Invariably, conversations with my girlfriends always seem to come around to the same topic: “Which is worse, spiders or snakes?”
Okay, maybe not every conversation ends up here – but I have had this discussion many times. It’s like the girlie version of “Boxers or Briefs?”
From a moral standpoint, I would love to say that I am a friend to all creatures great and small, but both of these species creep me out completely, and when I say, “creep me out completely,” I am perhaps not properly conveying the kind of ridiculous shrieking and flailing about that is produced whenever I see either a spider or a snake. Just looking at pictures of them makes me nauseous. On a scientific level, of course, I love that there are researchers who devote their lives to studying these things.
But on a personal level, I want all snakes and spiders to die. Preferably, from at least two time zones away. And yesterday.
Some people just throw spiders and snakes into the same “yuck” boat; but those people are not bloggers with posts to fill. So just in time for Halloween, here is the Spiders or Snakes Smack-down, by category.
Invasion of Privacy
This one’s not even close. In 22 years of marriage, my husband has had to kill only 2 snakes on our property – and neither of them had ventured into the house. How many spiders have we killed? Their name is Legion, for they are many.
I would guess that we average 2-3 spiders per week in our house – and in the winter, that number goes up. If spiders would stay where they cotton-pickin’ belong (outside my home), we could establish some sort of understanding. But they insist on invading my space.
Years ago, a spider ran across my legs after I got into bed and now, nearly every night I do a “spider sweep,” lifting all the bedcovers up for a quick scan and eyeballing the ceiling and walls.
I’m not saying ease-of-spider-detection is the only reason I use only solid white sheets on our beds. But it’s one of the main ones.
This one’s a toughie. Some people would say that snakes just go around minding their own business – but those people would be wrong. What business could snakes possibly have? What do they produce? Do you ever see a snake slithering around with a box of Band-aids or a pair of jumper cables, trying to help people out? No, you do not. That’s because they are Up. To. No. Good.
At all times.
But spiders – spiders are like the ninjas of the animal kingdom. Why must they always dress only in dark colors? I’ll tell you why: Stealth. Why do they need 32 legs and the ability to dart in any direction at a second’s notice? Stealth. Why do they move at lightning speeds and swing on invisible ropes? Stealth.
What’s with all the stealthiness, spiders, hmmm? What are you hiding?
Worst: Eh – it’s a draw.
True story: the other day, I spotted a spider hanging off the tool shed. Thing was so enormous he could hardly even fit in his own web. As I stood there, heart thumping (not kidding), weighing my options, my fearless three-year-old started towards the spider to investigate, causing me to deliver the sort of scream that one normally reserves for those times when their child is toddling in front of a speeding train. (It worked: he stopped.)
The spider was dangling a good 18 inches away from the side of the shed, leaving no surface against which to squash him. He just hung there, taunting me, his gigantic lips curled into a sneer. If there’s anything worse than a huge spider dangling from your storage shed, it’s a huge spider who isn’t the slightest bit terrified of you, despite your significant size advantage. This spider was cocky, people.
Eventually I grabbed a shovel, whacked him to the ground, and then beat the crap out of the bark dust like a crazy person. I couldn’t even find the spider when I was done. I can only hope that I killed him, and that I won’t be hearing his cackle some night from a dark corner of my bedroom.
But at least I could dispatch him myself. Snakes? Not a chance in H-E-double-hockeysticks. The two times we’ve had snakes on our property, my husband had to fetch a shovel and chop their heads off, while I, after propelling myself into the house in a manner that defied physics, fell about and moaned and literally wrung my hands. As much as I loathe snakes, there is no way I could ever chop off an animal’s head.
Snakes would seem to have the lower hand, here, what with the absence of legs, the beady eyes, the spastic tongues, and the laying of gigantic eggs as if they were chickens (which, where do the eggs come out? I don’t even wanna know.) Ever since that career-killing business in the book of Genesis, snakes have gotten worse press than Lindsay Lohan. And snakes slither, for crying out loud. What kind of thing does that?
Then again, spiders skitter. It doesn’t matter if you bash at them with a Size 14 shoe: chances are, as soon as you pounce, you’ll see the nasty thing darting off to the side, or worse – dropping down to God knows where (a pile of dirty clothing on the floor; under the bed, behind the dresser.)
Okay, now I’m just making myself sick and I haven’t even gotten to the fact that oh yeah, some of these things can even KILL you. I can’t go any farther. You can add anything to the conversation you’d like.
I’m gonna go think about something else for a while.