Things could be worse.

Conversation with a friend who was depressed because she broke up with her boyfriend.

me:  Things could be worse.

Her:  Really?  How could they be worse?

me:  Well, what if spiders could fly?

Her:  What?

me:  I’m just saying that that would be worse.  Or what if spiders could swim and lived in the ocean?  And you’d never know if they were crawling on you because you couldn’t feel them in the water.

Her:  Is this meant to make me feel better?

me:  Hang on…are octopuses just aquatic spiders?  Because they both have eight legs and scare the shit out of me.  Are spiders just octopuses with land-tentacles?

Her:  Awesome.  Now I’m lonely and have a phobia of water-spiders.

me:  Well, see?  I told you things could be worse.

And then she laughed.  And things were better.

PS.  I googled “flying spiders” just to make sure they don’t exist (because then things really would be worse and I’d have to retire at cheering up friends) and I found this and it seems to fit:

I think we're all in agreement here.
Yeah.  I think we’re all in agreement here.


192 thoughts on “Things could be worse.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Of course in Chicago. Glad they stay in the city, I would hate them if they moved to the suburbs!

  2. I’m not especially afraid of spiders, but anything that flies in my face freaks me out. I hope those pesky flying spiders stay in the Midwest.

  3. My favorite lyric from a children’s song is “Gonna rise above the jetstream, where the spiders of the earth can’t get me.” This is the best justification for becoming an astronaut, ever.

  4. Thank you for putting my problems into perspective. Things ALWAYS could be worse. No matter how bad things may seem, at least I am not being attacked by flying spiders!!!

  5. This is brilliant timing to find this out because I never had a problem with spiders before, but they’ve been harassing me the past few weeks and I finally got so fed up that I smacked the king (?) Spider down off his (or her) Web and they all banned together to destroy me.
    I’ve been hiding inside all day and now I’m scared they can fly.
    Some things are better left unknown, but I appreciate the info.

  6. I always cheer myself up by telling myself that at least I don’t have to wash my clothes on rocks….course, if you wear Levi’s, you’re not supposed to wash them much, so I keep that in my back pocket (pun intended).

  7. Things can always be worse. For instance, the one time I said it CAN’T BE WORSE…I had a nail in my tire. I don’t say that anymore

  8. I want to know more about this whole migration deal. Because it sounds like they’re just passing through Chicago. Where are they from? Where are they going? This seems like really important information to have.

  9. Uh, Pangolin, I’m guessing this is a bad time to note that we’ve taken spiders to orbit, too.

  10. Not just flying spiders – High Rise Flying Spiders. Flyin’ up 30 stories. Lookin’ in your hotel-room window. Playin’ water polo in your bathtub. Raidin’ your minibar. Yep, the stuff that nightmares are made of.

  11. Spider “ballooning” is totally a thing, semi-aquatic spiders exist outside of nightmares, and octopuses can solve puzzles and use tools.

    And there’s a species of snake that can fly. Well, it climbs trees and jumps off them and glides through the air, but that’s just semantics. The goddamn snakes are flying.

    I’ve decided that all this shit is really cool and awe-inspiring, because otherwise I would never sleep again, ever.

  12. Flying spiders. I’d never leave the house again. Thank God Chicago has never been on my ‘places to visit’ list. I. Would. Die. if I saw a flying spider.

    And octupi? Octopusses? Are just horrifying. Sea Spiders, indeed.

  13. Don’t forget the Diving Bell Spider that really does live under the water. But don’t worry it lives in Europe in Asia, so you’re safe.

  14. On the other hand, if cops walked around with giant police spiders instead of dogs, we would have zero crime. (Disclosure: something I saw on Tumblr. BUT IT’S SO WORTH PASSING ALONG. #letsmakethishappen)

  15. Octopuses is correct. Octopi would be if it were a latin root, but octopus is greek.

  16. They should have a Giant Flying Spider week on TV. You know, like Shark Week but scarier because I’m confident that I’m safe from shark attacks here in west Texas. But spiders? Those little effers are everywhere.

