February 17, 2005

Spiders? Anyone? Not me!

Snapshots In My Time, Of My Time.....Hauntings.
2nd Grade

When people today hear the word, "Arachnophobia", they think of a preposterous Hollywood movie, but arachnophobia is a very real, serious problem for many people. It can become an obsession, affecting their everyday lives in unimaginable ways.

I have seen the movie and it makes me crazy. Spiders make me scream! Just thinking about them makes me jumpy. Even now I am jumpy. I remember when the fear set in. I was in 2nd grade and it was a saturday morning. I woke up and had a slight itch in my head. I scratched my head off and on that morning. I had an itch that would not go away. ((What is that on my leg? Why am I jumping at this computer?? And letting out yelps and stifled screams at the pictures of spiders, I just googled up for an image to place here?))

OKAY! I will try to keep the feeling that something is crawling up my leg to a minimum. Okay...I did not comb my hair right away. The saturday morning ritual was cartoons and then breakfast. And then even more cartoons. The itch persisted. This may sound like a spider urban legend but is is not. It is real. It was real.

I finally wanted to get to the bottom of that itch. I got a comb and tried to comb my hair. Maybe it was dry and it needed some oil on it. There was a small lump or what I thought was a knot of hair caught in my comb. I pulled and it did not come out. I decided to try to separate the hair and untangle the knot. When I put my fingers up there on teh right side of my head. I felt movement. Small leggy movement. Waht the hell was it? I began to scream at the top of my lungs. My mother came running. It was a big ole' nasty spider. (I feel something moving right now in my hair. I need a drink..now!)

A big old spider was caught in my hair and he was moving those legs trying to get out of my hair. I continued to scream. (I'll be back, I am going for bourbon and ginger to calm my nerves...I kid you not...I am freaking out right now.) I could not get it out. I ran for scissors. I would cut it out. My mother grabbed the scissors and would not let me do it. She had my father hold me down and she worked on my hair. My father held my legs and arms and I continued to scream. This was no little spider. This was a big spider that had been in my hair I guess all night and was not all tangled up in my hair. I could still feel it moving. I screamed and my mother got a big book from the book shelf and said she was going to smash it. She could not get it out. It would have to be killed first and them removed.

(I am going back for my 2nd B and G...this time I will make it more bourbon and less ginger ale. Good old Jack Daniels!) My mother told me to hold still. She stretched my hair out and them BOOM! went the book. No more itching and not more could I feel legs moving around. She combed it out and then washed my hair. I never got over that spider. I have had a horrible fear since. It is more than fear. Looking at them makes me scream out loud.

I thought the following was another spider urban legend but is is not. There are a lot of spider urban legends but this not. I got this email awhile ago and was upset for 4 days. Seeing this picture now had just made me scream outloud.( Hopefully the neighbors have not called the police thinking that something is happening over here. After seeing this and hearing about these camel spiders that our troops have to deal with, I knew that I could never go to the desert. NEVER !!! EVER!!!!

This came from a soldier over in Bagdad.

From someone stationed in Baghdad. He was recently bitten by a camel spider which was hiding in his sleeping bag. I thought you'd like to see what a camel spider looks like. It'll give you a better idea of what our troops are dealing with. Enclosed is a picture of his friend holding up two spiders. Warning: not for the squeamish!

This picture is a perfect example of why you don't want to go to the desert. These are 2 of the biggest I've ever seen. With a vertical leap that would make a pro basketball player weep with envy (they have to be able to jump up on to a camels stomach after all), they latch on and inject you with a local anesthesia so you can't feel it feeding on you. They eat flesh, not just suck out your juices like a normal spider.
Here is what Camel Spiders look like in all their glory.

All I can say after seeing that picture is God be with the troops.


  1. Take comfort in the fact that those camel spiders are not as large as the photo suggests. While I am no fan of spider and would run screaming if I saw one, they are about 5-6" - not 2.5 feet as they look in the photo.

    Reading your story, I can totally understand your fear. Eeek, just got the chills. Damn you! ;P

  2. *shiver* I don't like ANY kind of creepy crawlies but those things are going to give me nightmares, I can tell already.

  3. moxiegrrrl are you sure about the size. they have to be bigger than 6 inches. look at them!! it makes me sick just to look at them Dave!

  4. Hey again hodgepodger - yes, I'm sure about the size.

    Here's the snopes article about them - says they have about 5" leg span. So they are only a LITTLE horrific, as opposed to Hollywood movie horrific ;)