Anyone who knows me know that though I put on a pretty tough act, very few things freak me out more than spiders. I find them interesting, I like to look at them from afar and examine them in glass cages, but please keep them out of my room. During a recent evening, I was Skyping with my boyfriend in my room. All was well until he stopped talking and appeared to be looking quite intently over my right shoulder. After a brief hesitation he said, “There is a giant spider on your wall.”
At first I thought he was joking and just trying to freak me out. I looked just behind me at the space just above my pillow. No spider. “Are you joking?” I said, turning around. When I saw the expression on his face, it was very clear that he was very serious.
I turned back around and slowly brought my gaze up the wall. About a meter above my right shoulder was one of the biggest spiders I have ever had the displeasure of seeing. It has a body about the size of a quarter with big, spindly legs. Embarrassingly, I proceeded to shriek and jump behind my computer. At this point, my boyfriend was proceeding to completely crack-up on my computer screen. Spiders are hilarious when you aren’t actually in the room….
Realizing that I was alone to defend myself against the spider, I quickly jumped out of bed, muttering profanities quite loudly the whole time. Knowing I needed to arm myself with something lethal, I grabbed a hefty weapon: my Birkenstock sandal. Really not wanting to go any farther towards the spider than was needed, I decided to risk throwing my shoe at the spider, knowing there was a risk it would only be startled and climb under my bed. This would have obviously led to an immediate evacuation of the room. I wound up and threw the shoe at full force at the spider on the wall.
Bam! I hit the spider full on (this was quite impressive, I must say, given the distance from which I threw the sandal). The spider landed in a crumbled ball on the floor, at which point I continued to wack at it with my shoe. Convinced it was dead, I returned to Skyping, albeit with continuous glances over my right shoulder.
Since then, I have continued to meet creepy crawlies including quite small biting spiders, lizards, and all manner of bugs. I highly doubt much will frighten me more than that fateful first encounter with a giant spider in Ghana.
Knock on wood….