Donâ€™t tell me that itâ€™s â€œspider seasonâ€ and that this is the time of year they come indoors.
And you really neednâ€™t bother with the â€œbut not to worry, theyâ€™re not dangerous at all.â€
Iâ€™m not listening.
Iâ€™d rather not know that itâ€™s spider season, thank you very much.
And I prefer to ignore that they come indoors at this time of year.
My chance encounters with the beasts are bad enough, I donâ€™t need to be thinking about them â€“ worrying about them â€“ fretting about them â€“ obsessing on them â€“ all day long.
And all night.
Thatâ€™s when theyâ€™re the worst: when they might be there, peering at me from their dark corners, but I canâ€™t know for sure.
Iâ€™ve developed a number of strategies to bring my arachnophobia to heel. Chief among them is to imagine that they do not exist. To go about my day-to-day business deliberately oblivious to their predatory concealment.
I simply pretend that there are no spiders in my universe.
Wellâ€¦ itâ€™s not that simple, really, as the reminders are difficult to ignore: single strings of almost invisible silk catching on clothing, hairâ€¦ faces! Argggh.
And the orb spinnersâ€™ dew-besparkled webs strung through the trees lull us, deceive us with their beauty, particularly at this time of year.
The time of year when spiders come indoors.
Iâ€™ve tried the same with politicians, ignoring them and hoping close encounters simply wonâ€™t happen.
But they always do.
Like spiders, theyâ€™ll just pop up unexpectedly or someone says something or does something that shatters my personal reality, and there they are, flooding into my consciousness and wreaking havoc on my existence.
Thanks to one of those reminders of spiders, this one from the Royal BC Museum, I learned something I didnâ€™t know before.
Iâ€™m well aware of the meaningless platitudes that theyâ€™re harmless, that they arenâ€™t known to carry disease or bacteria that does us damage, and that their venom doesnâ€™t affect us negatively (which is true for the most part, but not a universal fact, as there are a few relatively rare spiders in these parts whose bites pack quite a wallop).
It doesnâ€™t matter that theyâ€™re â€œinnocent.â€ They still give people like me the creeps at a visceral, uncontrollable level.
But it is cool to learn that spiders donâ€™t come indoors at this time of year to get out of the rain and cold. Instead, itâ€™s the spidersâ€™ season of love, and itâ€™s mostly just males who accidentally stumble inside while scrounging around for something to mate with.
Indeed, the parallels between spiders and politicians are manifold.
Neither are inherently evil. They arenâ€™t bad, per se, just creepy. Itâ€™s the way they move, hiding quietly in cracks and corners and only coming out to suck the lifeblood out of whatever around them comes easy to hand.
Like spiders, there are some varieties of politicians that bother some people less than they do others.
Some people fear only the big ones, while others are creeped out by the small ones. Some peopleâ€™s arachnophobia centres on the dark, brooding ones, while others canâ€™t stand the hairy ones.
Itâ€™s spider season.
And itâ€™s also politician season. Except politicians, instead of coming indoors, come out of the woodworks at this time of year.
Donâ€™t step on them. Theyâ€™re just looking for some love.