Reading Alice her bedtime story in Mummy & Daddy’s bed (i.e. our bed) last night…
A: “Oooh, giant spider!”
No Alice, you’re thinking of Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets, that’s the one with all the giant talking spiders. I think you’ll find we’re currently reading Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban. This one’s got the werewolf in it. There aren’t any werewolves here.
A: “No Daddy, there’s a giant spider.”
What giant spider?
“This one here!” [points at massive low-slung dark shape with far too many hairy legs]
Yup, there was a huge, midnight-black spider with giant fangs, crawling purposefully out of the folds of the duvet. It had clearly been living IN OUR DUVET for WEEKS. It was fucking massive, the size of my foot.
“Awww, it’s all cute and hairy…”
Err… yeah*. Don’t get too close to it… [shouting downstairs] SAAAAARAAAAAAHHHH!!!!! There’s a BLOODY HUGE spider in our bed! ACTUALLY IN OUR BED!!
Sarah [from downstairs]: “In our BED? Jesus Christ, GET RID OF IT!!”
And so I went and got the tooth-mug from our bathroom. Luckily, the tooth-mug is the size of two of my feet, so I could capture the fanged nightmare (which hissed and lunged at me many times before being subdued). Once I captured the evil bastard, I took it to the front door and threw it out. It landed on the neighbour’s wall, whereupon (no lie) another, even bigger spider shot out of a crevice, and the two cannibalistic arachnids engaged in a tumbling, screeching, writhing fight, spitting acid and venom at each other, and fell out of sight into the neighbours’ garden. I slammed the door shut and leaned against it, shaking with sweat and almost in tears, with my relieved wife praising me for my bravery and heroism**.
I refused to go to bed until gone 1am. Had a lousy night where I imagined every sensation on my body to be the advancing hairy legs of the spider’s family and friends, crawling on my vulnerable body, fangs dripping with acidic venom, preparing to enact revenge on my helpless flesh.
Fucking spiders. I hate them. Wankers.
*We don’t want Alice to grow up afraid of spiders. It’s a little sad that she has recently been stung by a wasp and is now petrified whenever one comes near. She is otherwise fascinated by mini-beasts (the new politically-correct and child-friendly name for ‘creepy-crawlies’), and I don’t want to dissuade her. Hence, whenever we see a spider, we act totally calmly, and encourage her interest in invertebrates, and don’t make a fuss.
**the last part of this sentence is TOTALLY*** TRUE