Tag Archives: spiders

Of Blog Guilt and Spiders

That awkward moment when you realize you are a day overdue on your blog post but have nothing of any significance to say. You cannot be amusing, or timely, or philosophical, because you have been rearranging furniture for two days and are just plain pooped out physically.

And so I share with you the meme a friend posted on my FB page, because in the course of moving said furniture, I found a very large dark and hairy spider, dead behind one of the bookcases.

Could’ve been worse: VHDHS could’ve been alive. One of us would have wound up in intensive care.

It’s not that I have it in for spiders. As Amy, the friend who sent the meme, pointed out, they do useful work on this Earth.

Yes, but they should do this useful work outside, in the garden, not in my basement apartment. Four feet from my face while I’m sleeping. That’s not a domestic spider wearing an apron, humming as she dusts out the corner cupboard. That’s a creepy stalker spider with a knife.

It is in response to these sentiments that Amy sent the following meme:

spider meme

Ha ha.

Very funny.


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Filed under animal rescue, bad writing, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, home improvements, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, Wendy Welch


As I come from a Northern European country, my experience of scary creepy crawly things is fairly limited: Margaret Thatcher, mostly. But I had a baptism of fire (actually fire ants) when I first arrived in the US. I discovered not only fire ants but banana spiders and other six- and eight-legged critters I never was able to put a name to, because they didn’t exist in the Old World. Suffice it to say that I’m a lot more nervous about these things now that I live here permanently–and since I learned that Tennessee, which is on our bookstore’s western flank, is home to almost every kind of poisonous spider known to humanity.


So when I was suckered into upgrading our bookstore’s basement (see my previous post) so we could put “another few bookshelves” down there, I was aware that there were a few straggly cobwebs. It seemed likely that there might even be an occasional confrontation, but it wasn’t until I began to replace the windows that things got serious.

As I installed each new window frame, I sprayed expanding foam into the crevices. After finishing the first two, I went up into the house to have my lunch. On my return, I was confronted with a whole herd of spindly legged spiders with swollen white joints and bodies hanging in the webs.


These things looked seriously scary, like evil snowflakes, but they weren’t moving. My assumption was that the foam had driven them out of their hiding places and perhaps given them a rather nasty death. But Wendy, being an academic, decided that ‘crowd sourcing’ on FaceBook would give us a more definitive answer.


Our neighbor and bookstore cleaner extraordinaire, Heather (while on an excursion in Asheville, even) found a match to the picture I’d posted of our spider. Lo and behold – it was officially named a Cellar Spider, and the white stuff was a fungal infection! I’m kind of sorry for them, having just got over a nasty cough myself, but don’t feel as guilty as when I thought I’d zapped them with the foam.

Now I wonder, did they catch this infection all at once or were they born with it inside them and it gradually developed? They are different sizes and yet they all have it; here’s what appears to be the tribal elder –



I should finally say that I’m generally amenable to spiders (as long as they’re not right in my face) as I know they keep less desirable beasties under control. However, Wendy, normally a circle of lifer and a gentle Quakerish soul, is terrified of spiders and has now decided the basement bookstore elements are mine to supervise. I feel more work coming on….


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