Saturday, 16 July 2011

Spiders Can Shit Off

My cousin is picking them off a web-ridden paddling pool in the shed, prior to loading said pool into his car. Not little ones mind, massive fuck-off ones with Hulk Hogan legs.

No. Just. No

"There you go, little buddy," he says as it scuttles up his arm and he plucks it off, laying it considerately on my car windscreen. I'm hanging onto my gorge while pretending to be cool, knowing I've helped him carry it, and that there are strands of gossamer all over my hands and face and that the chances of one of those hessian-backed gorgons not being about my person somewhere are practically nil. My skin is quite literally crawling, and I leave him rescuing more on the driveway and stumble ashen-faced into the kitchen, spitting drily and doing that panicky thing where you look over each shoulder in turn and brush repetitively with your hands wherever you can't see.

As I make him a coffee, my cover is blown. There's a hairy tickle on my neck, as the fugitive departs the well of my collar-bone, where he has been harbouring as an illicit arachnid passenger, now seeking the safety of higher ground, via my neck and blanched cheek.

"YEEEEARRRRRRCHH!" I scream. I say scream, it was more a sort of ululating death-cry, such as popularised by the film 'Zulu'. There aren't really enough caps or vowels on my keyboard to do it full justice.

Even in that emotional state though, and with the barest nod toward masculinity, I resolve not to jab blindly, but to try and pluck it off in that same casual way, but my hand refuses to soften and it squishes between my thumb and forefinger. Squishes! Oh, don't make me describe that feeling of bristly succulence as it's lifeblood vents on the webbing between thumb and finger, leaving a dark ichor glistening dully there, under the kitchen spotlights. The poor chap falls to the linoleum, fatally crippled, and I'm scrubbing my hands in the washing-up bowl like the Lord High Emperor of OCD.

"What was that?" he says, tramping in moments later with his spider hands and gossamer face.

"Oh nowt," I say, palpitating shallowly with an outstretched mug of cappuccino and kicking its twisted corpse under the table. "Kids, probably. Upstairs. Tch."

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