Just as I was beginning to think that my arachnophobia was getting better, life had to serve me a big slice of humble pie…
I was at work (Pizza Hut), busy cutting pizzas that were to go to a high school for lunch. I’m barely cutting them faster than they’re spilling out of the oven. After they’re cut I need to slide them in their boxes and get those boxes into delivery bags. I’m on a good streak. I’ve got a good flow going, then it happened.
I flung open a box and as I was sliding a pizza inside my absolute most hated arachnid, the Daddy Longlegs, lost it’s absolute shit and scurried around the box! I screamed bloody murder (and may or may not have peed myself… [I did, but just a little]) and my boss and the new trainee I was training came running. I was pressed against a refrigeration unit just opposite the box when my boss came in. I made a lot of hand gestures and squealing and my boss looked at me as if I were having a seizure. Finally I managed to clearly say, “SPIDER IN THE FUCKING BOX!” Tactful, I know. My boss inspected, found the spider, then proceeded to GRAB IT WITH HIS HAND and kill it. He took a step towards me, to make sure I was ok, and I acted no better than the eight-legged little shit that freaked out on me. I ran away from him with the absolute fear of God gripping my chest.
That’s when I realized I kinda peed a little. We were all laughing, yes, even me because I knew just how ridiculous I was being, but y’all need to understand something; when I see someone has touched a spider with their bare flesh my brain reacts as if that person is now infected with a zombie-spider virus and if they touch me I will also be infected. I know, trust me I know, just how ridiculous that is, but in the moment I am not governed by logic.
It took my boss a couple minutes to reassure me the thing was dead and all was well. We threw away the pizza and I now had an oven on the brink of backing up. My trainee was watching me and noted that I jumped a little every time I opened a box.
I now walk among you, more humble than I was this morning and I will not underestimate the depravity of those eight-legged nightmares every again.
Nothing is sacred.