Friday, 25 March 2011

Panic! The moment Hank nearly made me leave the country.

I found what looked like a little blob of muddy straw by the back door.  Hank came over to examine it and casually commented out loud that it was a dead spider.  

I moved away VERY quickly.  

Hank took the dead spider outside in a tissue, dropped it down the drain and came back indoors looking rather pale.  "The spider" he said, "was quite hairy and stripey like a tarantula!... Obviously not a tarantula, though but looked a lot like one."

Free Clipart Picture of a Black Widow Spider
Hank is as uncomfortable around spiders as I am, so at this point he really deserves some serious kudos for tackling that terrifying thing.  Plus, we have a "crawl space" under the house which we cannot access, so our imagination often runs wild on the subject of what might be incubating down there.

But what Hank told me next about my new host country was unforgivable.

"You have hairy spiders in this country?!?!" I whispered.

"Oh yeah, loads of 'em.  Don't worry though, no tarantulas,  I don't think.  This one had a red bit on it but it's not like it was a black widow or anything!"

"Well, duh of course it wasn't a black widow, you don't have ....  Oh no.  No!  Tell me you don't have black widows in this country!  TELL ME YOU DON'T!"

"Erm, ok ....  We ..... We.... uh .... We ... don't?"

"You're lying to me! I'm not stupid, you know!!!"

"Erm, I ..... Erm, well, they're very rare in the USA and only about ten people a year get bitten by them.  Mainly they find them in garages and underground"

[Now hysterical] "Like when I am digging my garden?!!  That's underground!"

"Oh no, no, no, darling, [using his don't-startle-the-horses voice] you have to go out into the countryside, I think.  They probably don't even live in DC."

"Well do your parents have them in New Jersey?  Are there black widows in Princeton?"

I confess, I was ready never to visit the in-laws again if the answer was yes.

"No. Well, maybe.  Erm I don't know."

I was hyperventilating by now and demanding to move back to the UK immediately.  

Eventually I calmed down enough to consult Wikipedia, and was relieved to find a report (any report) indicating that black widows tend not be found further east than Illinois.  

A relief.  For a while there, someone's husband was definitely on the menu for dinner.

1 comment:

  1. From anonymous:

    "I have such a fear of the insects with 8 legs that I cant bare to type the word! We get these HORRIBLE things out here in Maryland called "S***er" crickets. They look like the insects with 8 legs, but jump erratically like crickets!!!!! the horror!!! And they are big! When we moved into our new house, there was one in one of the bedrooms. It was all I could do to shut the door and wait for my husband to get home to take care of it. The winter has been wonderful, because I think they all died. I'm scared of what the warm weather will bring...

    I have to confess its one of the main reasons I want to move to DC. I dont think they have them there. Moving to avoid an insect? Sounds reasonable to me. "


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