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Insects drive me buggy

Bugs have terrorized me all my life. I admit it. I am a sissy when it comes to bugs, especially spiders and anything with a fat body and more legs than I am brave enough to count.

I am an experienced witness to the stealth of spiders. For one thing, spiders always creep into corners between the wall and the ceiling. When I send my brave husband on a mission to kill the odious offender, it puts him in a precarious position to balance his long frame onto a chair to reach it. As soon as spiders sense danger, they’re fast as rockets.

To remedy the situation, he devised the ingenious plan of using the in-house vacuum system. Ready ... aim the nozzle ... suck up that offensive arachnid to jet into the receptacle, stationed in the garage. My knight in shining armor goes to all of this trouble because he knows I’ll jump in the car in my pajamas and seek a motel rather than shut my eyes while a spider rules the bedroom.

Sneaky spiders have talents. They can parachute. Once a spider had the audacity to sail from the ceiling onto my shoulder while I was sitting on the toilet. I had no choice. You know what I did. I’ll spare the details.

In another instance, I detected one in the bathtub. I learned spiders can play opossum with the best of them. I blasted it with water until it shrank to the size of a flea. With a smirk on my face, I reached over the tub, armed with a Kleenex to squish it to a pulp, when its legs opened up like a turtle coming out of its shell. Its water-soaked legs acted like sponges, and it looked twice its size. I had no recourse since my hero wasn’t at home. I used my shoe and crushed it — took some elbow grease for the Tilex to remove that stain.

When I was a kid, I spotted a many-legged, thick-bodied bug on my wall. I summoned my dad, who promptly announced upon seeing it, “Wow! That is big!” How reassuring! He came back with a broom. I knew even at that young age that you can’t bash a bug with a broom, especially one with a hat and a coat, wearing a size-nine shoe. Just as I thought, he merely knocked it to the floor and declared it dead. I knew better.

On that hot, humid, summer night, I tucked all the covers around me, including my head, and willed my mummified self to sleep. Every time I felt sweat running down my leg or arm, I thought it was the trillion-legged bug. The next morning my dad nonchalantly mentioned that he killed it in the morning when he spotted it in the hall. To this day I am haunted by the notion that the five-pound bug did in fact walk across my body while I suffocated in my blanket cave.

Judy Entinger lives in Medford.