Little Miss Muffet Simply Can’t Tough It

Little Miss Muffet Simply Can’t Tough It

It’s just a little phobia, so little it has no need to be called a phobia really. It’s just the sort of thing that makes the nose crinkle up and the top lip curl, the sort of thing that makes the shoulders rise in tension and the whole body shudder, the sort of thing, really, that makes one inhale all the oxygen within ten miles in an ungodly—but tiny!—gasp. It’s nothing, really. Just a little dislike.

And it’s not like I’ve always had it. Up until I saw the movie or read the book, I was perfectly capable of watching a Daddy Long Legs hang upside down in the back of the toilet, perfectly content to let a tiny spider spin its web in the corner of my bedroom.

And then I moved here, the land of the invisible spider webs.

I live in the back of a condo complex, and there is only one narrow path out. That path is surrounded by walls and stairs and shrubbery with incredible growth spurts. The spiders are as big as cherry tomatoes, and they love to spin their huge sturdy dewy webs in the path so that they stretch across unseen, sticky ends attached to those surrounding walls and stairs and shrubbery with incredible growth spurts.

I have unwittingly walked into those webs at least three times since I’ve lived here. Each time I did, I squealed like a banshee while jumping back a mile, waved my arms hysterically around my web-plastered head, and dropped everything as I compulsively brushed at my clothes to knock off the imaginary monster spiders.

I’ve given H.E. much joy and endless laughter with this special kind of entertainment, so I’ve resorted to using him as a lookout and a human shield when I can, allowing him to walk ahead of me as my first defense against spider webs. When he is not available, I swing my bag in front of me as though it were a machete, my surroundings a jungle.

So far, it has worked really well.

Once, after I left the jungle path feeling relief at my uneventful passing, I blithely walked across the parking lot towards a lamp post where I parked my car, and I was humming a little tune about spiders, feeling really good about myself. “Ha, ha, you can’t get me,” I sang, feeling smug.

Then I walked between the lamp post and my car to get in, and I found myself with a face full of spider web.

If you listen carefully, there are still echoes of my scream from that day.

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7 thoughts on “Little Miss Muffet Simply Can’t Tough It

  1. Spiders are indeed sneaky. When I moved in to my newly constructed home, my first roommate was a little spider that hung out around the stairwell. I moved him to the backyard… where there is choice meat.

  2. My kryptonite is a Wasp or Hornet!
    I’m the biggest baby when it comes to Wasps, Hornets, Bees and anything else that flys and stings.
    You should see me do the "Duck and Flail" when one buzzes by..
    I’m such a weenie.

  3. At least the path isn’t littered with monkeys – my least favorite thing – spiders, a close second. ick ick ick

  4. After being bitten below the lower lip, in that little area where my goatee connects to my chin, by a brown recluse, I am absolutely mortified of spiders great and small. A painful surgery and healing ensued, as did my dislike for the eight legged little freaks.

  5. sometimes i wonder what makes u so good April, is it your writing, or is it how you look, long black hair. Or maybe its ur infectious smile. I think i have the answer finally.
    Its the spider!! In fact I have a small story for you.
    April can you mail me sometime or atleast send me ur mail id.
    And the next time, check the sex of the spider. Females ones weave great webs for HE 😉
    ciao n take care
    vj

  6. Ugghh!

    That sound you hear is a chill going up my spine.

    Spiders give me the creeps, as do centipedes.

    Broch, how did you get bitten on the face?

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