Sunday, September 5, 2010

Effing Spiders

I'm a big girl. It's hard to scare me. 

Two lingering fears are the fear of spiders and of evil, because the first realistic nightmares I remember from childhood are of spiders (of course) and Darth Vader. So, imagine my chagrin when I step out onto the back porch tonight and hear this sound... it sounds like mechanical breathing... rhythmic and dangerous. And then I begin to make out the voice. "Luke...." it whispers... "Luke, I am your father..."

I look up, and there dangles a spider--a spider so large that it is not even a spider anymore: it is Shelob, from Lord of the Rings, blocking your voyage to Mordor. Anything that big, with that many legs, a body made of riveted metal plates and vents, should be wearing a cape and a light saber and asking you to join the"Dark Side."

I want to be able to stand on the back porch and not have to stare at Shelob the whole time to make sure she isn't trying to get her pincers into me. The reason I don't kill her is nothing to do with being a nature lover (although I think nature is a good idea) or any sort of empathy with Shelob. Rather, it's a misplaced sense of concern for my karma.

This is not my first encounter with spiders; I once opened my front door at an old apartment and came face to face with an orange, fuzzy monstrosity just inches from my face. (I stepped on it, pretty sure I heard the sound of bones crunching beneath my Adidas.) So why do they follow me? Why don't they go bother some biologist with a twisted list of hobbies? And more importantly, what state in our great nation has the lowest population of spiders and an available apartment?