm watching the TV will have me jumping up the sofa and doing a good impression of Mammy Two Shoes from the Tom and Jerry cartoons on seeing Jerry the mouse.
And this time of year is the worst for it. Massive house spiders materialize everywhere indoors, hunting for a mate. Garden spiders turn the plants and pathways into web-covered Pippa traps! So walking through a spider's web one morning, then finding its creator crawling through my hair had me doing major Muppet flails and squeaking. Worse, I still felt sticky and twitchy hours later, imagining it was still crawling over my hair. Ugh!
But sharing the story on Twitter brought some gruesomely enthusiastic responses. Everyone had their own personal spider horror story that would chill anyone with even the mildest case of arachnophobia. So I thought I'd share some with you, then maybe you can tell me your own.
@MisheardFiction says "I had a MASSIVE one crawl up the inside of my jeans. When I went to scratch my knee it went CRUNCH and started wiggling! Ew."
@NerineDorman says "At least you never found a dead squashed rain spider in your underwear. I did an arachnoleptic fit for hours afterward, accompanied by manic giggles"
@DougSmith5678 says "there was spider amongst <son's name> pants the other day. Had to kill it."
@ChantalHalpin says "There was the time when my hubby thought his tarantula had died. He was decorating at the time and stripping wall paper so he put it in the bin bag. He was a bit freaked out later on in the evening when a large piece of wall paper crawled across the floor "
DianaS says "My scariest moment was walking into the bathroom in our old house some years ago, with the light behind me and reflected in the mirror was my silhouette and SITTING ON MY SHOULDER WAS A LARGE SPIDER FLEXING ITS LEGS! I screamed and did a sort of St Vitus dance"
And if those don't have you itching, I have one last snippet to share with you. Several years before I had hypnotherapy, I was applying makeup in front of the mirror when something dark fell past my face and dropped into my cleavage. Yeah, you guessed it. A spider! There are few things worse in this life to get trapped in your bra. O.o
So if this post hasn't already sent you screaming, how about sharing your spider stories with us too?