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Shelob and I

September 29th, 2008 by · 77 Comments

orb weaver spider 123101It’s orb weaver season here in San Diego, the time when spiders the size of Brazil nuts construct giant webs on everything that isn’t nailed down. Seeing one outside my bedroom window this morning, brought back shudder-inducing memories of last year’s horrifying encounter: while fixated on a dead spot in our lawn I plowed full into the freshly made web of the largest arachnid I have ever seen, dead center, my face pulling it cleanly from its moorings on all sides. My entire head was encased in the web and the spider was trapped against my nose. My shrieking was as girlish and undignified as you might imagine (my family assumed I was being repeatedly stabbed with a hat pin).

I can only guess that the spider was no more comfortable with the arrangement than I was, so as quickly as I could (that being 15 seconds or so, a lifetime where giant spiders on the nose are concerned) I peeled it off and began an arduous four hours or so of shaking my arms, jumping up and down and saying, “Agghhhhh. Ew. Bbrrr. Aggghhh.”

Later that evening (I swear this is true, I would not lie to you), I was snacking on some canned shiitake mushrooms when I was taken aback by an odd texture and pulled from my mouth a huge dead preserved spider that had hitched a ride in the can.

It was fully three days before I was able to sleep.

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