The Spider

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Anecdote – The Spider.


The Spider

I am an entomologist. I don’t mind stick insects. I love butterflies, beetles and grasshoppers but when it comes to crane flies I am hopeless. They are flying spiders.


Spiders terrify me. I’m an arachnophobe.


We were seven years old and out playing in the street with some of the older boys. There were hardly any cars around on our estate. It was pretty safe.


My friend Jeff was the same age as me. We were both little and wiry and used to spend a lot of time together playing. We swapped comics, played on our bikes, tennis and cricket. We spent most of our life outside.


It was summer and we were having a hot spell. Jeff and I were dressed alike in shorts with short-sleeved shirts.


One of the older boys had made a find round at our friend’s Martin’s house. There was a path at the side of the house and someone had left a bucket there. It was one of those white enamel buckets with the dark blue rim. There was a spider in it. It was unusual because of its size.


The spider was a classic house spider but it was huge. Nobody had seen one that big. It looked like a tarantula. Its long hairy legs actually spanned the whole bottom of the pail.


Of course we all had to go and peer in at it. It sent shivers through me. I’d never seen anything quite like it.


Equally inevitably what happened next was as predictable as day follows night. One of the big boys grabbed hold of the spider and began chasing us around with it.


We ran off terrified as he bellowed with laughter and pelted after us. There were kids scattering in all direction.


He caught Jeff.


Jeff was in the middle of the road when he was caught. We saw the boy thrust the huge spider down Jeff’s shirt.


It was like one of those frozen moments of horror.


Jeff stood like a statue with his arms out either side and screamed. He screamed and screamed and screamed.


We were all shocked. Even the boy who had done it was shocked. We all stood and watched from a distance as Jeff screamed.


Doors flew open and neighbours rushed out. They thought there had been an accident.


There had.


Jeff was shrieking and had wet himself.


The neighbours asked us what was up but nobody would dare speak. We were transfixed. We could all imagine that huge spider scurrying around under his shirt, running over his bare skin. Its legs and hairs on his flesh. We were watching for signs of it. We were watching his shirt.


Our eyes were on stalks. Our breath was held firm. We were waiting.


Eventually one of the neighbours got the story out of someone. They undressed Jeff right there in the middle of the road. It was a pale concrete road. They unbuttoned his shirt and took it off. It was hard because he was rigid and still shrieking. They took off his shorts and pants.


We waited in anticipation on the edge of a scream.


No spider appeared.


There was no way for that spider to have run off. We would have seen it. Our eyes were all firmly fixed on him. We’d seen it go down the back of his shirt. It was too big to miss. Nothing had come out yet the spider had disappeared into thin air.


They took Jeff off to his Mum’s. They had to carry him. He was still gibbering and rigid. A doctor had to be called and a sedative applied.


We all stood where we were and stared at that block of concrete.


It had disappeared.


That spider had gone straight from under Jeff’s shirt into my dreams.


