I have friends who live in Australia. I know some Australians. There’s very little about that country I don’t like. But if I moved there, a time will inevitably come where I would have to jump off a cliff.

See, I attract spiders. And Australia has some doozies. I’ve seen some spiders and bugs there that you’ll be able to saddle and ride. No thanks. It’s enough for me to have to deal with the arachna-yucks in my own country.

I attract spiders. I attract spiders in the same way some people just have a magical way with horses or whales. When I was a little girl we lived on a huge area of land, and animals and bugs and all sorts of critters were an everyday sight. Summer nights would bring the unremitting and skull-cracking singing of crickets and mole crickets, the air would be abuzz with insects of all varieties and the ground would quiver with the pitter-patter of little beetle feet and the competitive marching of ants.

And spiders. Intricate webs connected leaves in thick bushes and when it rained, it would seem as though dozens of fine diamonds were strewn all over the brush of leaves. For the most part, spiders respected our habitat and we respected theirs. For the most part.

My bedroom was the one exception. Every single evening when I retired to my room I would switch on my light and wait by the door. I’d wait until the movement started. My carpet was a mix of toasted almond and coffee colors, a perfect camouflage for an array of eight-legged bastards and if I waited long enough, spots on the carpet would start to move. And when you looked closely, you would see wolf spiders run for cover. Rain spiders move toward you with a kamakaze-like confidence. Unidentified spiders moving in all directions.

In no other room in the house did that ever happen. Only in the room of the one who secretes some arachna-lovin-hormone.

When I was a teenager, circumstances forced us to move into a high rise and we occupied an apartment at the very top of the building. The only bugs that got to us were flies and mosquitoes, the dirty gang members of the insect world. But at least once a week I would find spiders in my room, often in my bed. My family didn’t believe me so I started calling them when-ever an eight-legged schmuck lay claim to my colony.

Today I live in an average home with an average garden. In my country that means lots of spiders, especially wolf spiders. But I seem to have a real problem. Despite incessant cleaning, I still find them all too comfy in my home, kicking off their eight shoes and kicking back with beers while watching sports on TV. More than once I’ve woken to the sight of hairy legged douche canoes on my pillow…

The final blow was when I attended a workshop a year or two ago at my university. Academics from all faculties attended and it became a fascinating masala of expertise. But I got my ass right out of there when I was asked to dinner by the nicest guy you could ever meet…an arachnologist in the department zoology.

Too much of the weirdness.

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