Just bitchin'

Arachnid Syndrome


There exists a hitherto unsuspected offshoot of Stockholm Syndrome.

You know…that condition where you identify with your adversaries…where you begin to appreciate them and teeter on the brink of joining them.

Three things must be understood at this point: 1. I am a terrible housekeeper, 2. I live in a house where nature tends to encroach, and 3. I live mostly inside my mind and only occasionally emerge to the reality surrounding me.

I didn’t realize the severity of my possible-Stockholm condition until I decided to have some new windows installed before the bitter Northwest winter hits. Having set up a day for a crew to bring out my new, weather-worthy panes, I raised my nose from the keyboard and wondered…

…When was the last time I really cleaned this place?

Blinking at the sudden intrusion of a real environment as opposed to the one spawned by my imagination, I scanned a full 360.


Spider webs.

Gauzy, grey filaments draping in corners…depending from light fixtures.


First reaction: disgust. I can’t let anyone see this homage to my domestic deficiencies. I turn off the computer, intending to embark on a cleaning odyssey from one end of the house to the other.

That was the plan.

But somewhere along the way, my dust cloth hesitates, hovering over the sticky strands spewed by my arachnid interlopers. I stare. My arm lowers to my side, duster disarmed. Wow. Look at that. Must’ve taken a lot of work. Maybe a few generations of spinners.

What?! Wait!!! What are you saying!!?? CLEAN THIS PLACE!!!

I stand on tiptoe, reaching upward… My hand stops short…

Halloween’s coming. Wonder how much it would cost to fake-cobweb everything to look like this? Probably a lot…

My arm lowers yet again. I return my dust cloth to its cupboard clean and unsullied.

Because I’m already thinking that after Halloween, it’s not so very long until Christmas. And wouldn’t it be original to decorate this year with a cobwebby, decrepit, Scrooge’s house theme? In fact, if I put up the tree right after Halloween, I bet by December 25th there’ll be a gauzy, sticky halo around each light. Kind of like the angel’s hair we used when I was a kid…

I turn the computer back on and retreat into my fictional world.

I’m not sure, but I think I’ve gone over to their side…