The Itsy-Bitsy Spider

I saw a little black spider in the corner of the ceiling while in the shower this morning and even though I knew it would mean a slow, torturous death for the miniature monster… I also knew it that only one of us was going to survive this shower. It was either him or me. So naturally I chose me… and I drowned him.

Poor little guy. Here it is… finally, mercifully springtime and he crawls out of his tiny crevice either from wintering or simply because he was just born and he starts to build his first delicate web of the season… when all of the sudden some crabby bitch with a personal vendetta against all eight-legged creatures as well as the state of wakefulness in general has to come along and cut his life short.

And let me tell you that the shower isn’t exactly the easiest place to commit murder. Though it IS the cleanest. The problem with the shower is that said method of execution HAS to be what I like to call death by “splash drowning.” I call it “splash drowning” because one must repeatedly throw cups-full of water onto the offending beast and their fragile, new structure until they tumble from whence they came. 

Yes, death via splash drowning is far, far worse and deeply cruel compared to “direct drowning” in say, like… a sink or a toilet, because it is MUCH slower and the spider thinks for a bit that he actually has a chance of surviving this terrifying ordeal.

He’ll try to outrun the waves that continue to crash rhythmically upon him and he’ll do so successfully… for a bit… until, when out of sheer exhaustion, he’ll be spent. He’ll have nothing left and be forced to succumb to his fate, riding the river of death straight down the shower wall, across the floor of the tub… slipping anonymously and unceremoniously into his watery grave.

Now, you might ask: Did you, at any time, feel badly about torturing one of God’s creatures who was merely minding his own business, doing what he was designed to do by choosing your shower corner in which to innocently emerge from winter and spin his little web?

Well… I guess you could say that I did feel an itsy-bitsy amount of guilt and sadness as I watched him rushing helplessly “into the light”… until he got caught on one of the anti-slip treads on the bottom of the tub… and I gave him a swift, wet kick… right down the drain.


16 thoughts on “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider

  1. I’m not overly fond but the tiny ones are safe – I even pluck up the courage to ‘handle them’ and help them out of the window…Medium ones that need a glass and ‘tap tap tap’ aggressively at the sides while you TRY slide a sturdy enough piece of paper underneath the glass that WON’T flex and let the litte buggers out again…they might see freedom if I’m feeling brave and can catch them… The big ones – don’t know where they go when they appear and race around – I’m usually running screaming out of the room… back under different furniture for a while I think, driving me mad watching for them out of the corner of my eye all the time…I do have to dispose of dead ones most mornings after seeing one of the ‘free range’ variety – a couple of my cats think they’re brilliant toys… (shudder)

    And as for the REALLY BIG HAIRY ONE that lives in my compost bin – ‘Harry’ – well let’s just say I don’t do much composting anymore…I think my shrieking screams were disturbing the neighbours…

    • UGH… I shuddered just reading this! You are a brave soul to let them live. I HAVE to kill them b/c the thought of seeing one and then NOT knowing where it is in the house will drive me INSANE! So I do what I feel I must for sanity. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your spider-ology with me though 😉

  2. You really should be getting paid for this. I love your writing. This was so funny–and true. For a long time, I felt a bit guilty about killing bugs, and for the exact reason you mentioned: they didn’t do anything except what they were designed to do. Then of course I remember that we’re all of us born with a death sentence; we just don’t know how long the stay of execution is going to be.

    Sometimes it just really does seem like a genuine sin. They are alive, and they are so beautifully formed–well not all of ’em, but some are so lovely looking. And then I take to whompin um and the get all deformed and it just lets ya know how cruel the world can be, only I’m the one committing the cruelty.

    I think the time I really stopped feeling too guilty about the murders was when I didn’t kill any spiders in my place for a couple of months. You know, ha!, I’m a tough guy (not really, maybe a little bit) so what’s a few spider bites to a sorta tough guy like me. Pfft. No Big Deal.

    Then one dark and stormy night, I entered my office–which was once my living room. (long story So I No go there) As lightning streaks race across the sky the light from the bolt fills the room, and I notice something right out of a sci-fi war movie. These little Ninja-like guys were resorting down their spdirey webbings. I tell you it looked like miniature army of OIS or Delta Force warriors on the atack, and they mean busy.

    Well, so did I. With only a few spreys from Black Flag the war was over AND with all the causulties on their side. But that incident really alarmed me. I forgot that the little buggers reproduced–meg-pro-lificaly. Oh the humanity, the slaughter was on a large scale.