  17. We don’t fear for spiders in our house because we have house centipedes that eat them. These are ugly little critters with tons of legs that scurry around fast. We have a peace treaty that states that we’ll leave them alone so long as they remain in the basement eating spiders and don’t come into our living area. (Granted, I don’t know if me telling this to no house centipede in particular constitutes a “peace treaty”, but it’s the best you get with bugs.)

    On the other hand, there’s a rather large, brown spider who has decided that my car’s rear view mirror is his home. He builds a web there every day and clings onto my car during every drive. He’s been on there for over two weeks already and has withstood highway speeds. It’s like he’s some kind of radioactive mutant spider. I’d let him bite me to get superpowers, but with my luck I’d just get four additional arms/legs and wouldn’t be able to find shirts/pants that fit.

  18. Of course they would be in Chicago. Lived there for seven of the longest winters of my life and thank goodness I never encountered a flying spider. Or octopus.

  19. They don’t really fly, they spin a small web and then jump off a high spot. Wherever the wind takes them, that’s where they make their home. Kind of an interesting way to go about things if you think about it.

  20. Not only are there Chicago high rise spiders, they congregate! I once counted more than 60 on my office window at the same time. I never saw one fly though — I presumed they dedicated their short spidery lives to climbing the outside of my building methodically and then collectively shriveling up and dying in my window on the 44th floor just to make sure I spent as little time as possible staring out the window wishing I was outside in the summer.

  21. In Idaho we have these ginormous hairy bumblebees…they’re like flying tarantulas.
    And aren’t lobsters and king crab pretty much underwater spiders?

  22. So where can I send the bills for the crew of therapist and 4 tons of narcotics I’m going to need if I’m ever going to sleep again? Flying friggin’ spiders?!

  23. The world does NOT need flying spiders. Or flying anything awful, really. Including squirrels. Those things are assholes and will steal your lunch.

  24. A master of distraction… and yes… that would be infinitely worse, the flying spiders or the swimming ones. I think some form of either or both actually exist… which is scary!

  25. As a Chicago resident, I’m now terrified. Great. Now tell me how things could be worse. But please, don’t address bats. Bats scare me too:).

  26. things are worse. the spiders in my neighborhood have learned how to camouflage themselves and they now match the colour of my garage. i’ll be calling a realtor and the movers today.

  27. Just great. I’m moving to freaking Chicago in less than a month, and now you tell me about the flying spiders? I am not amused!

  28. You can tell her if she lives in the north about the brown recluse spider migrating north, or if she is in Texas she can be afraid of the killer bees coming up from South America, or she could move and end up in a haunted house….Things can always be worse, so tell her how much money she can now save because she doesn’t have to buy this guy Christmas or birthday gifts. Or she now has time to go do something take a road trip that he wouldn’t want to take….or start a hobby she always wanted to do. Things can always be worse but things can also be better!

  29. I saw a video of flying spiders in Brazil once… and then I heard about flying snakes. Things could be worse and thank God neither live where I live because then I’d have to hide in my room 24/7.

  30. Oh, Jenny. I really wished I was depressed right now so you could cheer me up. What terrible timing for having a great day! (Actually it was just a good day until I read this.)

  31. I’ve thought about flying spiders before, and I’m not sure they would actually be worse than non-flying spiders. When I compare spiders to flies, one reason I prefer flies is that they immediately leave my body when I move. They fly away because they can. With spiders, you never know what they do. When there’s a spider on me (which fortunately does not happen very often) and I move in panic, and then I don’t see it anymore, I don’t know if it is still clinging to my clothes somewhere. That’s a reason for more panic. If the spider could fly, I would probably see it fly away, and I would open a window and make it fly out.

  32. Flying spiders are very common — it’s usually the young of many species that do it, so they can move to new territory. Small species do it for small jumps to surprise prey.

    And a few species of spider are semi-aquatic, with only one, the diving-bell or water spider, living entirely under water.

    I will point out that this does not make things WORSE — this makes the world wonderful and diverse and fabulous.

  33. No, no, no. Octopuses are awesome. Spiders, while an invaluable part of the ecosystem, are terrible. Breaking up with a boyfriend…depends on whether he’s more octopus-like or more spideresque.

