The Scented Llama of Doom Best not to ask really...

Spiders in the Water Closet

A few weeks back my wife and I were attempting to get a good nights rest. Like most people we did this by climbing into bed. I am now going to attempt to reproduce the conversation that occured:

That’s… a rather large spider.
Huh, that’s quite cool. You don’t see ones that big everyday.
Are you sure it’s safe?
The big ones aren’t poisonous…
I know that, you idiot, that thing looks big enough to dine on human - no poison required.
Yeah… Umm… It just climbed on the ceiling…
Oh God it’s overhead…
It’s stopped…
It’s looking at us!
Don’t show fear! They can sense it!
Why isn’t it doing anything?
Maybe it’s priming itself for the leap?

We lay there motionless for a moment.

Maybe if we ignore it it’ll go away.

Wife nods inclining her chin enough to demonstrate the gesture but not enough to actually appear to be moving.

Time passes.

Maybe if we turn the lights off?

We turn the lights off. An eerie silence follows. Moments pass. The lights are turned back on. The spider has moved not one inch.

Thats it. This is officially an 804.
Remind me of…
Husband Contract section 8 subsection 4 - The Husband shall be responsible for the removal of all scary critters (that is reptiles, insects, arachnids, various arthropods and anything deemed by the Wife to be a creepy crawly) from the domicile. The Husband is contractually obligated to cease all compliants about said duty and…
804. Yes. How could I forget.
It was only one snake.
And the scorpion.
Those were different occasions.
Can’t we just move? To another city?
Alright fine…

Moments pass.

What are you doing?
I’m googling “I need to remove a spider from a ceiling and I don’t want to die”.
<Mumbles something under her breath>

Google offered the following advice for removing spiders from ceilings:

1. Don’t Panic.

I liked this. It was a nice touch. It was as if I was alone in an inifitely large and complex universe and the electronic document I was reading was on my side…

2. Attempt to Identify Spider.

Apparently knowing whether or not the thing is poisonous is important. If it isn’t poisonous feel free to let it bite you as a placating gesture. It’s important to check that it isn’t a Violin Spider who are, luckily, easy to identify as they carry a little violin case with them and travel in quartets (Interesting note: A Brown Recluse Spider is a Violin Spider who has retired and doesn’t want any fuss). We tried to identify the spider but, according to google, the only simple way to do this is to get a doctorate in Arachnology. We did ask if the spider would kindly identify itself and possibly produce papers to verify that it was in our house legally. It ignored our request.

3. Approach spider with a glass in hand.

I didn’t like this bit. It seemed to indicate that I needed to reduce the distance between myself and the spider. Armed solely with an empty glass and not, as you would expect, a flamethrower.

4. Place glass securely over the spider.

My wife who was following along with the google suggestions helpfully pointed out that there was no way in hell the spider was small enough to fit in a glass, even a glass of the milkshake variety (known as ‘vases’ in other households. Our eldest takes milkshake seriously). Fortunately she had recently purchased a truckload of transparent plastic cases big enough to hide several bodies in (my wife takes hiding bodies seriously. Although, apparently, not seriously enough to purchase opaque cases). I grabbed one and, amazingly, managed to cover the spider without incurring a fatal bite.

5. Tap the edges of the cup to make the spider fall in.

Nope. This doesn’t work. The spider will turn to look at you with a disappointed expression and will shake its head. No, it will seem to say, this will not do. It will then raise its legs in a Gandalf impression and bellow “None Shall Pass!”.

6. Cover top of glass with paper.

I sensed we had diverged from the instructions.

7. Take the spider outside and set it free.

Since the spider was still very much on the ceiling I was now certain that the instructions had gone left while we had gone right. It so often happens that you start these things of one mind and then opinions begin to differ. By the end, sadly, you have to disband the group and try for a solo career.

I had the brilliant idea of attempting to slide the case along the ceiling hoping that - when lightly nudged with the edge - the spider would fall in. It did not. It moved out the way once again - shaking its chelicerae sadly.

It was at this point that my wife left me and the spider. I realised that balancing on a bed trying to hold a large plastic case against the ceiling, possibly indefinitely, was not how I had wanted to spend the evening. Fortunately my wife had not left me for good and returned with a large piece of cardboard that she intended to slide across the ceiling thus dislodging the spider.

Teamwork ensued, the spider was indeed dislodged landing with a thud. Only a thin bit of plastic separated me and the creature and I could see it memorising my face probably to exact some sort of vengeance. It was the work of a moment to remove the case from the ceiling and simultaneously slap the lid on. Once captured the spider was then freed into the wild (on bail) and, much shaken, we eventually got some sleep.

No the story doesn’t end there.

Fast forward a few weeks and, lo and behold, the spider is amongst us once again. Noting the strict border controls for the main bedroom he has decided to move into our toilet. Now our toilet is a cramped space - I can see why they’re called “water closets” in Europe - sharing it with a rather large arachnid isn’t really an ideal situation. Especially since a toilet is the type of space you prefer to be alone in. Having to exchange pleasantries whilst in flagrante delicto, as it were, is awkward.

Hey look - he’s on your computer screen now!

And then our eldest stood on it. Our fully grown eldest daughter who weighs as much as a real life human being. She was walking through a dark room and hadn’t noticed the thing was hunting in there.

The story doesn’t end there either.

The spider recovered from this incident without, apparent, concern and continued with its hunt. It didn’t even plot any vengeance or lodge a complaint with management.

At this point we decided to make our peace with the creature since an indestructible arachnid doesn’t give you much choice. On the plus side there seems to be fewer cats in the neighbourhood…

(Note: for those of you who do keep track of that sort of thing the spider was most likely some sort of Wolf Spider. We have a spider identification book but unfortunately it only seems to be good for working what Domain the thing is in).