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Literally beating my spider fear

July 7, 2012
By SUMMER WALLACE-MINGER , Weirton Daily Times

So I am afraid of spiders. And bugs. And flying insects. Just a little bit.

Over the weekend, I was relaxing with the Long Suffering Husband after the children had gone to bed - this consists of me forcing him to watch bad reality television, because he has the driest, most sarcastic sense of humor and he cannot believe what these people are doing nor that they are allowing it to be filmed - and I spotted a spider scuttling across the floor. A giant, leggy brown spider.

"ACK!" I screamed and jerked my feet up off the floor.

The LSH wasn't as disturbed as you might think by this behavior. He rolled his eyes. "What is it now?"

"A spider! It was huge! And it went that way!" I pointed to the corner of the room, where the monstrosity was making for a pile of blankets that I would have to burn if the spider reached it.

Of course, it skittered under the blankets. "Ah! Ah! It's ruining the blankets!"

"It's a spider," he said, crossing the room. "What's it going to do?"

"I don't know." I cowered on the couch. "Lay eggs? Oh, what if it lays eggs in the blankets? I'll have to wash them."

He picked said blanket up and shook it.

Meanwhile, I was using my phone to do a Google search for "huge scary brown spider." Of course, it took me all of three seconds to decide the eight-legged invader was the highly poisonous Brown Recluse spider. I started hyperventilating.

"What is it now?" he asked, refolding the blanket, despite the fact that I would have to soak and bleach it to ensure that I wouldn't wake up one night, being carried off by an army of baby spiders to be fed to the spider horde.

"What if it is a Brown Recluse?! Get over here on the couch, now! What if it bites you? You'll get that necro-flesh-eating thing! Honey, quick!"

"It is not a Brown Recluse." He tossed the blanket back in the corner. "It's probably just some common spider."

"Brown Recluses are nocturnal. And they're super poisonous. And they're native to western Ohio. That's pretty close to here."

"Stop looking up Brown Recluses," he said, flopping back down onto the couch. "That's nowhere near here."

"I'm tired and I want to go to bed, but I'm afraid to cross the floor to the stairs," I whined. "What if the spider races out to get me?"

"Yes, because it's lying in wait, watching to see when you put a toe on the floor." He was sprawled comfortably across the couch, while I was huddled in a ball on one end.

"Do you think so?!" I scanned the floor.


I glanced over at him ... and saw Brown Death perched on his shoulder.

"AHHHHH!" I jumped up and ran in a circle around the couch. He watched, bemused.

"What now?"

"It's on you! It's on you! Oh, I'll kill it, I'll kill it, I'll kill it, I'll save you!" I raced into the bathroom and armed myself with a large, protective wad of Charmin. "Honey, I'm going to save you! Don't move! Don't make any sudden movements! It might bite you!"

I flailed with the tissues in the general direction of his chest and/or shoulder area, whacking him several times. I couldn't really tell if I was getting the spider, because I was hyperventilating again. He snatched the tissues away, made a surgical extraction and examined the crushed spider.

"What if I had put my head on your shoulder? Oh. My. God."

"Then it would probably be on your head," he said distractedly.

"That's a really mean thing to say after I just saved your life." I was shuddering with revulsion at the idea of a Brown Recluse actually touching me.

"You were really brave."

"I was!"

"I could tell you were scared."

"I was! But I had to save you. Because I love you."

He started laughing. "It was a daddy long legs."

"I hate you."

(Wallace-Minger, The Weirton Daily Times community editor, is a Weirton resident and can be contacted at

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