It is the first day of September, which means different things for different people.
For some, the start of September spells the end of summer. For others, the kids going back to school. The football transfer window closed yesterday too.
However, for me, September means one thing… spiders. I am sure they have a calendar and as soon as the month begins, all decide to invade our homes – supposedly to mate, but more likely to scare me.
Roll on October, when they disappear again, or die in the cold. Until then, I am going to live in an air-tight box, so no eight-legged being can make contact with me.
This is a photo of the wardrobe in my bedroom. There is something wrong with it – take a good look.
Can you see what the problem is?
How about now?
There is a huge spider web on the foot of the ITV Digital Monkey! There is only one place that huge spider webs come from, and that’s huge spiders. The thought of a spider in the bedroom terrifies me.
I really had to rid my bedroom of the spider. But how? I thought up the following solutions…
Catch the spider unaware. Come charging towards the wardrobe, tear the monkey from off the top, hopefully with the spider attached to it, and then stamp on the beast or spray it to death with Raid.
Risks: The spider may fall on my head or runaway.
Chances of success: Slim.
OUTSMART THE SPIDER
Outsmarting a spider is difficult. They are more intelligent than people give them credit for. Many a time I have been told “The spider is more scared of you, than you are of it”. This is an urban myth. Spiders are not scared of us. If they were, why would they stroll across our living rooms, flicking us the ‘V sign’, while we watch EastEnders? To follow this method, I would have to make a trap for the spider. Make the hunter become the hunted. To do this, I would catch a small woodlouse from the garden, to use as bait. The woodlouse would then be dropped onto the web. The spider, sensing a free breakfast, would run out of its hiding place, to devour the hero woodlouse. While it is doing this, I would spray it to death with Raid.
Risks: The spider would attack me as I dropped the woodlouse onto its bed. The spider would outsmart me. The spider would run away.
Chances of success: Slim
ASK MY DAD FOR HELP
Dads are great for helping to catch spiders. They are not scared of anything. This rule will change if I ever have a child. Claire’s Dad was the spider catcher when she lived with her parents, and whenever I needed a spider removed from my childhood home, my Dad would always be called upon. With my Dad paying a visit Saturday morning, he could be my hero and destroy the spider. NOTE: By calling my Dad a ‘hero’, I am not comparing him to a woodlouse, which I also referred to as a ‘hero’ in my earlier idea.
Risks: My Dad isn’t scared of spiders, so isn’t careful when catching the spider, and as a result, lets it run away.
Chances of success: Slim
While I hate spiders, I know that they are everywhere. Long before spotting the web, I am sure there are spiders in the bedroom. However, I have learnt to live with the philosophy “Out of sight, out of mind”. If I didn’t, I would be forced to live in a plastic bubble all my life. The spider is on top of the wardrobe. While up there, it isn’t going to run across the floor or crawl into bed with me. If I were to disturb it and the spider escaped, it could go anywhere.
In the end I went for the third idea – ASK MY DAD FOR HELP. My Dad is a tall man (so I have no idea why I am only 5 foot 5), but even he can’t see on top of the wardrobe. Using a stepladder, he observed the area, moved the monkey and cleaned up the web. No spider was found. This is kind of a relief, but I am still not convinced. As I said earlier, spiders are clever, not to mention fast. The spider almost certainly heard my Dad coming and made a run for it, long before he even made his ascent up the stepladder. I just hope it doesn’t attack me in the night, in a vicious act of revenge for destroying its web.
Oh, how things change. I remember one of my New Year’s Resolutions. I would blog every day. When was the last time I did that? Almost a month ago! A bloody month. It wasn’t for lack of blogworthy material, either…
A few Sundays ago, I experienced one of my worst horrors. Claire was on a day shift, so had left for work hours before I awoke from my slumber. As I crawled out of my pit, I noticed something on the end of the bed. It was a spider. A huge, black spider with big, hairy legs. It lay motionless; presumably, like me, enjoying a Sunday morning lie-in.
For what seemed like hours, but was probably mere seconds, I stared at the creature in absolute disbelief. When my brain woke up and I realised I wasn’t dreaming, and there was, in fact, a gert-maccy spider on the end of the bed, I got out of bed quicker than I ever have before, reaching for the spider spray I always keep close to the bed.
In the past, people have laughed at me for keeping bug repellent in the bedroom. I was accused of being paranoid. My over-cautious approach, which I had followed for over a decade, had finally paid off. I held the can of Raid in my hand and with one firm press of my index finger, unleashed chemical warfare on the spider.
