Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Eight-legged harbingers of doom

Approximately level with my nose, the spider hung delicately from a thread and swung obnoxiously close to my sleep-deprived face. Our bathroom appears to be a haven for these foul representatives of Hell and it sucks to be them, because the walls are white, manifestations immediately noted and a watery death mere millimetres away.

My standard reaction to such regular appearances varies wildly depending on my caffeine intake, company and state of undress. The buggers usually time their appearances to perfection, scuttling across the floor at the precise moment that I am struggling into a pair of tights, balanced precariously on one foot in the centre of their intended trajectory.

This morning, however, I was fully clothed, albeit with a mouth full of Colgate Total. With brush clamped firmly between my molars and unblinking stare fixed upon his grotesque form, I stepped slowly to the loo roll, tore off a double piece, folded it to the perfect size and returned to my uninvited guest. His leg twitched. So did mine. We eyed each other warily; me brandishing my flimsy shield of paper, he secure in his unimpeachable ability to leap up and kill me on the spot with the sheer force of his existence.

It was a stand-off.

But one of us had to win.

I clenched my tissue – bringer of death and destruction to all who dare disrupt my early-morning ablutions – and brought my omnipotent hand down towards his defenceless body. And as I did . . . I stopped.

I stood back. I couldn’t do it. What in the name of Darwin had befallen my remorseless insect-slaying self?

As if in a trance, I wandered into my bedroom, retrieved a piece of card, returned to the bloodless bathroom and allowed the little critter to pick his way gently on to my tenderly-offered vessel of liberation. I prised open the window and shook him free, gazing serenely as he tumbled onto the sill below and vanished between two bricks into the safety of the wall.

What had caused this sudden, dramatic change of heart? Was it an understanding of who did, in fact, hold the upper hand in this struggle for domination? An unexpected surge of zen? A peace-loving streak emerging from deep inside my inner hippy?

In actual fact it was because it had occurred to me that this creature was nothing less than a money spider. And being, as I am, mid-quest for a mortgage, I reached the obvious conclusion that to murder an emblem of the much-needed filthy lucre would be nothing short of certifiable. And so for that reason, and that reason alone, I spared his life. His filthy, terrifying, money-spinning, gold-coated, economically viable little life.

But let’s just say it was the zen.

1 comment:

  1. "Harbinger" is a word that is vastly underused in the modern day.