To Oh YEAH MAMA the upcoming release of my romantic comedy, Driving in Neutral—a love story about claustrophobia—(that you can pre-order here!) I am running this 75 Days of Phobia series. A big thank you to everyone who’s been following along and everyone who’s joined in to share. As Olivia, the heroine in Driving in Neutral says to Maxwell the claustrophobe, “Everyone’s afraid of something.” Author Mel Scott agrees that everybody’s got their something…
There aren’t too many things that give me, to quote Buffy, a wiggins. I am fine with snakes and mice and deep water and small spaces and (mostly) heights. But everyone has their thing and my thing is generally small, hairy and has more legs than any critter realistically needs. Yup, I’m talking the s-word. Spiders. In all their too many eyes, too many legs, creepy scuttling, ambush web making grossness. Out of respect to my fellow arachnophobics, I refuse to include a picture of an actual spider, so I drew a cute spider. Which is probably a tautology but is better than the real thing.
I’m not entirely sure what caused my fear of spiders. I have my suspicions. Firstly the fact that when I was small we lived in an old wooden farmhouse and I used to quite often wake up to find a huntsman spider on the wall near my bed (I will spare you all a picture of a huntsman … they are large (especially to a three year old) and hairy that’s all you need to know) and have to hotfoot it out to my parents bed. Secondly the fact that my parents were Doctor Who fans and I saw the Planet of the Spiders episodes at an age that was, in retrospect, too young to shrug off the thought of giant invisible spiders that lived on people’s backs and controlled them (dear Doctor Who writers…what the hell were you thinking?).
Whatever the reason, I am anti-spider. I used to hate all spiders but these days it’s really only the large hairy kind that freak me out. I have rules for large hairy spiders.
Rule 1. I know you have an ecological role to play but play it outside my house. Unless you are a daddy long legs or some teeny weeny harmless money spider, if you come into my house, you will die. This goes double for whitetails and the big icky hairy ones.
Rule 2. Outside my house, if you are of the big icky hairy variety, you’d better stay where I cannot see you. If I can see you and you’re somewhere I have to be near (like my freaking front door) or somewhere that looks like you might get into my house , see Rule 1. Death, yours.
Rule 3. My car. Do not even think about it. You will die. I will probably crash. It will be bad for both of us.
Rule 4. Addendum for my current crop of daddy long legs. Some of you are getting quite large and doing freaky things like eating your babies. This is gross. If you get too gross, see Rule 1.
Rule 5. Mum, if you read this, picking up huntsmen is weird and wrong and they will too bite you.
I blogged these rules once upon a time. Which serves as fair notice to spider-kind. Which is more than the eight legged freaks deserve. Who’s with me?
Mel writes fantasy as M.J. Scott and contemporary romance as Melanie Scott. Her next book, THE DEVIL IN DENIM, is the first in her New York Saints series about three friends who buy the worst baseball team in the Major League and is out on August 26. It contains zero spiders but many other good things. She hangs out at various places on the web (which she wishes was called something non spider associated):