  34. Well, I had a tarantula for a pet but I’m not a big fan of some of the other ones. You gotta remember though, spidies eat critters that want to suck your blood and poop in your food. Of course, I live in south Florida so spidies are way down on my list of stuff to worry about, except for brown recluse and black widow spidies. I just threw up in my mouth a little.

  35. Walking spiders: OK, because they eat other creepy-crawlies. Except when they crawl on me when I am sleeping. Then not OK.
    Flying spiders: Not even remotely OK.
    Swimming spiders: Absolutely horrifying, and I can say that from personal experience. My grandparents had a fresh-water swimming pool that was fed by spring water from a cave. So cool, right? Except when the huge, hairy cave spiders would fall into the spring water and get flushed out into the pool and go paddling around and getting caught in my hair and stuff. Still have nightmares about that. Awesome.

  36. Oh gack! I just remembered walking into a giant web! I got more exercise in that one minute than I would normally get in a week. I had to shower and take a nap. It was weeks ago but I think think that spidie who built it is still around.

  37. Flying spiders are totally a thing! Remembers all the baby spiders in “Charlotte’s Web?” Even with baby, talking spiders, it’s still creepy!

  38. You have the most interesting conversations. Oh to be a flying spider on your wall… wait… No, I’d get smashed before I could fly away.

  39. Hahaha! You are so super-awesome at quirky. You should brand that shit… 😉

    PS – I’m not usually insect-phobic, but flying spiders?? No. Just, EFFING NOPE! I’ve see 8-legged freaks (blessedly) on the outside of my kitchen windows that could helicopter-scare the living SHIT out of me!

  40. I can attest. We do have flying spiders. I happily moved offices to the 4th floor from the 36th…they creeped me the fuck out.

  41. High Rise Flying Spiders? Do they only fly in High Rises? Now I’m scared shitless. I wish I had a donut. And some flying spider killer spray.

  42. Remember Charlotte’s Web? Same thing, except they were sweet, and most spiders I see, I don’t strike up a friendship except to say “Oh, you are DEAD”.

    Also, the ocean is full of crabs. Which are just UNDERWATER SPIDERS. HellO. So, yeah–it just got worse…

  43. SHIT. Now I’m going to be freaked out about spiders flying at me when I’m outside. The other day I went to get the mail and there was a quarter-sized spider living in my mailbox. I tried to wiggle the mail out without touching it, but it CLUNG TO THE LETTERS. I gave up and called my husband to tell him he’d have to get the mail out when he got home, as we had a huge-ass spider living in the box.

    Also, I just want you to know that you are a godsend (or a fatesend? I don’t know how to say that in a non-religious way). I read your book over the weekend (it was FABULOUS btw, I laughed, cried, and nodded in sage agreement the whole damn time). Yesterday a friend of mine who is getting her degree in counseling had something up about personality disorders and because I am fascinated by dysfunction (having come from a dysfunctional home), I immediately read it. When I got to borderline personality disorder I thought, “Huh, that sounds a helluva lot like me”. I had THE SAME reaction you did in that it immediately felt like a relief to know that while I may be crazy, I’m at least crazy in a totally explicable and treatable way. I am convinced this is because I had just read your book and felt validated enough to say, “I may be fucking crazy, but that’s who I am and its okay.” So thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. What you do is wonderful and helpful and so validating to those of us with mental illnesses. You gave me the strength to not be ashamed and to immediately seek out treatment. Bless you.

  44. The thought of spiders doesn’t bother me too much. But now that I know there are flying spiders…I will have to stay inside with a can of spider-killing spray next to me at all times.

  45. HAaaaaa.
    guess what? On a Caribbean vacation, a spider flew into my friends eye. She had to be flown back to the US to get treatment. It was a rare spider, which left her w/ a HUGE black eye & other weird kind of shit. Yeah, Spiders fly, babe. x

  46. HAaaaaa.
    guess what? On a Caribbean vacation, a spider flew into my friend’s eye. She had to be flown back to the US to get treatment. It was a rare spider, which left her w/ a HUGE black eye & other weird kind of shit. Yeah, Spiders fly, babe. x

  47. Not to freak you out, but they came through Texas too. As if the unbearable heat wasn’t bad enough.

  48. I don’t know if somebody mentioned this because I’m too lazy to look through the comments, but as a child we visited an aquarium on the Oregon Coast and they had Japanese Spider Crabs on exhibit.

    which get big. like huge. horribly terrifyingly huge

    Just another reason to NEVER EVER get in the ocean. EVER.