The jets of poison from the aerosol, were more than enough to awaken the creature. It spread its long legs, like a lifeform from another planet, before running all over the duvet. It was horrible. I think the spider must have been half-asleep, as it appeared slower than the ones that sprint across the living room carpet, while you’re watching Coronation Street. It appeared almost intoxicated. Despite its slower, uncoordinated pace, the sight of the monster invading the very place where I rest disturbed me greatly.
The message on the aerosol promised to kill bugs in seconds. This was clearly a lie; as the spider, now becoming more awake and dangerous, looked to be flourishing, as opposed to lying on its back with its legs in the air. If the poison wasn’t going to kill the spider, maybe the metal can which contained it would be enough to end its reign of terror. Holding the top of the can, in a tight, clenched fist, and using all my strength, I smashed the makeshift weapon onto the spider. Instead of resulting in a a mess of broken, twisted legs and spider guts, the can broke apart in my hand. I was left with the plastic rim of the canister, while the metal aerosil was flung across the bedroom.
The spider remained on the bed. At this point, it was mocking me. If it was large enough for me to be able see its mouth, I would no doubt see laughter on its face. In a mad fit of rage, I picked up the aerosol can hit the spider with it. I hit it hard and accurately. The creature which had scared me so much seconds earlier lay motionless on the bed. I hit it again… and again. I had to ensure that I had fully completed ‘the job’. The spider was dead.
I was still fearful of the creature, even in its death. Although frozen and crippled, the thought that it would suddenly spring back into life and start running around again, would not leave my head. I left the bedroom and was able to find a glass, which I placed over the body. Taking care to ensure the dead spider did not fall off the bed or worse, onto my hand, I transferred the small, but scary, carcass from the duvet, into the bottom of the glass. The spider stayed in the glass for most of the day. I don’t know why I kept it. Possibly to assure myself that it really was dead. Later that night I disposed of the body. I considered many methods on how to get rid of it, and eventually came to the decision the safest, from my point of view, and most respectful, for the spider, was to flush it down the toilet.
While arriving home from a long day in Essex, watching Bath City (which I’ll come onto later), we were greeted by someone waiting for us outside our front door. Admittedly, I didn’t notice them until I had gone into the house and turned the light on. Our guest was far from welcome and gave me a huge fright! A huge, black spider was crawling up our front door. I did what any man would do in this situation – scream for his wife. Claire screamed back, asking where “the jar” was, so we could capture it. Whenever “the jar” comes out in our house, you know there’s a spider about. I don’t remember its original purpose, but it is big enough to hold a large quantity of spaghetti, so hopefully sufficient to contain any spider that resides in this country.
Frozen to my spot, I was unable to be of much help, so Claire ran past the spider – something she was scared of doing and understandably so – before collecting the jar from the bathroom. During her time upstairs, the spider had begun to reach the top of our door and was millimetres away from entering our house! At this point, I panicked and slammed the door shut, as hard as I could. The neighbours must have wondered what on earth was going on, with slamming doors and screams coming from our house. The problem with me locking the spider outside was that Claire’s car door was left open, as in her haste to assist with capturing the beast, had dropped everything else she was doing. She told me to open up the door, to which I refused. I knew what was behind the door – a very big, very pissed off and probably very hungry spider. Claire was getting angry at this point, which, on hindsight I can see why. Had her car been stolen, it would have resulted in a very embarrassing telephone call to the insurance company, given the reason behind the car doors being open and exposed to thieves. She opened the front door herself. The spider was still there – quite remarkable, really, considering the force of which I had slammed the door shut. If our house had been built with a chimney, it would almost certainly of fallen off. That was one strong spider! She caught it in a jar, which caused it to go berserk, before letting it go a safe distance up our street and ensuring it ran off in the opposite direction of the house.
I would, at this point, say “all’s well, that ends well”, except this morning, while I was in bed, I heard Claire scream from downstairs. While she was sat on our sofa, enjoying a cup of tea, another spider had crawled onto her neck. Tea was spilt in the process and the jar was used again. This spider was considerably smaller than the one last night. In fact, the one last night would have eaten today’s like I eat Wotsits.
I did some research into what type of spider the one we saw last night was. To my horror, I learnt it was a Tube Web Spider (Google it, as I’m not putting its photo on here!). It is not native to this country, but is now becoming increasingly common. While its bite won’t cause you any serious harm, it is said to feel like a deep injection. If that spider had bitten me, I would have probably died of the shock… after soiling myself.
