The Voyage of the Arachnid Coward


Here’s the story of insects, arachnids, and murder.

I’M A MURDERER! Oh, he had his whole life ahead of him! Oh, cruel world! What a world! And I can’t even claim it was an accident because I bashed the hell out of him. I went to town on him, ladies and gentlemen. I went to town on him. And then I scraped the bloody carcass off the wall. Most people wouldn’t bat an eyelid at such an action, but not me. That kind of thing stays with me. What? I’m talking about a spider. Jeez, don’t call the police, I didn’t kill a hobo…

Not that I’m advocating hobo killing. Obviously. They need a hot meal, somewhere to sleep and somewhere to store their bindle. Obviously. I don’t normally kill spiders. Not spiders that large, certainly. About three inches in diameter. Now, I’m fully aware that if you’re reading this and you are Australian, a three inch spider is absolutely tiny to you. It’s like a Money Spider to me. But I can assure you, Australians, that a three inch spider in the UK is friggin’ massive. It’s hard to explain it to you. Imagine if you woke up one morning, went into your bathroom, and there was a giant gorilla asleep in the tub. That’s what it’s like.

That said, having been to Australia, I’m pretty confident that most Australians would take on the gorilla and claim it to be little more than a ‘mild inconvenience.’ They are huge. Australians, that is. Not the gorilla. That’s tiny compared to the guys in Australia. And that’s not a compliment, by the way. Their big frames are clearly the result of too many barbecues. I went to a barbecue in Australia. My God, I’ve never seen so much meat. I felt guilty. I only ate one burger and I was full. I’m only little. But what I lack in size I make up for in… well, I, erm, oh – actually, I have nothing going for me. What woman would date a guy afraid of spiders? A blind one? “Why are you screaming?” “Erm, there’s a massive lion in here…”

Some would call me a pussy for being afraid to kill spiders. Actually, more than some. Quite a few more. A sizeable chunk more. A lot of people. Most people. Well, everyone on Earth except vegetarians, vegans and other such hippies. This spider – it crawled up the wall my bed is against. Tiny black body and long spindly legs. All seven of them. I don’t know what happened to the eighth one. Without thinking, I picked up my slipper and started whacking the bejesus out of it. If somebody else were in the house, they would’ve thought I bought a drum kit. And decided to start playing it at midnight. Which would indicate problems only a therapist could solve.

Normally, I would run out of the room screaming and wait for the nasty arachnid to politely bugger off. Or I may go and get dad to get rid of it. What? Hey, I’m sure lots of nearly 25-year-olds still get their parents to kill insects and arachnids. That’s just a fact, right? But for some reason, I did it this time. But I’m not proud of that. I feel awful. But it was moving so fast I couldn’t run downstairs in time to get a cup and coaster. And I couldn’t leave it in the room I had to sleep in, could I? What if it crawled in my mouth? I wouldn’t be able to get to sleep. Death was the only option.

I was fine when I was doing it. Bash. “DIE!” Bash. “DIE!” Bash. “DIE!” Bash. “WHY…” Bash. “WON’T…” Bash. “YOU…” Bash. “DIE?” Bash. “Oh, it’s dead. Oh… it’s dead. I actually killed it. Oh. I’M A MURDERER! What have I done? Damn you world!”

Feeling guilt over killing something so insignificant is something some will see as either very sweet or very strange. It’s like bees. You can’t kill a bee. They’re massive. So big you’d be able to see its guts and stuff. But flies? Nah, who cares? But they’re both living creatures, equally as important to the world. And even wasps. We kill wasps quite easily. Speaking of which…

I was on the bus this week. A lot of what happens to me happens on the bus, doesn’t it? Feels that way. Anyway, I was on the bus, a routine trip from the suburbs into the town centre. And suddenly, I heard a scream. Somewhere behind me. Only a little one. More of an “ARRGH!” It was feminine and sounded like it came from a young person. Only briefly. I didn’t think much of it, to be honest. Nobody really did. But then I noticed something. A wasp. Right in front of me. Then I heard a little whimper and sniff form behind. It had stung that poor girl.

Now, she was about 15 and I’ve never been stung by a wasp (but I have been stung by a bee). So I don’t know how painful it is. But she was in a lot of pain. And it was a beaut. That wasp was a good two inches long, maybe more. Massive thing. Bees only attack you when they feel threatened. Wasps will attack anybody at any time because they’re all bastards. Now, being a man, I put on my brave face. All men do so in public situations where there are women present. You act all nonchalant. Show no fear. Pretend the wasp is of no concern to you. ‘Tis but a mild nuisance. All men do it. Women don’t like a coward. But inside, I can assure you, I was screaming:


Immediately, panic set in throughout the bus. The girl’s friends were trying to comfort her. She said she felt sick and had to get off the bus. I didn’t know wasp stings did that! Now I was panicking even more! What if it was some kind of mutated super African honey wasp? What if it’s carrying malaria? What if it’s carrying the bubonic plague? This is what was going through my mind, all whilst I was trying to maintain a look of cool, calm composure.

Many of the passengers opened the windows and tried their best to comfort the girl. Telling her she’d be fine. She looked much better when she got off the bus. But between the sting and the bus station, everybody was avoiding the front seats. Telling new passengers that a deadly wasp was onboard.

Eventually, the wasp became restless and started flying around the bus. My cool and calm approach was wearing thin as the sweat started to pour from my brow. And then, a brave soul, sat near me, saw her opportunity and bashed the hell out of the wasp. Its reign of terror was over. And we all cheered. I sure hope that girl is all better now.

Nobody cared about that wasp. But I did. Poor thing was so frightened. But maybe there’s nothing wrong with feeling that way. Maybe it’s okay to be frightened of things. Maybe it’s okay to feel guilt when something as insignificant as a wasp or spider perishes. Maybe, just maybe, I’m no less of a person.

And perhaps the spider I killed is in a better place.

Or perhaps he deserved to die because he ate his children.

I don’t know…

American author and filker, Seanan McGuire (b. 1978), once said, “Whoever authorized the evolution of the spiders of Australia should be summarily dragged out into the street and shot.”

Peace Out :|:

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. You can leave a comment and/or like this post below, or by clicking the title on the top of this post if you are on the archives page. Likes and follows greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other two blogs:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post

Hark Around the Words
New Posts Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Click Here to Read the Latest Post


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