I was taking a shower this morning before work when I happened to glance upward. In the corner of the wall and ceiling I saw a very long-legged spider presumably doing some web work. I’ve been to many campgrounds and have taken showers where spiders were present, but never in a position to drop down on me and do its best Little Miss Muffit impression.
It made me nervous.
I’m not normally afraid of spiders, although I do have a healthy respect for their ability to ruin an otherwise good day. I once walked face-first into an orb weaver’s lair while hiking. Having a face full of spider web was creepy enough but I quickly realized I had my mouth open at the time and could feel the little guy dancing around on my tongue. They say animals are more afraid of us than we are of them. I doubt that.
Like I said, I’m not normally afraid of spiders, especially when I can see them coming. But seeing one hovering around above me while I’m naked and wet is another matter. This one was clumsy, too. He kept slipping off his web and falling a few inches before catching himself. I wondered if he was trying to psyche me out, like a mixed-martial artist throwing feint jabs right before launching a round kick to the side of his opponent’s head.
I couldn’t stop looking up. My mind was calculating fall trajectories, wondering where he’d land if he fell off his silky perch. Would he hit the soap shelf and bounce onto my arm? If he fell all the way to the bottom of the shower would he scramble over to my foot? It felt ridiculous thinking these things, but I couldn’t help myself. Spiders are one thing. Spiders hovering above you while you take a shower is another matter entirely.
That spider no longer exists. Well, he does, but he doesn’t quite look the same. Let’s just say he’s an ex-spider and leave it at that.
What does all this have to do with motorcycling, you ask? Last summer my buddy Mike had a yellow jacket fly into his helmet while his face shield was cracked open. The little bugger stung him several times on the temple before he could safely pull his bike to the curb and remove his helmet. His eye swelled up, making him look like he had gone two rounds with Mike Tyson.
Thinking of what happened to Mike, after I disposed of the squatter arachnid I had the thought, “I’m sure glad spiders don’t fly.”