  49. My husband would FLIP OUT if he knew about flying spiders. He loves snakes and other creepy crawlies, but I’m the spider killer in the house…except when my son thinks that the spider is his friend and then I have to wait until he’s not looking to smash it. He’s so innocent and sweet to all creatures. 🙂 He even thinks that a mosquito could be his friend.

  50. Having recently been to the lounge at The Signature Room at the 95th in the John Hancock in Chicago, I can attest to the spiders. It was freakish to see webs that high up.

  51. I was going to go to bed, thinking “well, before I shut down the computer I’ll go check if there is a new bloggess-post…”
    Now I’m going to have nightmares. Or no sleep. Or both: lying in bed, being unable to sleep, wake-dreaming (like daydreaming, only during the night while not asleep – if it’s not a real word yet, it should be) about nasty spiders that might have flown in through my window and are going to be crawling on me as soon as I close my eyes.
    Yeah, things can always be worse. Now they are. Thanks a lot.

  52. Anything with eight legs and the ability to fly should be illegal and destroyed. Also, scorpions. I hate those bastards.

  53. It’s bad enough walking face-first into a spiderweb and hoping the dang spider wasn’t on it and isn’t now on ME, but now I get to worry about flying spiders?!?!?! OMG. All the fun but without the web. Thanks. Loads.

  54. One time I went swimming and I crawled out and sat on some rocks to dry off and I felt a tickle on my leg. I thought it was just a wave lapping up on me, but my boyfriend-at-the-time calmly said to me, Emma, don’t move and don’t look down. I looked down to see an enormous spider crawling out of the water and up my leg. That thing was like three inches across. That saint of a man manage to catch my flailing self AND knock the spider onto the rocks AND kill it. On an unrelated note, he is now my fiance 🙂

  55. Has anyone mentioned water spiders yet? Well now I have and this is why when I’m rich, I’ll live in an ice palace. If there are ice spiders, I don’t want to know.

  56. Oh friggin gross! This post and some of the comments have officially creeped me out. I guess in some way we have all contributed to making your friend feel better. Tis my creepy crawly good deed for the day.

  57. My kid would want to pet the flying spiders, too. It’s been an ongoing thing to get her to leave the dangerous things alone.

  58. Flying spiders!? Shudder. I finally got to the point where I could kill a wolf spider when I was home alone – rather than cower in the bedroom for days. There was a lot of shrieking and crying involved.

  59. OMG. I WONDERED HOW THEY GOT THERE!!! I was in the bar at the top of the Hancock Tower at one point and was incredibly creeped out because every window was crawling with spiders on the outside. It was actually hard to get good pictures of the great view without nasty giant spiders.

    At the same time, I figured they had climbed all that way up (97 or so stories) and was thinking that these are some bad-ass Olympic-quality spiders. Now I know they are wimps and I can totally take them. Should I ever get anywhere near the outside of a sky scraper covered in spiders at nearly 100 stories above the ground.

    Spiders, heights, can we incorporate public speaking and hit all the most popular phobias?

  60. 1.) Have you forgotten the Spiderwasps from Sliders? shudders

    2.) I’ve been meaning to tell you that James Altucher mentioned you in a podcast recently (Tim Ferris show).

    3.) What if swimming spiders could swim into your toilet? Thanks for giving me day-long heebie jeebies!

  61. Thanks to Jason and his wonderful link, we now know that octopus are not sea spiders. Those things are creepy. Octopus (octopi sounds like a weird dessert) are cool.

  62. Spiders don’t fly in the sense that birds fly, with not having any wings and all. They let out a string of silk that is caught on the wind that then lifts them up into the air and they land where ever the wind takes them. So not much like flying as opposed to be drug through the air by stuff coming out of their asses.