As I mentioned at the start of this blog, we were returning from watching Bath City. We had travelled to Essex to see them take on Harlow Town in the FA Cup. I groaned to myself when the draw was made – I hate going to Essex – mainly because we never win there! Yesterday was no exception. Harlow play two divisions below Bath City, when it comes to league football. However, so did East Thurrock, who we played last year, and they beat us 7-1.
I thought things wouldn’t be too bad, when we took the lead early on. I was surprised. Not just because we were winning in Essex, but because it was on one of those 3G pitches. Predictably, City sat back on their lead, as I have seen them do so many times in the past, along with Leeds United and the England national team. This resulted in Harlow equalising and then taking the lead themselves. Thinking to myself that it was just another one of those days, we managed to score and draw the game, which means we’re all off to Twerton Park on Tuesday night for a replay… and there was me, looking forward to watching Karl Pilkington’s new series that evening.
The more blogworthy events of Saturday’s trip was not the game itself, but the vile following of fans that Harlow have associated with them. I know it isn’t all of them, but it was a large contingent. Throughout the game all I could hear was “fuck” and “wanker”. I’m not against swearing (I occasionally swear, especially when playing GoldenEye against John and Simon) but to hear it constantly, directed towards us and our players in an aggressive manner was not nice at all – especially from a self-proclaimed “family club”. Then there was, what they would probably call “epic bantz” directed at us. Firstly “shit town in Bristol” (how original), followed by an awful joke of “somebody should pull the plug on you, Bath”. One of them embaressed themselves when another attempt at an insult failed terribly – “you have shit taps, Bath”. I won’t mention the drum their supporters beat throughout the match – long term readers of this blog will already know my views on those things. Something I haven’t seen before is a portable air raid siren, which they set off at random times during the game. At first I thought it was only reserved for goals, which, while annoying, would be understandable. However, to sound it off when the ball goes out for a throw-in is bizarre. Who uses an air raid siren these days, anyway? I know going to Essex is like stepping back in time to the 1940’s, but we don’t need the sounds from World War 2, while at a football match.
I realise that I haven’t blogged for a few days and have probably left you in suspense over Tescogate. I have forgotten where we left off. I told you I was sent out of date cheese. I was promised by Tesco, that a store manager would ring me to explain what has been going wrong. Despite not letting my mobile phone leave my sight all day, no telephone call was received. Great customer service! I contacted Tesco, who offered apologies in abundance (again). I was offered another telephone call, but at this point, I had reached the end of my patience and asked for a letter to be sent. Two days later, I found a letter on our doormat. It was from a Tesco ‘dotcom manager’. There was yet more apologies, although to their credit, a promise of what will be done in the future, to avoid repeat errors. Apparently, they have employed a ‘Customer Service and Loyalty Assistant’, who will personally check all our shopping. That is great if it works, and I am more than happy to give them the benefit of the doubt. Enclosed in the letter was a “gesture of goodwill”, in the form of a gift card. There was nothing to tell me how much had been placed onto the gift card, but when I tried to use it on the latest online shop, I was told the card was invalid. I will take the card with me next time I go to an actual Tesco shop, but at the moment, this gesture of goodwill is just an empty gift card. Wow. Thanks.
As anyone who is afraid of spiders will know, this is the time of year when they all come into our homes to mate with each other and kill us all. With this in mind, I am always on my guard while at home. One evening last week, we ate tomatoes for our evening meal. Not just tomatoes – that would be stupid – there was other stuff like cheese, bread… that’s not the point. Anyway, while tidying up after eating, I was taking the leftovers to the bin, when I looked down on my hand to see a large, black spider. I screamed like a big girl and threw all the rubbish on the floor. Claire came running out of the kitchen, before bursting into a fit of laughter, to an extent where she ended up with tears rolling down her face. My wife isn’t a cruel person, which makes the fact she was laughing at my distressing spider encounter strange. Claire was laughing at me, because it wasn’t a spider on my hand at all. It was, in fact, a tomato stork. In my defence, it was very dark green, large and had lots of spider-leg type bits sticking out of it. Plus most of the lights were turned off. It did look like a spider at the time! while Claire took time to compose herself; I picked up all the rubbish I had thrown onto the floor, in my fright; before putting it in the bin.
On this website, you’ll find me blogging (almost) daily about everyday life, living in Bath, working with computers, and the occasional bit of football stuff thrown in.
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