Gimmeoxygen's Blog

January 21, 2010

The Squeal in Aisle Three

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ruby Dabling @ 4:48 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Yesterday, while I was grocery shopping, I sauntered down aisle three in search of honey not knowing the drama that would ensue from this act.  The honey I wanted wasn’t stocked.  There were two lonely bottles waaaaay at the back of the shelf, so I stuck my trusting, little paw in to claim one, and – when I did – a SPIDER ran over my hand, up my arm and into the sleeve of my coat.

I squealed.  I shrieked.  I was so busy screaming, “Oh!  Oh!  Oh!” while shaking my arm, peeling my coat off, and leaping up and down doing the Eek!  It’s a Spider! dance that I didn’t realize what was happening in front of me.

I don’t know what kind of a noise I made when the spider assaulted me.  It was shrill, and it was loud.  It was, in fact, startling enough to cause the woman in front of me to drop, and shatter, the jar of blueberry preserves she’d been holding.  A large chunk of the glass bounced up, and embedded itself deep into the calf of her leg.  She was shrieking and bleeding, I was shrieking and dancing…everyone else was, of course, staring.

Lady, I am sorry that you were hurt.  It’s obvious you needed a suture or two, and I feel terrible about that.  I wish I could have apologized on the spot, but, you see, it wasn’t my fault – you’ve got to blame the spider that attacked me.  I would have been more attentive to your distress, but I was preoccupied because I didn’t know where the spider went.  I wanted to strip down on the spot.  I was sure that it was, still, in my clothes.  This is why I was slapping myself and Oh, God!ing instead of paying attention to the small river of blood that was running down your leg into your gray suede pumps.  My fear of those eight-legged terrorists is greater than the need to observe social graces.  Besides, you were the one the store manager trundled off to be fussed-over and taken care of.  I was the one left to look like the neurotic geek I am – still slapping, still jiggling, still convinced I had a fat, juicy brown recluse lurking in my clothing (I live in fear of the brown recluse as  it is so common out here, and so many people I know have been bitten by the nasty, venomous things).

I, then, behaved in the mature manner one would expect of me.  I abandoned my cart, ran to my car, drove home like a bat out of hell, stripped my clothing off, and jumped into the shower…all the while Oh, God!ing like the maniac that I am.

Yeah, I’m a warrior, all right…  As long as we aren’t talking about spiders, I will kick ass.

Now, I have to go to the grocery store – I think I’ll go to a different one today where I’m not quite so fresh in the memory of any of the staff who saw me – and I will do my best to maintain a low profile…….



  1. Take heart — I’m also an arachnophobe, and would have reacted EXACTLY the same way. I was spared a similar experience about a week ago when Phil discovered a wolf spider (EEEEEEEEEK!) in the corner of our living room. I didn’t see it, but that didn’t matter. I couldn’t sleep for the next three nights.

    Who knows where some of our irrational fears originate. As much as we may loathe them and loathe the way they make us behave, alas, there’s no easy cure.

    Comment by Hannah Lee Jones — January 21, 2010 @ 11:37 pm | Reply

    • But, Hannah, yanno…I am feeling more and more guilty about that poor woman. It was a big chunk of that glass that went DEEP into her leg. I’m sure she needed a few sutures, and – the more I think about it – I wish I’d been more conciliatory. I’m stopping by the store today to ask if the manager who came to her rescue has her number. If she does, I’m going to ask her to call that woman and tell her I’m sooo sorry, and that I’ll pay any bills arising from this.

      But you ARE right – I have very little control over this phobia. I’ve tried and tried to overcome it (even to the point of allowing that other spider I wrote about to live), but I just can’t. I even have nightmares about being bitten by a brown recluse, and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t check under my bed to make sure there are no nests. If I don’t, I can’t sleep.

      Sigh…we are wussies where eight legs are concerned!

      Comment by Ruby Dabling — January 22, 2010 @ 8:42 pm | Reply

      • You think you have a bad conscience, Ruby? Look at me! I zoomed all my readerly focus in on the stupid spider and plumb forgot about the poor woman with the gash in her leg. Dumbass am I. (Though I guess it says great things about how well you dramatized your fear of the eight-legged critter who ruined your day).

        I would do precisely what you mentioned, Ruby. I know the poor lady will appreciate the apology. If she’s a good person, I doubt she’ll have you paying any bills. (Poor Phil one time hit a bicyclist on the street. He offered to pay the dude’s medical bills, but aside from a dinner out, he wouldn’t let him. And guess what? Today, we’re friends).

        I wish the same such thing for you! The world can behave very strangely.

        Comment by Hannah Lee Jones — January 23, 2010 @ 8:55 am

      • I discovered that the stores’ insurance will pick up the tab, but the manager did tell me that she passed on my apologies and my phone # to the woman, and that the woman, whose name is Gloria, had already arrived at the point where she is laughing about it…well, ME, really….

        I do hope she calls. I’d like to speak to her just to let her know I’m not the psychotic that I’m sure she thinks I am!

        Comment by Ruby Dabling — January 23, 2010 @ 8:27 pm

  2. If she calls…bingo, your next blog entry, Ruby. And if that happens, I can’t wait to get the dish!!!

    Comment by Hannah Lee Jones — January 24, 2010 @ 8:09 am | Reply

  3. Hmmmm. You got punked by a spider and nearly caused the death of another person. In this instance, you are not TrueMan approved 🙂

    Comment by TrueMan — January 24, 2010 @ 3:10 pm | Reply

    • I’d hardly say I ‘nearly caused the death of another person’, TrueMan – and isn’t that kind of over-dramatization the realm of the classic hysterical female? Uh-oh…I spy a chink in your armor!

      And it was a SPIDER… All bets are off, all rules are abandoned in the case of spiders. It is every neurotic for herself in that case, and I fight for my right to be a pussy, dammit!

      Comment by Ruby Dabling — January 24, 2010 @ 6:59 pm | Reply

  4. I’ve come along distance with my arachnophobia but it all went out the window when I found a wolf spider perched on my bare shoulder. We were waiting in a long line snaking through the woods to check in our children to summer camp. I had gear on my back and all around me. Normally I would have done the same song and dance number as you did in Aisle 3. Instead I screamed on the inside and flicked that thing — somewhere. That is my guilt. Where did it go? In someone else’s hair or backpack? I’ll never know. All I know is it was no longer on MY shoulder.

    Comment by MomZombie — January 26, 2010 @ 3:29 pm | Reply

    • That spider is out there, MZ, and it won’t stop looking until it finds you. It’s spider babies and grandbabies and greatgrandbabies will go on and on and…oh, dear god, I’ve just spooked MYSELF…

      Comment by Ruby Dabling — January 26, 2010 @ 8:30 pm | Reply

  5. You’re better that me Ruby. I woulda been out of them clothes so fast and streaking my behind all up and through that store. I can’t stand spiders and snakes. UGHHHH!!! You are a brave woman to drive home not knowing where that spider went. The thought of that CREATURE lurking somewhere on my person no way. That store needs to step up their pest control game!

    Comment by robminx — January 26, 2010 @ 6:16 pm | Reply

    • I have no idea how I got home without wrecking my car since I was not only breaking all kinds of speed limits, but was in a state that can best be described as temporarily psychotic.

      I can handle snakes. I can handle most wildlife – including the coyotes, bears, mountain lions, skunks and other critters that wander into my yard on a regular basis. I don’t know why I turn into such a ninny where spiders are concerned, but…sigh…I guess we all need something to keep us humble!

      Comment by Ruby Dabling — January 26, 2010 @ 8:32 pm | Reply

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