The One That Got Away (Not For Arachnophobes)

7 Feb
Spiderman In Technicolor

Image by Cayusa via Flickr


The scene: I was living in South Africa; visiting a friend; our husbands were working; neither of us had children then, but Julie did have a little dog called Pepi. 

Julie and I had eaten some of her scrummy food; had a good natter; drunk a little wine.  We sat together on her couch, watching a bit of tv.  The whole night, Pepi had been sniffing and scratching under and around the couch.

I went to the loo.  When I came back, Julie had moved the couch to see what Pepi was after – she said.  I saw the massive joke spider on the floor and laughed.  Pepi was sniffing at it. 

Julie: Why are you laughing?

Me: That’s a rubbish trick spider.

Julie: It’s real!

Me (laughing): Yeah, right.

Julie: It’s real; I swear. 

And to prove it, she took a telephone directory and threw it at the ‘spider’.  The book landed on the floor next to it and the ‘whump!’ of air made it fly up and land again, like a hairy frog.  It was obviously plastic.  Laughing really hard at Julie’s feeble attempt to scare me, I walked up to the spider and leaned down to pick it up, and that’s when it ran straight at me.

Julie screamed; I screamed; Pepi screamed; and all three of us jumped up onto the chairs, fidgeting and yelling like two women and a dog terrified of the biggest spider we’d ever seen.

Fortunately for us it was a Red Roman and they like to follow shadows, so it ran under the bottom of the front door and into the night.  We stayed on those couches for an hour; just to be sure.  Can you blame us?  Though they’re not poisonous, they eat mice.  We were skinny girls back then; you can’t be too careful.

14 Responses to “The One That Got Away (Not For Arachnophobes)”

  1. Marsha February 7, 2011 at 15:50 #

    It’s embarrassing to admit but I hate spiders to the point that just reading this article made me uncomfortabl. Which is ridiculous because it was very well-written and, erm, entertaining…in a frightening sort of way.


    • Tilly Bud February 7, 2011 at 18:01 #

      I appreciate you reading it; I know how awful that phobia can be. It’s why I put up the warning because there’s nothing worse than accidentally coming across something you hate.


  2. slpmartin February 7, 2011 at 17:08 #

    Oh my…now that’s a visual that just makes me laugh aloud!:-)


  3. flo February 7, 2011 at 18:42 #

    I’ve seen that spider in my house! Blimey they are big this year.


    • Tilly Bud February 8, 2011 at 11:01 #

      To misquote the great Crocodile Dundee: That’s not a spider! This (pulls tarantula from pocket) is a spider.

      Nice to have you back 🙂


  4. halfp1nt February 7, 2011 at 19:10 #

    I could visualise so clearly, and while I had a really good giggle, I also had a good shudder as someone with a very real phobia. It doesn’t help matters much that our house borders on a nature reserve and we get wolf spiders coming into the house.
    Picture a spider the size (yes, literally) the size of a side plate; one short, hysterically petrified woman and one geriatric Marmee who is half-blind with glaucoma and macular degeneration in both eyes! Not the most perfect of recipes for getting rid of them 😉


    • Tilly Bud February 8, 2011 at 10:59 #

      Oh you poor thing! You should have heeded the warning in the title, but well done for facing your fears.


  5. viewfromtheside February 7, 2011 at 20:06 #

    OK I screamed!


    • Tilly Bud February 8, 2011 at 10:58 #

      Then my work here is done.

      Your comment really tickled me. 🙂


  6. vivinfrance February 8, 2011 at 05:57 #

    Now I know why you’ree an arachnophobe. Fear is so often irrational, though real fear just the same.


    • Tilly Bud February 8, 2011 at 10:55 #

      Well I’m not quite that bad any more, given the Hub’s predilection for saving the big ugly brutes; but I never met a spider I didn’t carefully avoid.


  7. earlybird February 8, 2011 at 06:46 #

    What a horrible experience! I used to be petrified of spiders but I forced myself to overcome it when I was living in the middle of the countryside (which seems to crawl with them, particularly in the autumn) with two small kids. I still shuddered at this one though. brrrrrrrrrrrr


    • Tilly Bud February 8, 2011 at 10:53 #

      Familiarity breeds bravery with a cup (or fly spray). Well done for being a good mother 🙂


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