  63. You do realize that ocean spiders actually exist? Google it – then scream.

  64. Not to be a buzzkill but sorry…Every fall in the northern Sacramento Valley CA)the fences and trees are filled with spider webs left from flying spiders; actually “migrating balloon spiders”. Look it up on Google. The info that comes up would not give one warm fuzzies. Even Texas has them, sorry. The web strands are several feet long and you can be a landing site if not watching. Morning dew drops can make them beautiful to see. Terror creating beauty on some weird cosmic karma? After a few weeks the webs decompose and the spiders disappear. Possibly organizing and planning an invasion in their little hidey holes. But it could be worse, remember the warning- what would happen if elephants could fly? Makes a seagull or robin poop on your windshield look dainty compared to what an elephant could put out there. No squeegee could handle that.

  65. I have a strict policy here in my house with regard to insects of all types: If you are on the inside, you will die. On the outside, I take a more live-and-let-live attitude.

  66. Words cannot describe how much I love this post. I’ve spent too much time already showing it to everyone I know. And… I hate spiders, I’m so afraid of the stupid things, even those teensy little red ones that look like fluff but aren’t. The funny photos that get posted by people where the house is on fire, due to a spider… yeah I can relate. I’m convinced that though I’m anti-gun, that it is the only acceptable way to destroy a spider. They’re demons. Period. More random please! Big fan here!!!!

  67. Remember the end of Charlotte’s Web?! Her spider babies cast their webs into the air and flew off in search of people to freak out.
    Spoiler alert.

  68. Flying spiders are seriously a THING?!?!? I find them scarier than black widows (obviously the spider, not the Avenger) and brown recluses. Yikes. Just, yikes.

  69. This officially makes me glad I moved to TX. Flying spiders, snakepiders…there’s bad shit in the Midwest… In other news, there’s SOMETHING digging a hole in my front garden, and I’m too afraid to find out if it’s a snake or a gopher or wasps the size of my dogs.

  70. OMG! That kitty is my MOTHER! That’s how she used to flip people off after they turned their back to her. She’s been gone for 15 years so this was a truly delightful memory-moment for me. Thanks so much for the belly laugh!

  71. It’s always fun to go to the Signature Lounge for drinks and see the spiders on the outsides of the windows. Sure, you’re there to see the skyline and the amazing views and instead you get to see a bunch of fucking spiders.

    And they totally overcharge for drinks there, so you’re getting fucked all over the place.

  72. We had a colony of spiders living around the light fixture over the bathroom sink at a house I lived in a few years ago. I went in to murder them, and saw the dozens of little flies they had killed prominently displayed in their web, thought about how annoying those tiny bastards are, and told the spiders “Well, as long as you’re at work, carry on”. I had to brush them down with a broom to replace the bulb when it burned out, but a couple of them were back in a few days. I guess they really liked it there. They were just skinny little daddy longlegs, though; I’m sure that if they had been uglier/creepier/scarier varieties I would have been instructed by the women living there to go ahead and murder them anyway…

  73. Haha! Was just at the Trump in Chicago and a friend and I commented on spider webs we saw up there– “So Charlotte can afford to live at Trump Tower, but I can’t?” I guess I need to learn how to fly?

  74. Not octopi, and not octopusses, but oddly enough, octopodes. The ending is not -us, but -pus, from greek rather than latin, and was -pous, from stem -pod plus a final sigma, and the o got lengthened to compensate for a closed syllable that suddenly became open with the final sigma made the d in -pod go away (more than you wanted to know about greek linguistics, huh?).
    Embarrasingly enough, a related word suffered badly from this misunderstanding of -pus vs -us, the word “polypus” (“many-foot”), which got shortened, incompetently, to “polyp,” which is rather like calling an octopus an “octop.”
    So, see, it could be worse. You could know all this, and be a supervisor at a retail store.

  75. Ok, first, water spiders are a real thing AND they have wings. (although I think that they are really just bugs and not spiders) Freaked the shit out of me the first time that I was kayaking and saw the water spiders open up their wings and start flying. Up until that moment I always considered them kind of beautiful. Actually, they still are beautiful.