opher goodwin Added Nov 29, 2018 - 1:54pm
As everyone knows - spiders are malevolent beings from a fourth dimension sent here to commit evil. 
Stone-Eater Added Nov 29, 2018 - 2:00pm
As said I don't mind spiders in the house, they're useful. If you're afraid of that, Africa wouldn't be a good choice to live LOL
But we've got heaps of geckos and cockroaches as well. Maybe you like those ;)
The Burghal Hidage Added Nov 29, 2018 - 2:07pm
Yes, but they eat bugs! Rather have spiders in my home than bugs!
Thanks for sharing this :)
Ryan Messano Added Nov 29, 2018 - 2:08pm
Hahaha, beautiful illustration of the threat Trump actually poses, and you liberals are wetting your pants over nothing. Great tale, Opher!
The Burghal Hidage Added Nov 29, 2018 - 2:08pm
Geckos are cool! I imagine the ones in Africa are a little different. We have a variety here in the states, Florida is practically polluted with them.
Dino Manalis Added Nov 29, 2018 - 2:16pm
 We need Spider Man to stop arachnophobia!
opher goodwin Added Nov 29, 2018 - 3:07pm
Stone I'd love the geckos and don't mind the cockroaches! I coped in Africa, South America and Australia even though the monster spiders tried to get me!
opher goodwin Added Nov 29, 2018 - 3:08pm
Burger - I like bugs. Bugs are good food for other beautiful creatures. Spiders are pure evil.
opher goodwin Added Nov 29, 2018 - 3:08pm
Dino - once bitten!!
opher goodwin Added Nov 29, 2018 - 3:09pm
Burger - geckos are cool. I like all lizards. There were some beautiful bright green ones in Louisiana. 
Ryan Messano Added Nov 29, 2018 - 3:11pm
Opher could substitute any liberal on here for his pal Jeff
(and his wetting his pants reminds me especially of Jeff Michka’s response to Trump and conservatives), and he could substitute Trump for the Spider, and the story would play out pretty much the same.
Ryan Messano Added Nov 29, 2018 - 3:14pm
Silent treatment is what happens when liberals are blind to their own insanity, and try to ostracize different opinions.  Lol,  Liberal men have plenty of experience with silent treatment.  They learned it from their wives.
Ryan Messano Added Nov 29, 2018 - 3:15pm
Watching grown men do silent treatment is hilarious.  Stawp, Badlose, yer killin’ Me with the comedy.
Bill H. Added Nov 29, 2018 - 3:35pm
I had a pet Tarantula named Hairold in elementary school. One summer I took him to the beach and tied a long length of thread to one of his rear legs so I could "direct" him. I maneuvered him over to a girl on a blanket about 30' away to see what she would do. Of course, I got the expected reaction, and then some.
She screamed loudly, jumped up and moved away, as her boyfriend quickly came to her rescue by stomping Hairold into the sand and killing him. I replaced him with another one named Fuzzbutt, who was a loyal pet for about 16 years. 
Stone-Eater Added Nov 29, 2018 - 4:12pm
Me too, I love geckos. We have big fat ones all over the walls, and I wouldn't miss them. They (like spiders) eat all the bugs. That way, together with an old fan, I never need a mosquito net. They both take care of them. And I HATE mosquito nets. Never cared to use one, and malaria is cured within 3 days, also with traditional medicine. I had it three times in 30 years, but it never became chronic.
James Travil Added Nov 29, 2018 - 4:12pm
I thought this was going to be about how spiders contribute to the environment by controlling pests. Like TBH said, they eat the bugs. I have a "pet" house spider in my kitchen that just showed up one day (or night more than likely). He or she built a nice little web between some coffee cups in the corner of the kitchen counter. We make sure to give him a wide berth so as not to spook him. I was afraid he would starve because my place is pretty clean, but one day I noticed a nice big cockroach in his web with him feasting on it! Just goes to show you never know what lurks in the shadows, and a spider is good for your home even if you think you don't need it. I think they are marvelous creatures. Much better than their natural enemies wasps. 
FacePalm Added Nov 29, 2018 - 4:49pm
i don't really mind spiders; i won't freak out and kill one unless i feel something crawling on me, at which time it's an accident.  i have a tendency to kill ANYthing that's crawling on me.
Scary story, Opher; if this is not a fictional tale, but one you experienced, i can see it having quite the traumatic effect on you.  On ANYone, really.  One wonders if the screaming boy ever regained any sense of balance, ever again - and if the bully who tortured the little one ever got his comeuppance.
Traumas, generally, make us afraid; until we challenge and overcome our fears, we'll always be "at effect," that is, have a blockage in our abilities.  Hence the link.
Webmaster Added Nov 29, 2018 - 5:13pm
It seems to me that the spider almost never attacks itself unless it is disturbed. Moreover spider seems to be one of the most careful insects as he tries to run away every time when being caught.
White Hair'd Added Nov 29, 2018 - 5:25pm
Bill H.,
The long lifespan of your pet Tarantula gives me hope. I've had a spider living under a bathroom sink, for several years. He only comes out at night and I find it when I turn on the light. When he first appeared and re- appeared over successive nights, I went on a bug hunt and found him under the sink, where he'd made a home. We gaze at each other, late at night and have otherwise peacefully coexisted. I've come to look forward to seeing him and look forward to his presence, for years to come. I learned from finding his discarded exoskeleton one day, that spiders shed their skin, like lobsters.
The gigantic Black and Yellow Orb Weaver in my garden has me well trained. It insists on building webs across the entrance to my shop, so I've learned to watch for it, before I walk into the web and have the giant beasty skittering across my face.
