My spider hatred is well-documented on this blog. I honestly tried to not pass this phobia onto Annabel. Partly because I don’t want her to be afraid of anything, but mostly because I need someone to handle the spiders when Mike isn’t around. I have failed with Annabel, but there’s still hope for James. You all can tell me spiders are harmless (LIES), or make fun of my phobia all you want, but at least it’s a normal phobia and not, say, a fear of cotton.

Anyway, last night I joked to Mike, “Hey, Annie’s signs are working, I haven’t seen a spider in the house since they went up.” A couple hours later, Mike came over to where I was sitting on the couch. “Come with me, I have to show you something.” He walked me to our back door, where he was watching Rigby do her night-time doggy thing. “Look at that,” he pointed into the distance. My eyes searched around and then they locked on the biggest spider I have ever. seen.

Giant spider and web

Okay it wasn’t as big as the above spider, but seriously, it was enormous, and its web was even bigger. Its red, quarter-sized body will haunt my dreams. It is some kind of miracle that I didn’t scream bloody murder and wake up Annabel.

I looked at Mike, ready to get angry at him for making me look at a spider, when I realized that he was a bit freaked out. “That’s probably one of the biggest spiders I’ve ever seen, and I lived in Australia.”

Being rational, I strangle-shrieked, “You have to kill it! Kill it with fire!”

Normally Mike rolls his eyes at this sort of demand, but for once he agreed with me. While he went off to find his weapons, Rigby and I hopped up on the coffee table, because that felt like a logical thing to do. Also, I was holding the baby, and I want to tell you that I was protecting him but I’m pretty sure he was protecting me.

As Mike walked past me to do battle with the spider, he said, “If I’m not back in a minute, come help me.” Which was hilarious because if he wasn’t back in a minute, I was going to throw the children on my back andย run.

Rigby, James, and I stood on the table and waited…and waited…and then I noticed a lemony-fresh scent wafting in from the back door. “Wow,” I thought, “Bug spray has really upped its game in the fragrance department.” A moment later, Mike came back in and he did not look victorious.

“It better be dead. Is it dead? Tell me it’s dead.”

“Well, if by dead you meanย alive, and at the top of its web, pissed, then yes.”

“WHAT WHY! Is it some kind of bionic super-spider that can withstand that much bug spray? Oh my god, we have to move!”

“Oh…well, we didn’t have any bug spray. I shot at it with Pledge. The bright side is that the spider now smells lemony-fresh and its web is free of dust.”

I could see on his face that he was expecting me to laugh, like, “Oh, hahaha, you are so witty, what with your jokes about alive spiders that smell like cleaning fluid!” But no. All I could think about was the extremely large spider was now also extremely pissed, and it knows where we live. Then Mike, realizing that if he didn’t fix things quickly he would likely have to be up all night on Spider Watch (that’s a real job), said, “Don’t worry Heather, I’m sure that it’s dying a slow death right now.”

He’s obviously confused, because I am the one dying a slow death knowing that spider is still in my yard.