  76. Double middle finger is the only thing that you could possibly do!!! Screw spiders, yuck gross I hate you…except when I have mosquito’s in the house. Then build me a web and catch those bastards, then exit the vicinity within the hour please. Thanks!

  77. I have an irrational fear of spiders. I live up north so we mostly do not have gigantic spiders (although whenever we camped in Vermont, the biggest and hairiest spider always ended up on me). I would never move south because the spiders are so large. I went to college in Florida and one of the jokes was walking pet spiders on leashes. My son lived in Bali for a while and many spider bodies were bigger than his face.

  78. now I’m obsessing about flying spiders and flying water spiders aka octopi aka I’m terrified of seeing an octopus ever again…….

  79. I just wish the cat animation was doing the international “Suck it” gesture. I feel like that would properly capture our sentiment towards this aviation breed of arachnoid.

  80. I’d be more afraid of the ants that jump and scream at you when you walk by their tree nest. And then they sting, and it’s just like being shot.
    Their are amazonian tribes that make their young men wear shirts of them, to prove their manhood. For twenty minutes at a time. Three times.

  81. Ok…it’s official, don’t think I’ll be sleeping much tonight! I am PETRIFIED of spiders let alone flying and water dwelling spiders! I get why they’re necessary and I am thankful for what they do but I do not want see them let alone come in contact with them! Those little frickers freak me the hell out! Is there no place that is safe from spiders?

  82. Eeeeeeewwwwwww no please no spiders!! Flying, crawling, swimming or otherwise! I had an insect screen fitted over our bedroom sliding door to keep rain spiders out – they are the size of my hands, hairy and scary, and love coming inside in the mornings before the sun comes up. I just about shit mammoth Stonehenges in terror!

  83. Aw twigpusher — we can’t destroy EVERYTHING with eight legs and the ability to fly! What would Odin DO without his 8-legged horse Sleipnir?

  84. So, now that we have completely exhausted our spider fears and phobias both real and imagined, please consider this: ASSASSIN BUGS! They do exist, although I was (blissfully) unaware until just recently. Mean and nasty little bastards with a long snouty thing called a rostrum that they use to STAB other bugs, and they inject their poisonous spit into them, which liquifies their innards, then they suck our their liquid guts. And after that, if they are feelin fancy, they wear the empty carcass of their dead prey as a cape. Or a hat, depending on the size of the now-dead-and-empty bug. So, beware of the deadly assassin bugs which could be lurking anywhere. Cause that’s what assassins do.

  85. I hate to do this to you, but there are such things as water spiders too.

  86. Spiders don’t fly, the balloon. Yes, there is a difference. For instance, a flying insect, bird or bat can chase you down. A ballooning spider just happens to float your way. Just stay upwind of them and you will be safe.

    You are welcome.

  87. Crap, damn my typing skills. That should be theY balloon, not the balloon!

  88. Ugh! I don’t have a problem with spiders unless they decide to invade my personal space. Since flying drastically increases the chances of that happening, the only solution is to become an astronaut. Done and done.

  89. Thanks, I’ve got the creepies now. I’m petrified by spiders. Any in my house must die, and anything bigger than a quarter must be killed by someone else.

  90. I’ve been having frequent spastic meltdowns lately as my daughter leaves for college…and tweeted you hoping you’d talk me down from the ledge…but now I’m afraid you’d do it with spiders…so, nevermind.
    I did, recently co-exist with a porch spider…so I’m kind of proud of that. I blogged about it here:

  91. It is rather funny, the thing you mentioned about spiders and octopuses… about 10 years ago I had reoccurring nightmares about creatures that were spider/octopus hybrids. They were like if someone had fused an octopus to a spider so that when the spider part was walking around, it’s tentacle-y part was waving about in the air, and when it hopped in the water it flipped over so that the tentacles were below water, but kept its spidery part above water and had its legs folded up. In my nightmares they were roaming in packs, terrorizing people. And if they stung you they implanted their eggs just below your skin, which would create a blister that would get bigger and bigger and finally pop and dozens of little alien spiderpuses would come streaming out. It was a pretty terrible thing to dream about for a few months >.>

  92. I always go with “Things could be worse. You could have two broken femurs.” (It’s a long story…but true!)

  93. i’m definitely not a flying spider kind of woman myself. Loved the post! There are always things or people in life doing worse than us. So, be grateful. Great message!

