I have arachnophobia. Not just common or garden arachnophobia, mind you. My fear extends to anything vaguely spider-esque. If it walks like a spider and quacks like a spider, it’s probably going to cause icicles of dread to form on my testicles. A couple of weeks ago I nearly dislocated my shoulder and ruined a perfectly good pair of jeans when I encountered a large dust-bunny under the bed during a toy-retrieval exercise. Rubber spiders work really well on me.
Oddly enough, if I know for certain that the scuttling (or hairy) thing isn’t arachnoid in nature, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. For example, a roach running across the floor may cause an initial squawk of horror (and temporary shutdown of my central nervous system), but once I’ve identified it correctly, my vision clears and I can set about planning a search-and-destroy mission.
As luck would have it, I have a tiny spider living in the frame of my garage door. It could easily fit on my fingernail and there would still be space for a whole chorus line of pin-dancing angels, so it isn’t exactly terrifying. Nevertheless – every morning, when I put my key in the lock, this eight-legged sadist dashes out from hiding and scares me silly. This is why I’m always jittery in the traffic. Who needs coffee?
I suppose I could ‘take care’ of the Lurking Garage Monster, but I am reluctant to do so. Apart from the useful niche that my diminutive tormentor occupies in the food chain, I have the niggling fear that word may get out and Big Momma Spider (with venomous fangs and a penchant for human flesh) may drop in one night for some payback.