Bill H. Added Nov 29, 2018 - 5:45pm
Luther - I was down in the Acapulco region of Mexico back in the '70s and saw an orb weaver that was about 5" wide in between a couple trees. It was even freaking out the locals!
Katharine Otto Added Nov 29, 2018 - 5:45pm
I generally like spiders as bug catchers, too.  I especially like garden spiders, and avoid their webs, which are usually in my way throughout the summer.  I check on them every day, and am always sad when they suddenly disappear without a trace at the end of the season.  I never know what happens to them.  Maybe the wasps get them?  
I love lizards, too.  We have anoles (the green/brown ones), that my chickens love to eat.  I try to hide them from the chickens but don't hide the cockroaches.
Jeff Michka Added Nov 29, 2018 - 6:49pm
Lyin Ryan, I realize, can't help himself.  He's so angry I haven't tried to pick him up for a hook up, it seems. I become the topic almost as often as "You need to read five books..."  Poor Messano, he needs flowers when he's this close to delivering turds to expand Vinny and Ryan's family.  Ryan keeps spinning his web. 
opher goodwin Added Nov 29, 2018 - 6:57pm
Bill - I worked one summer in a warehouse where someone kept a huge spider and used to put it on the canteen table to run about scaring people.
One had to pretend not to be concerned or you knew where it would end up.
opher goodwin Added Nov 29, 2018 - 6:58pm
Luther - I don't mind golden orbs. They tend to just sit there. It is the big hairy ones that scurry about that give me nightmares.
Phobias are irrational.
opher goodwin Added Nov 29, 2018 - 7:00pm
Web - I reckon your name makes you partisan!
They merely wait until you are asleep or not looking so that they can pounce. Everyone knows that.
opher goodwin Added Nov 29, 2018 - 7:02pm
Katharine - I know I should like spiders. They are very useful. I am an entomologist. Arachnids are not that different - but they are. Insects are beautiful - spiders are distilled evil.
phobias are not rational.
opher goodwin Added Nov 29, 2018 - 7:06pm
James - I am fully aware of their usefulness and place in the ecology of the planet but that does not help with the illogicality of my phobia. I find them threatening and they always generate a fear in me. It isn't rational.
opher goodwin Added Nov 29, 2018 - 7:08pm
Face - it is 100% true - just as it happened, seared into my mind.
I think it was the most frightening experience of my life.
I can only hope that the bully was as traumatised by what happened as much as the rest of us were. My recollection is that he was as horrified as we were and regretted what he had done.
I think my friend recovered. He was back out a week later and never, ever mentioned it.
opher goodwin Added Nov 29, 2018 - 7:09pm
Jeff - leave the disturbed child to his delusions. He's a victim.
opher goodwin Added Nov 29, 2018 - 7:10pm
Stone - I wouldn't mind a house full of fat geckos!
James Travil Added Nov 29, 2018 - 7:12pm
If you want to see a bug that is pure evil Google the Asian Giant Hornet. Some highlights (lowlights?): They swarm and mass attack anything they perceive as a threat to their territory. Even a single sting can cause permanent scars because their poison is acidic and literally eats holes in their victims. Multiple stings can cause cascade organ failure and death. The Asian Giant Hornet hunts down honeybees, Invading hives and decapitating honeybees with their saber like pinchers. Overall they are an invasive species that is expanding their territory as they are actually thriving due to climate change. Pure evil. 
opher goodwin Added Nov 29, 2018 - 7:15pm
James - there are many things that are deadly, vicious and mean but they do not generate fear in me like a relatively harmless house spider does. I've approached tiger snakes, rattlers and cobras with no fear but spiders fill me with anxiety.
it is illogical.
Bill H. Added Nov 29, 2018 - 7:54pm
Jeff - most of us have shut off our Ryan feed
Qasim Raza Added Nov 30, 2018 - 3:19am
Interesting observations...
Neil Lock Added Nov 30, 2018 - 4:24am
I agree with James that spiders are good. Last year, a spider spun its web just inside my (fairly narrow) open bedroom window. I didn't get a single wasp in at 5am (usually a regular occurrence) all summer!
opher goodwin Added Nov 30, 2018 - 4:31am
Bill/Jeff - always best to ignore an annoying irritation. If you scratch it then it can become a scabby itch.
opher goodwin Added Nov 30, 2018 - 4:34am
Qasim - I often wonder what it is about spiders that creates such a phobic response in so many people. Snakes and spiders seem to generate a response in many people. Is there some racial memory that goes right back to our early evolution in Africa. Chimps seem to share that fear.
opher goodwin Added Nov 30, 2018 - 4:36am
Neil - I know on one level that spiders are great - an important constituent of the food web - but it doesn't stop me reacting to them.
Flying Junior Added Nov 30, 2018 - 4:42am
I feel bad because we just tented our entire church.  Of course we had to do it with termites in all of the beams and arches.  Another fifty years of it and we would surely have to condemn the building.  The ceiling is fifty feet high.  The sanctuary is one hundred and forty feet long.  It was one helluva tent.  I guess it must have cost at the least $12,000 USD.
But what broke my heart was thinking about all of the innocent church spiders.  I thought of some of Dickens' less celebrated Christmas tales which talked in depth about the old church spiders living so long undisturbed in the joists and beams of the Carillons and Belfries.  Now the entire space is as sterile as Mars.  I could probably keep cookies in with my organ music for a couple of years.

