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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Monday, July 31, 2006

Incy wincy spider

Far from being manageably incy wincy, the fearsome arachnids which have processed through Bracknell Towers over the last few weeks have been notable for their hefty proportions. Not to mention for their tendency only to make their presence known in the middle of the night when Lady Bracknell is visiting the smallest room, and is thus not in possession of her full mental faculties.

(As a dyed-in-the-wool arachnophobe, Lady Bracknell is convinced that this is a deliberate ploy on their part guaranteeing, as it does, maximum terror and sleep-deprivation.)

A rational person, upon spotting an arachnid the size of a well-fed mouse wandering across the carpet at three in the morning, would no doubt leave it to wend its merry way from room to room until, realising that it had taken a wrong turn at the air brick, it voluntarily departed whence it came.

But Lady Bracknell is not rational in the presence of spiders. Not at all. Her customary sang froid deserts her entirely, and she cannot rest until she is certain that the monster has been evicted. After all, once the beast had exhausted the delights of her carpets, its next move would undoubtedly be to nestle on her pillow and wait for her to leap from her bed shrieking wholly unladylike epithets.

Lady Bracknell has therefore invested in a spider catcher. It is a device which she recommends to those of her readers who share her phobia, with the proviso that this year's crop of brutes are so large and strong that some are able to resist its pull.

Where the spider catching device will not do the trick, Lady Bracknell turns to her long-handled reacher. To her astonishment, the jaws of her own reacher are so finely aligned that they can grasp a large arachnid by one leg securely enough for her ladyship to stride towards the (already opened in readiness) back door; release the monster over the back steps; and - in completion of the spider-eviction ritual - utter the obligatory words, "And don't come back!".

But these tussles with her spidery visitors are taking their toll on Lady Bracknell's nerves. She is convinced that the copious amounts of adrenalin thereby generated cannot be beneficial for an elderly lady in indifferent health. She wonders, therefore, whether Wilf might be persuaded to visit Bracknell Towers for the duration of the threat? Wilf strikes Lady Bracknell as being a sturdy young chap, and one who is unlikely to turn a hair in the presence of even the largest arachnid. As an inducement, Lady Bracknell would be happy to fund her young hero's purchases of sandwiches from the new Subway outlet on a daily basis. She might even be willing to extend the emolument to include the occasional doughnut.


Blogger Charlesdawson said...

I seem to remember reading somewhere that it is statistically likely, that every one of us, at some point in our lives, has swallowed a spider while we were asleep.

8:32 pm  
Blogger R said...

Perhaps Lady Bracknell could instruct her staff not to turn the light off in the smallest room, as the presence of this will deter even the most menacing arachnid from lingering there.

The author's mother shares Lady Bracknell's phobia and was most distressed to discover, upon her arrival in Papua New Guinea for a dissertation research trip, that the dwellings allocated to the group of third-year students of which she was a part were also shared by arachnids sharing the approximate dimensions and charisma of your average dining plate.

10:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've noticed that a high percentage of the spiders that frequent my bungalow only have 7 legs. Could it be that my crip-ready abode is attracting crip spiders?

11:29 pm  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

I once visited a small but perfectly-formed museum in Bournemouth, the Russell-Cotes. It is (or was) housed in the eponymous founder's former mansion. The public loo, similarly, had been Sir Russell-Cotes's private thunderbox, and was magnificent in mahogany and porcelain with brass fittings. (I assume her Ladyship has something similar installed in Bracknell Towers.)

It also contained, in handy reach of the pan, a brass and mahogany bell-push. Many and ribald were the suggestions as to the reasons for this presence, but it occurs to me now that possibly Sir R-C or his Good Lady suffered from arachnophobia and installed the bell as a precaution against being nocturnally cornered?

10:00 am  
Blogger kethry said...

I relate, having the exact same problem (both with spider invasion and fear of spiders). i'm okay if they're outside: its when they invade my territory that i freak. my OH is excellent at dealing with them (i once, rather drunkenly, called him "my spider killing teddy bear"). last night however, reached new proportions: we don't have a toilet roll holder, so the toilet roll sits on a little shelf next to the toilet. I picked it up and there was a huge, thicklegged with gnashers ugly spider nesting inside the toilet roll.

my poor other half must have thought i was being murdered at the blood curdling scream that erupted from my lips when i saw said spider on my hand..

i hope wilf sorts them out, Lady Bracknell..


3:00 pm  
Blogger Wilf said...

Dear Lady Bracknell
I quite like your spider catchers but I have seen a better one you might like the look of plus there is some good stuff about the inventor.


I have actually swallowed several spiders while I have been awake, mostly as a dare but one because I quite liked the taste. Don't fancy one as big as a plate though.
I have asked mum and dad about coming round to bugbust your spiders. They both pulled serious faces and muttered something about Michael Jackson. I think they are mad because Michael Jackson is a pop star and would never bust bugs for anyone, I'm sure. But if dad can come and just park himself somewhere where he won't be embarrassing, I can come. Mum says I am not allowed to 'take payment' but if I come round about lunchtime, I am quite keen on white bread with tuna and piccalilli plus do'nuts with custard.
Just don't let dad see.

7:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since acquiring a small daemon in the guise of a Burmese kitten, Dame Honoria has not seen any spiders about the establishment. They were formerly numerous, but Dame Honoria has never feared them.

One does not like to ask the small Brown hooligan what he has done with them. It occurs to me perhaps her Ladyship's own feline companion may know of a solution?

8:58 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

My dear Lady Bracknell - spiders of the size which you mention are considered a cocktail delicacy on Novapulse. If you are in any position to package up a box of these tasty morsels, I would be happy to dispatch them for you. Aside from corn (and the Earth variety is way too genetically modified for my taste), us chickens enjoy the occasional worm, grub, bug and spider.

1:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to have a beautiful black cat - she was sleek and elegant. And liked eating spiders. So many was the time I would find her, looking like black glass, refined and aloof, an effect spoiled only by the one remaining spider leg dangling from her lower lip, for all the world like Fag Ash Lil.

Happily, my current tortie also has a taste for spiders and insects. Got to love a cat like that!

6:39 pm  

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