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Why I Am Spider Season's Greatest War Criminal

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I don't think this is a particularly new thing, but they have apparently invented a vacuum cleaner specifically for the humane capture of spiders. The Spider Catcher Vacuum costs about £9.95, and they allow you to catch spiders "from a safe distance" and then release them into the wild, where they presumably then return to their idyllic spider commune and tell tales about your kindness to their younglings. Lovely.

Well, sadly, although £9.95 does strike me as being very reasonable for an arachnid-specific Hoover, I am going to continue with my traditional favoured method of disposing of them from my home, namely, hitting them with one of my slippers. Doesn't matter which, they both do the job. Actually, I always hit them twice. If you don't catch them squarely the first time, they may not die immediately - they may still indeed be, as they say about the murderous bugs in Starship Troopers, "combat effective." I then leave them there for a while all mangled and mushed and finally, when I am sure they are dead, I lift them up on a bit of paper at least A4 in size - because, when it comes to spiders, I believe in the miracle of resurrection - and then free them into the wild, hoping that those spiders from the commune (which I imagine to be like The Shire in Lord Of The Rings) eventually recover their former comrade and, choking back tears, realise that this is a place to be avoided in the future, a South London Fangorn Forest.

"How horribly cruel you are, Peter!" I hear you chorus. "That spider meant you no harm."
Yeah, but... Neither did any of the, I'd estimate, 80 to 100 species of animal that I have consumed in my life (best one, in case you were wondering: razor clam) and yet eat them I did, and I continue to eat them even now. Heck, once I ate 37 species of animal IN ONE SANDWICH but we were attempting to set a Guinness World Record so that's excusable. My point is, I am more than willing to be responsible for the death (and subsequent consumption) of all manner of cute, personable animals without a second thought. Do you like horses? I've eaten horse. Cat? I've eaten cat meat. Both lovely, lovely animals that are nice to pet. So if you think I care about the half dozen or so spiders, with their eyes and their legs and their mandibles and their eyes, that I terminate with extreme prejudice on an annual basis, than you have gravely misunderstood the basic message of this tract.

Also, what makes you all such experts on the spider's psychology? He or she may have meant me extreme harm. He may have been making a desperate scurrying attempt to launch himself into my mouth and explode his eggs into my oesophagus (actually, that makes it a she, doesn't it?) that they may incubate, hatch, and consume me within. I have no idea what that spider is doing in my home, I simply know that I am afraid of it and I wish it gone, by any means necessary.

"It's more scared of you than you are of it."

Ah, but that's where you're wrong. When a spider scurries into a room in which I am stationed, it generally carries on scurrying, blissfully unaware of my presence, the nonchalant little shit. I, on the other hand, start squealing like a stuck Alan Carr, get all of my feet - ALL OF THEM - up off the floor and start frantically searching for my slippers, who I have codenamed 'Smashhammer' and 'Mr Devastation'. And if the spider manages to make it to cover, than I cannot comfortably be in the room knowing he is there. I CANNOT COMFORTABLY BE IN THE FLAT KNOWING HE IS THERE. THERE MIGHT BE OTHERS TOO. See? I'm much more scared of him, because he is a spider and I am terrified of spiders. If he was terrified of me, what's he even doing all up in my ends?

Which brings me to my next point. A spider in my flat is something that I don't want in my flat, in my flat. So I reserve my right to deck it with comfortable footwear. If that spider was a burglar, would you get up in arms if I twatted him with a bedside lamp? If it was a rabid urban fox, thrashing and frothing like, well, the kind of foxes you get in South London do nowadays, is it not my right to beat him into bloody submission with a large pan? That's the deadliest weapon in my flat, by the way, although it's a BLOODY big pan.

Besides, insects are starting to rebel all over the world and attack us, those who oppress them with swatter and slipper and rolled-up newspaper. In China, deadly hornets have killed hundreds, their stings causing renal failure and lingering death. In America, swarms of evil bees from south of the border have claimed many lives, proving that the 1978 film The Swarm was the most prescient film ever to have had Michael Caine in it. The current World's Most Evil Spider is the Brazilian Wandering Spider, which Wikipedia describes as being "aggressive and venomous... Aside from causing intense pain, the venom of the spider can also cause priapism in humans. Erections resulting from the bite are uncomfortable, can last for many hours... Their genus includes some of the relatively few species of spiders known to present a threat to humans." So basically, that's the top boy when it comes to spiders and they want to kill us, they possess the wherewithal to kill us, and to top it all, as we die, we have to put up with a painful boner that won't go down. The Brazilian Wandering Spider often nestles in banana bunches. Enjoy your next fruit shop!

So yeah. Spiders are horrible bastards and I reserve the right to splat them in my own home. Because if the film Eight Legged Freaks, for my mind THE most responsible portrayal of the arachnid threat in modern cinema, tells us anything, it's that the minute they get exposed to toxic waste, they'll all grow to the size of cars. Then we're screwed. So I'm killing them before that happens. With my slippers.

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