Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Do you want arachnids with that?

This morning I went to my favourite (Mc)Cafe drive through for my morning cup of decaf. I pulled up to pay and rolled down my window. As the young man was about to pass the debit machine to me a spider dropped down between us on a single gossamer thread. It was a terrifying, heart-pounding and incredibly awkward moment. You see, I have a had a lifelong phobia of spiders.

I remember as a little girl, my mother tried to cure my arachnophobia by reading me Charlotte's Web. Charlotte was so clever and kind (if bloodthirsty). E. B. White taught me that these talented and self-sacrificing creatures were our friends. The illusion lasted just a few short months until I was bit on the leg by a spider. I no longer considered this an irrational fear--it is a very logical one.

Once as a teen there was a spider on me and I screamed. Dear mother suggested that I should scream, "Spider," rather than just screaming so that she can more readily and accurately assess the seriousness of the situation.

In university I turned down a job in a pet store when I was told that I would have to clean the tarantula cages. And I don't even want to talk about the outhouse in the jungle late at night without a flashlight...

Now that I am a parent I have had to be a little more brave and take care of spiders in the kids' bedrooms and so forth. This practiced calm helped this morning in the drive through.

So here we were: me, the drive through employee and the spider. All three of us were in a predicament. A light warm breeze kept blowing the spider toward me.  I asked if he had a napkin. He found a paper bag. I expected him to hand me the bag, but going above and beyond the call of duty, he rescued me from the car spider, exclaiming, "It's OK,  I really don't like bugs either. I hope it doesn't stick to the bag." But no, the spider was brushed away moved on. I paid for my order and was on my way.

I think they should give that young man employee of the month.  At the very least I hope that he felt good about helping the crazy lady in the white car, and had a funny story to tell his friends. As Charlotte said, "After all what's a life anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die...By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle.  Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that." And mom, you should be proud of me; I didn't even need to scream, "Spider."
This is totally staged, but this is the actual coffee cup and I think the same species of spider. 


  1. ¿Quisiera una araña con eso? Muy divertido. No necesitas un editor. Sus palabras ya son bastante buenas. Carinosos saludos

  2. I hate spiders. I can pick them up when forced to look brave in front of the kids, but otherwise I generally try to ignore them. My other half is the opposite - and she does kind of have a point in her argument - if you have spiders around the house, the flies don't last long...

  3. LOL! My husband leaps ferociously on spiders. You'd think they were home invaders come to tie us to chairs and clear out our valuables.

    Fun story, Mary. Thanks for sharing. :)