Susan Morrison: How I failed Spider-Woman audition
How do they do it? One minute there is a perfectly blank wall, then bam, there is it, all eight legs akimbo.
They do this every year about now, hell bent on making my life a misery by lurking in dark corners and suddenly appearing. I couldn’t be more appalled if Boris Johnson suddenly leapt from my airing cupboard.
Two nights ago one of them suddenly materialised at the bottom of the stairs, between me and my bed.
A spider, that is, not a random member of the cabinet, although the way things are going in politics these days, I wouldn’t be surprised to find Nicola suddenly pop up in the herbaceous border clutching a questionnaire.
The problem was that I’d been intensively taste-testing two different bottles of white wine and as a result had developed a tendency to sway and mutter.
There was a bit of a stand-off in the hallway as I gave myself a stern pep talk to do a runner in the dark and leap over the beast, although I was concerned about arachnid abilities to jump and seize fat, drunk women sailing over their heads. That’s one Attenborough, that is.
Fortunately, and by complete co-incidence, the Grumpy Yorkshireman woke up for some reason and came downstairs just in time to apply the business end of a rolled up Sunday newspaper to the interloper.
Yesterday, one of them had the temerity to hide behind the coffee jar, and had obviously studied modern dance.
It was all long spidery legs and sudden manic scuttling, like one of those 1970s routines from Pans People.
I managed to deal with that one using a stout broom, and only lost three mugs, one jar of marmalade and a small bowl.
I never liked those mugs anyway.
Apparently, it’s the bloke spiders who’re making themselves unwelcome guests.
They’ve woken up from a summer of dozing and now they are on the look out for lady arachnids to play Barry White hits to and get it on, as they say.
I don’t care. If anything, it makes it worse. I’m not wildly keen on my hallway being some sort of match.com for randy teen arachnid lads.
In any case, romance is a notoriously dodgy enterprise for the spider world, particularly for the males.
We need look no further than the sinister Black Widow, who ends a night of tenderness by ripping off the male’s head for a quick snack.
That’s perfectly acceptable to me. Lord knows, there have been times at the height of a snore storm, the likes of which only a Yorkshireman can conjure up, when I’ve felt like emulating my spider sisters.
No cat when you need one
And why do they like the bath so much? No, I don’t think its cute. I never did. I remember being at a playgroup event when my girl was a toddler and some deranged hippy dippy children’s entertainer with a guitar and a tambourine on his head tried to make us all sing a song about a spider in the bath, like this was a cute thing. No, it is not a cute thing.
This is not a baby seal that has mysteriously materialised in said bath, which would be unbelievably cute, although they do smell a bit. This is an eight-legged horror that generally does not go quiet down the plug hole, but in my bitter experience it turns into the sort of battle you see at the end of the movie, with the monster fighting its way back out when you least expect it.
It’s churlish of me to mention this, but whilst I battle the spider invaders, this house boasts not one but three cats.
At the very least, one would expect a rigorous approach to spider catching in return for lavish amounts of Kittynosh Premium Pouch ‘Catch Of The Day’ Feline Fayre With Added Jelly, not to mention a bottomless supply of Super Moggy Crunch Stix.
I expect something slightly more proactive from the cat members of the household than just lining up and staring at the thing on the wall, then presumably criticising my spider bashing technique behind my back.