  94. this was exactly what i needed to read today…regarding the breakup…it made me laugh. thanks.

  95. I hate to say it too…believe me…I can’t tell you how much I hate it…but I took my kids swimming at the pool at our condo last week, and we saw a freak-the-crap-out-of-me, never-have-I-swum-that-fast-in-my-life, spider in the water. It was actually only medium sized, but with a big-bumped backside like a tarantula, it certainly looked big enough. It came sneaking over to the water from the gardens outside the gate and feeling safe in the water, I got a little closer to see what it was doing. He sat there staring over the edge into the water for a while, and I joked with my husband that he was contemplating spider suicide, but then he tipped over and started slowly towards the surface. You know how they can do that sort of repelling motion? Maybe he really was depressed, maybe he’s ugly for his species (I thought for any species) and was shunned and alone and really was about to do himself in. Turns out he wasn’t depressed…he was from the bad ass set…adrenaline junky, death defying, dare-devil of an arachnid that stood on top of the freain’ water as it churned and waved until he’d gotten used to his sea legs enough that he started skittering along the top on his way after me. Bah! After a bit of screaming and ‘persuasion’ on my part to get him moving elsewhere, he ended up in the drain. I got up the guts to look in there a little later, guessing that jumping on water could NOT be an option without breaking the laws of physics and water tension and whatever the hell he was aware of…and there he was, happily spinning on a bit of leaf and foam. I don’t know if he ever finally drowned, climbed out, or is gathering up any other flotsam to feed himself happily enthroned in his new lair.
    I haven’t been back to our pool since.

  96. Maybe we can give the water spiders little jet skis and let them annihilate themselves? As for the flying spiders, I don’t have a solution except maybe carry an umbrella all the time, rain or shine? And steel toed boots to stomp them with if they actually touch down?

  97. My brain thinks craneflies are flying spiders. I’ve tried telling it “no, they’re more like gigantic mosquitos” but that really doesn’t help. Flying mosquito-spiders that are so stupid they fly right into your face trying to get away from you…. not good. (Craneflies are actually worse at evasive flying than thistledown is, I’ve done experiments.)

  98. Heads up, I was just in Willis Tower & John Hancock Building this past weekend and there are SPIDERS EVERYWHERE. Every window was just covered in hundreds of big fat spiders. Nightmares are made of Chicago Spiders.

  99. Of course, flying spiders makes me think of deep fried soft-shell crab. delicious. The first time I ate some with my wife, she dug in with her fork and pulled out a jiggly piece of yellow.
    “Are we supposed to eat the yellow?” she asks.
    “If it’s been breaded and fried you have an obligation to eat it. It’s your duty.”
    So I came up with a handy reminder: If it’s between the breading, the stomach’s where it’s heading.
    When I die I want to be breaded.

  100. I’m just going to stay in my house.
    But water spiders are real too.
    So that makes everything worse

  101. And did you know that there are lake spiders as well that like to hang out on docks and attack you when you are getting in or out of the water? I am so frightened by spiders that I have to know at all times where I could run into one.

  102. I thought of you last night. In a totally non stalkerish, non threatening way, of course. Diva, my 15 yo, captured an ‘IMMA GONNA EAT YOUR FACE OFF’ spider and shoved it right under my nose. Which is why I now have a blog post titled, “Diva is Evil”

    And I remembered this post, and gave thanks that the bugger couldn’t fly. Except in Chicago.

  103. Google: Camel spiders.
    You won’t worry about North American flying spiders once you get a look @ these bastards. My son’s in Afghanistan. Which should I worry about more: green-on-blue attacks, or getting strangled by a king crab sized arthropod?

  104. Oh but there are swimming spiders! There’s one that lives entirely underground. Plus there are those that like to live around water and grow to about the size of the palm of your hand and have egg sacks that hatch 1000 wriggling, tickling baby spiders at once.
    I’m telling you this to share my misery, because reading this piece made me google “swimming spiders” and now I can’t ever live near water, bathe or even drink water ever again.

