~ Trigger Alert ~
I know that I’ve talked about phobias before, we all have them, but I’m sure that we’ll agree that when it comes to the bugs and beasties of this world then it is not truly phobia, especially when it comes to the most terrifying and dangerous planet companion, the arachnid. I just don’t like them. Nuhuh. And they are dangerous. Very.
See? Perfectly rational.
And I’m not scared of them, I just don’t like them. And have a healthy respect for their dangerous-ness.
Maybe it’s the way I was raised. All bugs, beasties and whatevers were dangerous, probably fatally so, a hazard to health and sanity. Avoid them. Scream like a hyperactive car alarm on encounter. Consider your life over when they take up dwelling with you. If all else fails, jump on a chair, flap your arms and refuse to ever, ever, ever come down again.
It works. No?
We don’t have too many freaky beasties in residence. Fortunately. Maybe it’s because we’re on the first floor, maybe it’s because of the age or style of the building. I don’t know. But I don’t question it. I am rather grateful.
I do get rather bemused when I look out of my (first floor) kitchen window to find a snail gambolling across its panes. Why snails suddenly take it upon themselves to scale buildings, I can’t fathom. And despite having never seen a woodlouse in the flat before, bemused doesn’t quite cover how I felt when I found a dead one in my kitchen cupboard the other week. There are spiders too. Usually of the freakingly huge variety. My husband laughs when I scream for rescue. I laugh at the pathetic big-girl’s-blouse whimper-cum-wail-cum-scream that he’s developed for such encounters. The worst was the night we discovered that there was one on the back of the closed bedroom door. We were coming to the conclusion that we’d have to climb out of the bedroom window.
And mosquitos, don’t get me started on mosquitos. We’re not too plagued here, except in the communal hallway where we have a year-long population of the beasts along with most other varieties of bug life. Including some very unusual species of moth. One lone mosquito in the night, circling the room, that high-pitched whine. They pitch to the most primal part of our psyche, to the terrified, insecure and immature ego of Freudian gobbledygook. On holiday as a child, despite the nets in the windows and the machine in the plug, there was always a mosquito. One lone mosquito circling overhead like the early aerial bombarders, a one-note drone descending from out of the clouds. I’d end up with the sheet wrapped up over my head, shroud-like, in some desperate bid for safety. I also took to hitting the bites with the back of a hairbrush, I’m not quite sure of the science behind this but I firmly believed in it.
But we do have other residents. Some authorities on the matter state that they are the sign of a clean house. Others insist that they are the sign of a dirty house. One day my husband will reassuringly tell me that they are sign of a clean house. Other days he feels that it’s proof of my absent housekeeping skills. As he usually only believes that these beasties are the sign of a clean house when things are in a complete shambles and vice versa, I believe him less than I do the voices of authority.
I am not talking about cockroaches. I can deal with cockroaches. Well, in other places. There may be an entire freak-down if they decide they want to be my flatmates. May or will? Hm. Anyway, I have encountered them before. When my father was in one of the big London hospitals, he told us that you didn’t dare go to the bathroom in the night without slippers on because you’d crunch across all the cockroaches. Ni-ice. We’ve met a few on holiday. My father and I perfected the ‘don’t-tell-your-mother’ strategy and teenage-me would be sent to reception to negotiate. A large wadge of loo paper was once offered as a generous cure-all. We weren’t overly impressed. We didn’t think the mother would have been either, especially not as the loo paper plan would involve hunting, chasing and contact.
These beasties live on my bathroom floor. One is sometimes found in the bedroom. They slink and scurry. They’re creepy. And they freak me out. I stand there two-year-old like, scrunching my skirts to knee level in clammy hands, toes curled up, all at once revolted, disgusted and terrified but yet still fascinated, riveted. I wail out for my husband to come and rescue me. He yells back some platitude which I, of course, in my superior wisdom, do not believe. I tell him that they’re going to bite me. They bite, I know. I can tell by the way that they’re looking at me. There was a whole three of them at once the other night, slinking in the grooves of the bathroom floor tiles. Some of them have revoltingly big, black heads. I saw one once which was completely dark. An entire freak-down is called for.
My husband would like to me to explain that as a mature, male specimen of the human race that he is in no way afraid of small beasties like spiders despite what I may have indicated in this post. He thinks that all bugs and beasties including spiders are fascinating things. However he apparently just does not like it when the aforementioned eight-legged freak chooses to sprint in an uncontrolled manner directly at him. Which is what they do. Particularly the freakingly huge varieties.