opher goodwin Added Nov 30, 2018 - 5:32am
FJ - sad indeed - not so much for the spiders, for which I feel no affinity - but for all the poor insects that had made it their home and were slaughtered by chemical warfare.
Webmaster Added Nov 30, 2018 - 6:09am
Opher, you made me smile and laugh. You`ve got a nice sense of humour. Surely my nickname has so much in common with the heroes of your post! I did not know spiders attack men just for fun as I read they use to defend from larger beings but not to chase them.
Flying Junior Added Nov 30, 2018 - 6:17am
We had two black widows in the house recently.  That's no laughing matter.  Fortunately they are quite calm if you can sneak up on them.  They both lived in spider webs.  One was in the garage fairly out-of-the-way.  The other was living right in the kitchen cabinet.  They are basically peaceable creatures.  But their venom can be deadly.

Stone-Eater Added Nov 30, 2018 - 7:55am
I often wonder what it is about spiders that creates such a phobic response in so many people. 
The way they look, perhaps ? And then you got these women afraid of mice. I mean, mice, hello ?? These nice littly furry animals ? I guess some humans are just wrongly wired.
wsucram15 Added Nov 30, 2018 - 8:59am
Well I can answer the spider phobia thing.  They are really ugly, some get really big, some are poisonous or both.  My BF got bit by something about a year or so before I met him while he was asleep.  He woke up and his leg was swollen and sore. 
He didn't think anything of it and went to work.  Later that afternoon, his leg was purple and had an open sore on it.  He was taken to the clinic where they told him he mad been bitten by something and needed to be seen at the ER.  He did not go until the next day and he lost part of the flesh to his leg.  It was a brown recluse that bit him and they had to spray and respray the house many times.   He said it took awhile for the leg to heal. 
He still has a long scar from that and there is something weird about being bit again and the antidote.  So yeah, he hates spiders.
I know another guy who got bit by a recluse on the hand, they did several surgeries to make the hand functional.   Very small spider and dangerous.
I have strong commercial chemicals I use.....kill em all.
opher goodwin Added Nov 30, 2018 - 9:13am
Web - although some people they are pleasant creatures and useful members of the food chain - I know different. They are extrusions of evil from a fourth dimension sent to establish a beachhead for the invasion. The real beings are twenty five metre high versions. If we don't fight off the vanguard I'm afraid we'll all find ourselves stuck to a giant web. Are you sure you're not part of the conspiracy? Your name kinda gives it away!
opher goodwin Added Nov 30, 2018 - 9:14am
FJ - I encountered a few of those in California. Strangely they do not bother me the same. It isn't the dangerousness that affects me - it's the big hairy ones that scare me.
opher goodwin Added Nov 30, 2018 - 9:15am
Stone - I think part of it is the way they run about and the unpredictability. I'm OK if they're in a web.
opher goodwin Added Nov 30, 2018 - 9:17am
Jeanne - I know those spiders can be deadly. But for me it is the way they scurry about. They scare the shit out of me. It is irrational because it has nothing to do with how poisonous they are.
Stone-Eater Added Nov 30, 2018 - 9:18am
Really, I don't know.....there is no animal I know I'd be afraid of except lions and stuff. So I can't really figure out why some people are afraid and others not.
Ward Tipton Added Nov 30, 2018 - 9:19am
I like the spiders that eat the skeeters, though I do believe the bats ... the flying mice ... are much more efficient. 
I love a little Iron Butterfly from time to time ... and there is this one really awesome, brightly copper colored damselfly ... maybe a pair of them I see from time to time in my yard ... frackin beautiful coloring ... bright copper and shiny colored. 
opher goodwin Added Nov 30, 2018 - 10:20am
Stone - it could be that childhood experience or some racial memory - I don't know.
opher goodwin Added Nov 30, 2018 - 10:21am
Ward - insexts are awesome. I love 'em. They are beautiful.
Ward Tipton Added Nov 30, 2018 - 11:13am
No thoughts on Iron Butterfly? 
Ryan Messano Added Nov 30, 2018 - 11:20am
I think a black widow biting Badlose would be very good for him, though it might kill the black widow.  It might put some sense in Badlose.
Bill H. Added Nov 30, 2018 - 11:40am
Ward -
Webmaster Added Nov 30, 2018 - 12:09pm
Opher, you made my evening as you make so much fun indeed! Very nice, I will be ready for invasion and now I realized I am the little element of their terrible conspirative plan! But how can you explain the folk omen telling if the spider settles at home some money will come to the home`s owner too? As for me I do not kill ones but put them in the empty coffee jar and transfer to the street or let them stay so to make money come to me.
Ryan Messano Added Nov 30, 2018 - 12:24pm
Hey friends, this is a comment from Gerrileas post.  I thought it would be edifying.  Toodles!
Liberals are lazy and uninformed. Jeffrey is no exception. They compensate for their lack of intellect, which is a common trait of the lazy, as ‘Genius is an Infinite capacity for taking pains’, with impudent and belligerent pride.