    That shan’t be happening again.

    • Thank you Donald 🙂 I would LOVE to be getting paid to do this! That is a dream… to get paid to write creatively. But I know A LOT of people have that dream. That’s not to say it isn’t worth pursuing though. I appreciate the encouragement!

      Your spider story is creepy and a good lesson for all: KILL THEM before they GET YOU!! 🙂 Glad you solved your problem!

  3. LOVE all these spider stories. Joanna gets this honestly as I taught her by example. The first sighting of a spider, no matter how small, is always followed by a shreak. Then lots of fast movement toward either its death or retreat by me to someone else to do the killing. Well done, Joanna. It really is a theatrical production.

      • I like everything you write. I hope you’re keeping all of your writings backed up on your hardrive and on a cd.

        I haven’t really found my footing when it comes to having a blog, so you might not get any reads from it, but who knows.

        Did you know Angela Wallace and Storytelling Nomad are on Goodreads? I didn’t, until I signed up.


        >>We have more options today than any generation that has come before and sometimes that can be a little intimidating. I know. I’ve been there. I AM there.<<

        Yeah, me too. I'm always thinking, Shouldn't I be farther along than I am?

  4. Shawdiane says:

    Hi Joanna ! I can not believe so many months have passed since I last logged in.
    Life has been so unusually busy with so many things I had to get out of the way so that I could return to my normal everyday way of life &, at last I am there & I can once again enjoy your delightful blog & as I have signed up to receive emails I will now be able to laugh or cry at your latest writings. A word on spiders theme. When I was the Custodian of & lived at the playwright ‘George Bernard Shaw’s home “Shaw’s Corner” in Hertfordshire, England, & I first moved into the house, I was terrified of spiders, but when I left ten years later, I grew very brave about them. I had to, because these were Hertfordshire Spiders the size of the palm of a human hand with six thick fury legs !! It was either I moved out ( No Chance !!) or I just had to live with them & I am proud to say I became very brave, I had no choice ! For there was no way that I could go near them to attack them & so I would just leave Herty & his friends alone & within a few days they were gone. Funnily enough, after a few weeks, I never gave them another thought & I actually became brave enough to collect normal sized spiders into lots of paper & put them well away from the house. Now I no longer startle the neighbours with my terrified screams, I just get my husband out of bed at 3 am in the morning if I see a spider in the bath & give him a nice cuddle for the good deed. 🙂 I glad to be back & Now I am settled with a nice hot drink & I am going to relax by catching up with everything I have missed on your blog. I hope you are well & I & my husband Douglas, send you sunny greetings from the Isle of Wight ! Keep up your good work. Shawdiane. 🙂

    • Oh that would be awful about the spiders as big as your palm! But I know what you mean about getting used to them when you have no other choice. When I first moved to Colorado in 1994, I was alone fore several days in a “dorm” for 14 women. It had been empty and closed up all winter long so when I moved in—it stirred up all of the critters living inside (lots of big, black spiders). I was the only one around to properly dispose of them so I sucked it up and did what I had to do.

      It is so interesting that you were the Custodian of GBS’s home! That must have been an amazing adventure.

      Thank you for signing up and following along with your husband! Please send him warm greetings from me in return and I hope to “talk” to you again soon!

      • Shawdiane says:

        Had to wake up poor Doug at 3.24 am the other night beause one of my greatest spider fears came to life. I sleep with a tealight on by my bedside & thank God. I looked lup from behind the bed clothes after suddely waking from a peaceful sleep, woe & behold, right a bove my head was a Spider going up & down one long piece of webbing!!! aaargh! I shook poor Dougy awake begging my poor sleepy eyed hubby to please get rid of that @/! *^~” x Spider. I ran out of the bedroom & stood at the doorway ( I always have to see with my own eyes that he does actually retrieve the crawley thing & throw out of the window!!) & he did. As much as these creepy crawley spiders upset me, I can never see them killed because they are here to
        a superb job of eating Mucky Dirty Filthy Disgusting FLIES !! YUK a DOO ! haha. Love & Blessing 🙂

        • Shawdiane says:

          Sorry, you can tell it is 1.56 am & I should be asleep! Missed out a few letters from some of the words !!! Tut tut ! So, Nighty night everyone, where ever you maybe.

        • UGH! How awful!! That IS a nightmare all in itself!! Sorry I haven’t been around much. Life hasn’t exactly been going along swimmingly lately… I hope that changes soon! Hope you are well!! 🙂

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