I have just one persistent nightmare. I start myself awake convinced that there’s a giant house spider dangling above my head. UK may have a mild climate, but it is the only place in the world where I’ve lived where enormously large spiders wheedle themselves inside houses regularly.
And that British house spider can sprint 20 inches per second!
As this nightmare startles me awake, I’ll slam on all the lights and search for the 8-legged beast. Husband is brought in reluctantly to this 3 AM quest, until we realise it was that dream again.
This nightmare’s been with me ever since I can remember. And since I can’t remember if it came before or after a certain traumatic spring event, I think I can confidently attribute it to that event.
My grandparents bought me a make-your-own pooter.
A pooter is a contraption used in biology to observe insects up close and personal, but also safely trapping the living specimens in a sealed container.
My version was homemade, however. A transparent cup, two holes in the lid that you stab drinking straws through. A pooter from the elements of a take-out milkshake.
Capture the unsuspecting bugs by pointing one straw 1cm above them, then suck. The bug is swooped up on your intake of breath and plops safely inside the pooter. Harmlessly. Much like probably an alien abduction.
I don’t tend to read manuals.
So, to release my first victim, an 8-legged visitor, I sucked again. Logically. Suck once to capture, suck twice to release.
Spider flew into my mouth and that, I think, was the birth of the spider nightmare.
So welcome to Spring all my 2 to 8-legged friends! A time when we all share the earth on a more intimate level.
I’m grateful for the bug nets that seal all the windows in the US. It means persistent spider nightmares are on an all-time low and I’ve not seen a spider on this side of the glass in the two and a half years I’ve lived here.
Would you ever trust a handmade pooter, though?