  105. I seriously thank the Lord for you and your sense of humor every day! It reminds me that I am not the only “off-the-wall friend” that is out there.

  106. In Minnesota we have Barking Spiders but oddly enough I only hear them after my hubby has had too many bean burritos . If there were Barking Flying Spiders, at least you’d hear ’em coming…

  107. just to freak people out a bit more, my mother once actually did sit down on the toilet and a giant hairy rainspider was under the toilet seat and ran down her leg.
    this happened when i was about five years old. to this day, i always check under the seat for rainspiders before i use the toilet (which makes it nearly thirty years that i’ve been doing this). i’ve never found one yet, but you can’t be too sure…

  108. I think the graphic really tied the whole thing together. Isn’t there some stat about us swallowing like 30 spiders over our lifetime while we sleep?

  109. We had about 4 generations of Gracy, Gracy junior… in our bathroom. What happened was I went into pee and saw two spiders either humping each other or one was eating the other on my ceiling. Then I returned and the big spider was dangling free from the ceiling backwards, with her arms just hanging like that was obviously good sex. A couple days later, she ate the male, and then a few months later, babies. She eventually died and one of her females stayed behind. This kept going until only a male stayed behind. I keep the carcass of one of Gracy’s offspring in perfect condition in the children’s closet. Almost like a taxidermied spider.

  110. I love you Jenny. You make me laugh when I am already happy, sad, or don’t feel like I have much to laugh about. You are magic.

    And, you totally have me scouring antique stores for cool small taxidermy items!! (Shhh! Don’t tell my husband!)

  111. I remember watching Charlotte’s Web and being traumatized for life at the fact that her baby spiders could fly away in the wind… shudders

  112. I think water spiders actually describes baby dragon flies. They are hatched under water and then crawl up your legs when you aren’t expecting them. Like a water spider

  113. Awesome post! Right now my husband and I are living in South Africa and we saw an octopus in a tidal pool. It was actually beautiful. It changed colors which was startling and I found out that they are called color changing octopus’s.

  114. haha this reminds me of a pin I saw that was all like if spiderman shot spiders instead of webs no one would ever commit crimes again

  115. Listen, not only are octopi just aquatic spiders but SO ARE CRABS. They have eight (visible) legs so they move EXACTLY LIKE SPIDERS, they also have claws which look a bit like spider’s pincers, and to top it all off they can breathe underwater. They are underwater spiders and if that doesn’t scare the shit out of everyone who is afraid of spiders, then you’re made of tougher shit than I am (and I’m from Texas).

  116. I hate walking through a random spiderweb. Like, my husband and I were walking down the street the other night and a string of web literally smacked us both in the face. Wtf!? Did a spider LITERALLY just swing across the ENTIRE street by a single piece of its ass silk? Just to hit us in the face with its web? THIS IS NOT OKAY!

    And neither are “high rise flying spiders.” None of this is okay.

  117. This is soooo creepy. The SF Giants (where I live) baseball team is playing in Chicago & the announcers kept saying that spiders were dropping into their coffee. The one announcer said that that it looked like a parade of dropping spiders – they readily admitted they were all afraid of the press booth! GROSS

  118. I’ve seen one of those Chicago spiders. I took a picture of it while we were in the Hancock building or Sears Tower (can’t remember which) the very first time I visited Chicago back in the 90s. I thought it was odd to see one up that high, but I didn’t realize it was, you know, an actual THING. High rise spiders? Jesus. What’s next?

  119. Once when I was sitting outside, a bunch of baby spiders floated into my face (suspended from little pieces of spider thread, like in Charlotte’s web at the end), but they were tiny and cute so it was ok.

  120. light small spiders and baby spiders, spiderlings, are most likely to be aerial, especially when it’s birthing season. those light small spiders also have the finest silk, gossamer, which is lightest.

    regular heavier spiders can get blown about while attached to their own silk strands or webs.

    and it’s also possible for there to be “clouds” of just spider silk, just web, especially of gossamer, eventually a silk cloud will settle to the ground. there are reports too of the finest gossamers “levitating”, rising, without wind, as if they were lighter than air?

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