They don’t know what they don’t know, and will force their stupid and nonsensical ideas down the throat of a protesting society by banding together with fellow ignoramuses. There are at least 22 liberals and RINOS on WB, and their combined corruption and ignorance makes it very tough for the truth to be heard and accepted. Until you put them in their place, they will constantly, like Jeffrey, launch impertinent attacks. Now, these loons are contenting themselves with calling me a loon, and imitating Athens, giving me an ostracism. Lol. Good luck with that.
opher goodwin Added Nov 30, 2018 - 1:25pm
Ward - Yeah - I love Iron Butterfly too. One of the first of the heavies.
opher goodwin Added Nov 30, 2018 - 1:27pm
Web - Lol - that is the fake news that they are putting out ahead of the invasion - a softening up exercise to confuse and encourage people to accept them in where they can lurk and report. Don't fall into the web Web.
Ryan Messano Added Nov 30, 2018 - 2:30pm
Badlose is hilarious!
Ryan Messano Added Nov 30, 2018 - 3:27pm
Note to the reader.
Watch Badlose and his wicked liberal friends evil machinations.   They are full of hatred and evil, and the supreme form of hatred is to ignore the truth, which practice these corrupt charlatans have been engaged in for years.
Don’t be deceived by their nonsense, the truth is, they know they can’t win an honest debate, and so all 22 debauched RINOS and liberals band together on WB.
They sound harmless to Americans who have no standards, but that’s not the truth.   What Badlose, Bill H. And company engage in here is a grown up version of the temper tantrums they pitched as kids.
opher goodwin Added Nov 30, 2018 - 3:49pm
I leave these up so people can see the childish mentality of the immature twerp.
FacePalm Added Nov 30, 2018 - 4:21pm
Ever hear of a fella named Victor Gribennikov?
Your being an entomologist reminded me of this guy, who allegedly used insect parts to create an anti-grav device.
Ryan Messano Added Nov 30, 2018 - 4:37pm
Oh my, Badlose, Denial is not just a river in Egypt.  You’ve got help, though,
the libertine Facepalm, who sez Solomon doesn’t know what he’s talking about when he said ‘open rebuke is better than secret love’, is badly deluded too.  Facepalm makes you look good, Badlose, because at least you don’t quote scripture at people while being a lustful pervert.
The Burghal Hidage Added Nov 30, 2018 - 5:33pm
Damn! theres that stench again!
opher goodwin Added Nov 30, 2018 - 6:06pm
Face - I've never heard of him. I'll look with interest. 
opher goodwin Added Nov 30, 2018 - 6:10pm
Face - I'm not sure about antigravity from insects. Hmmm - but obviously bumblebees are not aerodynamically able to fly. Maybe they use antigravity? I always thought they ran along the ground and used mirrors to project their image up in the air - the buzz being the sound of their tiny feet.
opher goodwin Added Nov 30, 2018 - 6:12pm
Burger - I know. You'd think he'd be embarrassed. Obviously lacks the intelligence and sensitivity to be self-aware.
Ryan Messano Added Nov 30, 2018 - 6:19pm
Umm, the severe censure of the wicked is part of my job, in receiving and administering it.
Id be nervous if TBH and Badlose agreed with me.
The Burghal Hidage Added Nov 30, 2018 - 7:11pm
You cant even agree with your own shadow. You cast a long shadow, but you are a teeny weeny boy. There, youve been abused, now go massage your urine soaked panties until your little mangina swells up and spunks up a couple drops 
John Minehan Added Nov 30, 2018 - 9:33pm
When I was in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia back in 1990-'91, I recall scorpions the size of small lobsters.  I had become somewhat used to (smaller) scorpions you would always see on the sidewalk while walking to work at FT Huachuca.
Spiders just don't have the same impact after that . . . .
Mr. Vengeance Added Dec 1, 2018 - 4:13am
That's actually a litmus test of sorts with me; if she likes spiders, fuck her and keep fucking her; if she hates spiders, fuck her and get rid of her, lol.
Spiders are important members of just about every ecosystem, not to mention the fact that they are cool as fuck. I've had spiders that were smarter than many humans I've known; certainly better engineers, lol.
Flying Junior Added Dec 1, 2018 - 4:18am
Just ignore Ryan

