Spiders and spiderwebs in Kitsilano

Or The Spiders from Mars

I recently found out that there is such thing as spider season in Vancouver. It only took me a few hours after I moved in to realize that my basement apartment has a spider problem. After encountering all manner of oddities in my apartment that boasts six foot ceilings in parts of the living room and saloon doors on the bathroom, the large spider I found hanging out in the corner was enough to put me over the edge. When I met with my landlady the morning after I moved in and I expressed my concern about spiders, she said matter-of-factly, “Well, it is spider season.” What fresh hell is spider season? I thought as I started to look for a new apartment online. (Life is too short to live in an expensive basement with low ceilings and a spider problem.) I knew there was rain season in Vancouver, but everyone neglected to mention spider season.

Thankfully, spiders are not one of my major fears, otherwise I probably would have called in reinforcements from Ontario to help me to deal with my problem. Even still, I have a reasonable apprehension of eight legged creatures that move faster than I do. I once wrote about the battle I had with the fruit fly in my apartment. That was just one insect getting on my nerves. This is an entire species that seems to think it has a season’s pass to my apartment. I have faced a battle with spiders nearly every evening since I arrived here. The small ones in the corners don’t bother me much; it’s the large spiders scurrying out from under the couch or making themselves comfortable next to my bed that I have a problem with. In the past, I have tried to bring the spiders I find outside so I don’t have to kill them. In this case, the spiders are too large and my apartment is too small, so my options are to kill them or live among them. Given my reasonable apprehension, I have opted to do the former. My weapon of choice is a Birkenstock, but sometimes I have to get inventive. Last week I was chasing a gigantic spider around my living room, waving my Birkenstock as I leapt around the carpet. In the end, it was my backpack that killed it. All I wanted to do was move my backpack so I had a better view of the battle ground. Neither spider nor backpack deserved for it to end this way.

After a few weeks of hand to hand combat that climaxed when I found a very large spider hanging out with my socks and underwear, I brought in the nuclear weapons. I wasn’t able to find the peppermint oil that was recommended as a spider deterrent, so I took the next best recommendation: lemon Pledge. I doused every crack and crevice with lemon Pledge, and then I felt sad because my apartment smelt like Sprite when I wanted it to smell like autumn and pumpkin spice. If this method works, the smell of Sprite is a small price to pay for peace of mind. If it doesn’t work, I might as well burn a candle that smells like cinnamon.

From this episode I have learned that things which wouldn’t ordinarily be a big issue become a major concern when I’m stressed out and I don’t have anyone around to help me. I have also learned to give myself some time, to allow myself to feel emotions as they come up, and to always wear Birkenstocks so I have a weapon close at hand. Most of all, I have learned that when I am uncomfortable, I should take the necessary steps to improve my situation because no one is going to solve my (spider) problems for me. Whether or not my nuclear attack has worked, I’m moving out in a month because like I said before, life is too short to live in a place that makes me uncomfortable when it is in my power to move somewhere else. To sum up this experience in a proverb, When life gives you spiders, get lemons. When life gives you lemons, drink pumpkin cheesecake tea and listen to the Wu-Tang Clan.

Song of the Day: Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie
OR Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta F’ Wit by Wu-Tang Clan

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