Prepare your defenses now against the autumn arachnid assault

September 15, 2019

You can hear the pitter-patter of little feet around the house now. To be specific, it is the pitter-patter of six or eight or 10 little feet. With the advent of the change in seasons, those tiny ants, spiders and other unknown creatures that have parents are moving into your home.

Now I say this with all due love and respect in my heart, but there is something about a woman who spots a spider scurrying across the floor that makes her go into an exorcist frenzy and beat this microscopic thing to death, over and over again.

If you had a block of cheese the size of a car battery and the woman dropped it on the spider’s head from a stepladder, with a direct hit, it still wouldn’t be enough. She would have to keep smacking it, stomping it, screaming at it, whaling at it, until the aneurysm she didn’t have before she saw the spider breaks and oozes carbon monoxide out of every orifice in her body. Not that I would ever do this or have any experience in the arachnoid area, but I hear things. And no, my pants aren’t on fire and I am not running for office!

Yes, I stand accused. I once beat a teddy bear to death. It had fallen under a bed. I was convinced it was a rodent I thought scurried under there, so I took a broom and was relentless. It wasn’t until a glass eye rolled out that I realized I may have overreacted.

Men seem to have the opposite reaction. If a woman doesn’t alert a man to a spider, then it really doesn’t exist. In fact, even if a guy is alerted to a spider, he really isn’t interested until at least the 50th bloodcurdling scream or halftime, depending on which comes first.

Insects and spiders know this; for years they have studied the human male species and used the material they’ve accumulated in a constructive, scientific way, mostly at their bachelor stag parties and Saturday night comedy clubs. Just showing a slide presentation of a human male in his Barcalounger, wearing his NFL jersey and eating a bag of corn chips will have them rolling in the aisles, holding their sides and gasping for spider breath.

There aren’t many things insects fear or are even sensitive about. Insects can handle anything, including exterminators. Usually they meet them at the entrance to the development and some money changes hands, or sometimes with the more resistant exterminators, an all-expense-paid cruise to the Caribbean does the trick. Hey, these guys have to make a living, too. I’m not saying all of them, but I hear things. Sometimes when a house is sold, the exterminator contract goes with it, but often the arachnoid community has to chip in when a new exterminator is brought on board. These things can be worked out.

But women are a different entity. Spiders spend postgraduate work on the female human species. It is mandatory that every spider from birth sign on to attend training camp, where they are outfitted in special athletic shoes for quietly sneaking across the floor. You can imagine how expensive this is when the average spider goes through 16 a day. 

A mock-up cardboard human female figure (picture a June Cleaver type) is then used for dry runs on being spotted, because spiders know women can sense the slightest movement out of the back of their head. This sense has been honed by years of practice at taking sharp instruments away from children. Then insects learn battle tactics where they tuck and roll, zig and zag, and are heartened by the catchphrase, “Run, Forrest, run!”

I’m not being hard on the insect community. It’s just that now is the time when they load up that microscopic Bekins moving van and head inside. They’ve had all summer to study. They know it’s a political year and you will believe anything. So unless you have DNA proof or can make a chalk outline, be prepared to go the distance. You’ll start hearing things, too.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.

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