Dear Editor of this mighty organ. Please, please can you remember that there are those of us who feel faint at the sight of spiders, and stop randomly slapping pictures in the paper of some eight-legged horror who has decided to move up to Edinburgh, presumably fleeing rising house prices in London?
I am vaguely aware that this particular spider might be dangerous. The photo gave me the screaming hab-dabs so I got my son to read out the information slowly so I could get properly worried about it.
It would appear to be an imposter, this False Widow, but I have to say that it’s doing its job very well. To my unpractised eye, it looks like the real thing, not that I’ve checked much. One spider looks pretty much like another if you are A) running away from it at high speed and you’ve got your husband to then B) flatten it with a newspaper.
My last arachnid battle involved me and my vacuum cleaner. The spider was on the bedroom ceiling. Thus, it was possible the beast might fall on my head. To prevent the monster spider getting trapped in my hair, I put on my trusty shower cap.
Of course, to do battle I had to look up. Horror! The thing could land on my face and get in my eyes. Fortunately I found swimming goggles and wrapped my face in an old scarf. I wrapped the cable of the vacuum cleaner round me and entered bedroom like Ripley trin Aliens, wielding my weapon of choice in my rubber gloved hands.
I think I heard the spider laughing. Well, laugh away eight-legged invader, and see how you like this, I cried.
The whole procedure would have been a lot easier if we had one of those vacuum cleaners with a hose or a crevice tool. It’s quite hard to aim an upright upwards.
I believe the spider died of old age before I could get there.
No roadworks, no cone heads
Across in the West, there is much agonising about the statue of Wellington and its headgear. The Iron Duke is often to be seen sporting a traffic cone.
Why does this keep happening, they ask? Y’know, I’m no genius, but I rather think the combination of young men, alcohol, traffic cones and accessible statues pretty much guarantees that at some point there will be what sociologists might describe as a cone/head interaction.
How to stop it happening? Well Glasgow, like Edinburgh, has had its fair share of road upheaval in the last few years.
Take away the temptation – let’s not have roadworks for a bit. No cones, no pokey hat, and the Duke will look like any other statue in the city.
Incidentally, his horse was called Copenhagen. Always gets overlooked.
I’m too old in the tooth for visits from fairies
My old tooth has to come out. Decades of mastication have undone the molar at the back and the whole thing has given up the ghost.
For some reason I was unaccountably upset. I’d geared myself up for root canal work, which is something I’ve heard tell of, but never actually witnessed, so I was actually quite keen – I know, this is more of a reflection on my sad, quiet little life.
So when my dentist peered into the cavity and said, nah, it’s done for, I was taken aback.
That tooth and I have shared adventures. We’ve eaten wedding and birthday cakes, cracked nuts and chewed toffees and exposed the fillings when we’ve enjoyed the jokes. It’s a bit sad, really.
Even sadder is the fact that the Tooth Fairy is ageist, and doesn’t come to call when it’s under the pillow of a batty old dame.
Hitchers can take a hike
There are always people to take the part of any beast in the UK, no matter how weird, or dangerous. It’s like those dog owners who shout, “don’t worry he’s only being friendly” when something the bulk of a DFS three-seater sofa comes bounding towards you in the park, howling and slobbering.
In this case it’s the education and publicity officer for the British Arachnological Society, whose name, rather charmingly, is Mr Bee.
The spider man (where have I heard that before?) says the False Widow is not aggressive and won’t attack unless you provoke it. Well, let’s get this straight. It’s in my house. That means I have been provoked and that would make me aggressive. I will attack. Well, what I mean is, I’ll get my husband on the job.
And no-one knows how they got here, these Widow impersonators. The spider chap says he thinks they hitched. How did they do that, for heaven’s sake? Somewhere down about Tebay services was there a bunch of Falsies flashing a bit of thigh (well, they’ve got eight each) gathered around a sign saying Edinburgh or Bust?