Arachnaphobia

So there I was, minding my own business, having a quiet pee, when I copped him. And he was HUGE. Bigger than my dog. A spider with the legs of a rugby player, hair on them you could blow-dry, nearly as tall as one, too. I never saw anything so frightening, it stopped me mid-flow and rooted me to the spot. Being rooted to the spot on the loo is not ideal, I’ll have you know. So I summoned up my half-gram of courage and decided I’d better do something before The Dawther saw him and just packed her bags and left home.

He was on the floor, so it was going to be tricky. For a start, I’d have to pass him on my way out. And I’d have to be quick in getting to the cupboard under the stairs where the Weapon of Mass Destruction lives; the hoover. But this particular specimen with some sort of glandular problem wasn’t going to fit up my hoover, where all his smaller relatives had ended their days. This fella could EAT my hoover. Come to think of it, if he could bite he could probably just cut me off at the knees.

I tried to keep my composure as I squeaked at The Dawther if she could… em… just pass me the hoover, please? She was in good humour, having just discovered she’d gotten seven As and three Bs in her Junior Cert (where did I go wrong?), so she happily obliged. I asked if she’d by any chance throw the dog into the bathroom as well, just in case like. She asked why. I told her I wanted to bath him. But she’s very bright, my gal, having just gotten seven As and three Bs in her Junior Cert and therefore reminded me that I was taking him to Laytown for a run later – why would I bathe him beforehand? Shite, I was nobbled. I told her I wanted to cut his nails. She said I usually get the ladies in the grooming place to do that, why would I risk it myself? Clever lass – seven As and three Bs in her Junior Cert, that girl. I must add that this conversation was being passed through a closed bathroom door, as I was trying to keep her calm. And sane.



It sort of went downhill from there, this polite, through-the-keyhole exchange, as I felt a surge of panic. The mutant, hairy-legged giant was ambling slowly in my direction. And I was sans weaponry of any kind. Fear got the better of me and I bawled at her “If you don’t get me the fuckin’ hoover right now, you’re grounded for life!” Being as smart as she is (did I mention she got seven As and three Bs…?), she sussed what was wrong.

“It’s a spider, isn’t it?” she asked with a quiver in her voice and her lower lip all trembling as she plugged in the hoover and handed me the nozzle through the door.

“Full power! Let her rip!” I screamed back, like some kind of murderous Robert Duvall loving the smell of napalm in the morning. It was him or me, I figured. (The Mutant, not Robert Duvall.) My very life flashed before me in this battle to the death. Along with a million questions, like how was I gonna get him up the hoover pipe when he was so big the only way he could have gained entry was through the front door, and even then with considerable difficulty – it’s just a normal-sized front door, he’d have had to squeeze himself in sideways or something.

What ensued was an ugly scene, I must admit. Something I can’t quite bring myself to write about even now. But it involved spider bits and dog fur (yes, Toto got involved), and much screaming (Seven As & Three Bs), and much stamping and waving of the hoover pipe (Ninja Warrior Mother), and I’m still not the better of it. Should we be visited by a similarly colossal relative from his bereaved and grieving family anytime soon, The Dawther won’t have to pack her bags. I’ll pack them for her. Along with my own.


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