opher goodwin Added Dec 1, 2018 - 4:28am
John - I like scorpions. I used to collect them in Spain. They are fun. They don't scurry about with evil intent like spiders.
opher goodwin Added Dec 1, 2018 - 4:31am
Michael - I've never known anyone use spiders as a reason for forming longer term relationships before.
How did you carry out the test?
Yes I have to admit they are an important element in food webs. That doesn't excuse them. And their intelligence just makes matters worse. They scheme with evil intent.
Mr. Vengeance Added Dec 1, 2018 - 5:04am
@ Opher - You'd have a hard time where I'm at. If I left my place completely unattended for about a week or so, I wouldn't be a bit surprised to come back to find my pad encapsulated in silk, with a message on the front door:
"Dear Michael B. We've taken over. Come on in (heh heh)!
the Spiders"
opher goodwin Added Dec 1, 2018 - 5:56am
Michael - that sounds like my idea of a nightmare. Where is that? I'll take care to avoid it.
The only spiders I like are the Spiders From Mars.
Mr. Vengeance Added Dec 1, 2018 - 6:06am
Spiders From Mars. Funny, I've been listening to a lot of Queen lately, which leads me to reveal a dirty little secret...I like some of Bowie's stuff, too, lol. Like almost everybody, it's always their early work that I like the most. Very good Opher...unlike others here, I'm always happy to divert the topic onto other cool things, lol.
Ward Tipton Added Dec 1, 2018 - 7:48am
Peter Townsend also said that you gotta give some love to Boris!
opher goodwin Added Dec 1, 2018 - 7:59am
Michael - that Spiders from Mars period was the best I reckon. Bowie was sporadic.
opher goodwin Added Dec 1, 2018 - 8:01am
Ward - Who??
I don't know about giving him some love. That track was laden with the evil I'll associate with spiders.
A great track BTW.
Mr. Vengeance Added Dec 1, 2018 - 8:18am
Opher, I can't hold it back any longer. One of my first boob and ass kneading sessions was with a normally lesbian woman twice my age, with Ziggy Stardust et al as the soundtrack, so it's safe to say I'll always be a (low-level) fan, lol.
opher goodwin Added Dec 1, 2018 - 6:44pm
Michael - I can understand how you would be hooked for life. Association is a powerful thing.