Thursday, 15 July 2010

The Members of My Household

Although I officially live alone, I actually share my home with a number of other beings (not counting the ones in my head, or even the alien invader ones, who are lurking somewhere behind the skirting board). I'm talking about bugs. Specifically spiders.

For a long time now, I've done my best to stick to the adage "Live and let live". This is partly because I understand the fact that everything has it's own place in Mother Nature's cycle of life (e.g. the food chain), partly because I am doing my best to adhere to the Buddhist/Taoist (and now Dudeist!) teachings that all life (no matter how small or apparently insignificant) every creature should be treated with respect as a fellow inhabitant of the Earth - fair enough so far.

But it's also because I firmly believe in Karma and, even if I didn't give a damn about respecting life blah blah blah, I do allow for the possibility, however slight, that for every spider I kill, that spider's body weight will be added to the overall weight of THE GIANT SPIDER THAT WILL COME FOR ME TO AVENGE THE DEATH OF ALL THOSE GONE BEFORE IT!

Lastly (and probably the most convincing to me) it's the purely practical reason that they make such a splurgy mess when you squash them. Yuk. When I was growing up, if I had a spider in my room, my mother would instruct one of my two older brothers to come and get rid of it for me. Being older, and being boys, they would first of all ask me why it bothered me? Being younger, and a girl, I knew with a certainty that the spider was going to wait until I was in my bed, and then come and crawl all over me - what more did they need to know? It didn't matter that it was too small to hurt me - that just meant it was small enough to crawl into my ear! Duh! The solution, according to both my brothers, was to squash it. Splatt. On my lovely bedroom wallpaper. Which was embossed with a thread-thin line. Which meant that I was inevitably left to clean bits of spider off my wallpaper with a pin unless I wanted to have a constant reminder of the eight-legged one to stare at.

Obviously the numerous occasions on which I had to perform the pin task left me with absolutely no psychological damage whatsoever, none at all (SPIDERS! GIANT SPIDERS! CHASING ME!......arghhhhh!), nada.

In my last place, I used to get really big wolf spiders appearing regularly. They disappeared with the exact same regularity, under a large dictionary, which would suddenly appear above them, nanoseconds before I let go of it. I had perfected the technique, protecting the cover of the dictionary by cleverly inserting a piece of paper between it and the target.

All that's behind me now, though. In my current home, all spiders are called "Henry", and are proactively encouraged to stick to the two designated "spider" areas of the house. These two areas are: 1/. the space between the wall and my central heating boiler, which is quite a sizable gap, and which is also home to slaters - which I like to think make a nice, juicy meal for the spiders (this helps to keep the slater population to a minimum - I hate slaters more than spiders, but they die fairly quickly if left alone - they're pretty stupid!), and 2/. the third rung of the wooden ladder which leads to my attic. This space is reserved for the tiny, black "money" spiders, which I've been brought-up to believe are lucky (!), and are too tiny to really be anything except funny. I don't like having them in my bathtub though. This tends to be a favourite place of theirs, so I tell them that they have to shift to their designated ladder rung - or else! They run around the bath going -
 "I'm scared by your warning, but can't get out, so I'll panic instead! arghhhh".

Alternatively, the brave ones will act nonchalant, and swagger up the side of the tub, till they hit maximum velocity/angle and slide back down, all the while going -

 "So? What you gonna do about it?",

- while swinging their six-pack of bluebottles.This tends to be just before my HUGE, PINK FEATHER DUSTER (relatively speaking, of course - I don't actually have a giant feather duster, but it is pink, looks very pretty when sitting passively in the corner waiting to transport the next spider. It's crap for dusting though, keeps leaving pink feathers any time I dust with it. My solution to this is to only use it sparingly and keep dusting to a minimum - works for me!) SWOOPS DOWN ON IT!

No, I don't kill them anymore. Just leave them traumatised and telling their spider mates stories about THE GIANT PINK THING that brought them to this new land of ladder.

Hmmm......hadn't thought about it that way before. But at least they're still alive to tell the tale, so my Karma rating should be evens on that one, I think................!



Hey sorry to hear about your bug problem! It happens to alot of people. In regards to your comment on my blog, I usally take recent phots from some of the hot sopts that are listed in my blog roll. I get permission first and often write the source of each photot. I have been lazy for this past month but its always important to state where you get your image from. I also have a disclaimer about the photos i post as well.

Brand New Day said...

Wow!You must work really hard - your photos are great! Thanks for the info, and for following me - much appreciated! (btw, the spiders aren't really a problem - I live in the Scottish countryside, so bugs are part of the territory!

Anji said...

I hoover them up. So it's not actually me that kills them.

Brand New Day said...

Hahaha!passing-on the responsibility to inanimate household objects - like it!(as an ordained Dudeist priest I don't think I can condone it tough - also, spiders can survive for a long time in hoover bags, so still a worry!)

Alistair said...

My answer: Develop a spider-trap-bird-feeder to use, in conjunction with the pink duster thingy. In this way, you will not only rid yourself of the "octopedal-menace", but you'll also keep the birds happy as well. (A little known fact is that birds love eating spiders because: a) They are the food of birds and b) Birds usually have more than one chick, which means that when they eat spiders, everybody can have a leg)!