Suzy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

Mike’s most recent post reminded me of a long-ago episode in the sitcom of my life, starring Dad, Self, and a cast of thousands. Spiders, that is.

I spent a summer brat-bashing on the French Riviera when I was in my teens. Despite the presence of, you know, children, it was pretty much the best job I ever had. I was paid to hang out on the beach, had a whole tower to myself, and if I had a license then, I would have had access to a white MG to drive à la Grace Kelly up and down the Corniches (though probably with the same results, so maybe it’s just as well).

When I came home, I went to sleep in my room and woke up in the wee hours, as the jet-lagged tend to do. Seeing a spider crawling toward me across my previously unsullied pillow made me scream and wake up simultaneously. I went racing to my parents’ room, where my light-sleeping father was already awake and annoyed.

I gabbled crazily about the spider invasion and the urgency of its immediate removal as he grumped toward my room. He suggested that we make sure the spider wasn’t merely the advance scout for an army of invaders, and pulled my bed away from the wall. There was, as he had predicted, an entire nest of the little monsters, all just waiting for me to go to sleep so they could attack me.

Grinning evilly, he scooped them up in his hand and chased me through the house with them. We all ended up outside on the dark,dew-soaked grass, me screaming, Dad laughing, and the spiders wondering what the hell was going on.

On Dad’s next trip to Sweden, he bought me a silver choker in the shape of a spider in its web. He thought it was hilarious.

He’d probably find it hilarious that one of the major house-keeping challenges (and I am not good at house-keeping of any kind, even in the Zsa Zsa sense) of my hippie hovel is spiders. They are everywhere, as are bugs, and they are constantly festooning everything with cobwebs. While they are slackers in bug catching, they are over-achievers in web spinning. No sooner do you remove one, whether web or spider, than another takes its place. It’s like an arachnid Sorcerer’s Apprentice around here.

A couple of days ago, I brushed every single cobweb from the balcony, a much bigger undertaking than it sounds. The very next morning, there was a giant, outsized spider web in the arch of the balcony, a spider “Screw you”.

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4 comments on “Suzy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

  1. Mike

    Having kids forced me to overcome my fear of creepy crawlers. Not wanting to pass on my fear, I’ve had to act fearless and “all cool with” a variety of invaders over the years. And now I’m the one who will “trap” a spider with a glass and let him go outside. There was a time, not that long ago, when I’d have to lean on Jennifer for such a task.

    It feels good not to afraid, or, I should say, less afraid. BTW, I would have thought of the spider/web pendant your Dad bought as a talisman.

  2. suzy

    That’s interesting. I wonder if all parents were scared of stuff in their pre-parenting days?

    I still have the necklace!

  3. Joy

    Wear your necklace, I’m sure it was meant as a talisman.

    If you have been killing spiders…no wonder it has been raining so hard! My family always did a catch & release where spiders were concerned. (‘way to the end of the garden). It was felt it would rain if you killed one! I’m sorry there are so many around you.


  4. Guy

    Spiders are known to build a web in the matter of a few hours Suzy, don’t get discouraged, like I said in Mikes entry, they are the sneaky kind of bug and love to scare and annoy humans. Although not comforting they do kill and get rid of many insects who may be much more harmful to you.

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