The Itsy-Bitsy, Cranky-Wanky Spider


One of the things you have to put up with in an old house is lots of old spiders.

Well, technically, I don't know how old the spiders are, so they could be old spiders or young spiders. But since the spiderwebs looked ancient, I figured the spiders have been around the place for a while. This may make them less spry, but they are also perhaps wiser, which means they know their way around the block (or the bedrooms as the case may be) and all the hiding places, which does not bode well for me, a house-spider-fearing suburbanite.

The obvious truth is, no matter how old they were, there definitely seemed to be more of them in our new-old home than in our previous home. Our new-old house was built in 1903, which makes it really, super old and therefore the spiders, if they are as old as the house and anything like really, super old people, must be pretty cranky indeed.

Something I learned after we moved into our spider-populated new-old house is that cranky, old spiders do not like it when you mess with their webs. When you dust away the web of a young spider, they're all like, "OK, fine. Whatever. I'll just play some video games and then spin a new one." But when you dust away the web of a cranky old spider, they're all like, "Whoa, hold on there, Missy. Do you know how long it took me to do that? You've just really ticked me off, so now I'm going to hang down from a thread over your face while you sleep and then run across your face and give you horrible, spider-infested nightmares."

I had reason to be worried. I had spent the day vigorously cleaning all the spiderwebs out of all corners of the house. My deal with them was they could hang out and catch bugs, but as soon as they started spinning webs so big that they made my house look like the Addams Family lived there, it was every man, woman and arachnid for themself.

Apparently, one of the webs I cleared must have belonged to one of these cranky, old spiders because the first time I saw the spider it was in the living room after I removed a giant web. Then later, at bedtime, I saw the same spider in the corner of our bedroom.

"That spider is stalking me," I said to my husband, pointing to the oversized spider in the corner. "It is a cranky, old spider from the living room and it's mad because I cleared away its web, so now it's going to run across my face when I'm asleep tonight. And then that is going to wake you up."

He looked up at the corner and then shook his head. "I have three questions. First, how do you know it's the same spider?" he asked. "Second, if you're asleep, how are you going to know it's running across your face? Third, why would that possibly wake ME up?"

I nodded. "First, I have a good memory for spider faces, and that is definitely the same spider."


"OK, sure," he said, dubiously.

"Second, I will know it is running across my face because I will feel it. And third, when I feel it run across my face, I will wake up and scream and then wake you up with my screaming."

"OK," he said again.

"So, are you going to get rid of the spider?" I asked him.

"No," he said. "I'm going to sleep in another room."


Tracy Beckerman is the author of the Amazon Bestseller "Barking at the Moon: A Story of Life, Love, and Kibble," available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online! You can visit her at

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