A cure for my spider phobia? That doesn't have legs

London Zoo must immediately stop sending me emails inviting me to get up close and personal with eight-legged freaks. Otherwise known as spiders.

Share
Related Topics

I'm beginning to think that London Zoo has mistaken me for
someone else. I keep getting emails from this venerable institution
that assume I want to get up close and personal with eight-legged
freaks
. Well, the zoo calls them spiders, but I know the truth.

The most recent message was to let me know that booking for Bedbugs "a sleepover with a difference" for children that "gives excited kids the chance to get up-close to our amazing invertebrates after dark" is now open. Given that it gives younglings a chance to find out "which arachnids have red knees", I can see that this would be a different kind of sleepover than the ones I enjoyed as a child. One filled with shrieking from preteens who've just discovered that spiders have knees regardless of their hue. Inconceivably, the first few dates are already sold out. I'm not a fan of spiders. Small ones give me the creeps, plate-sized ones with knees make me want to move to outer space. Just because something is furry (dear God) doesn't mean it's cute. I'm at peace with my phobia inasmuch as I don't have to come face-to-face – although I don't think that something with so many goddamn eyes strictly speaking has a face – with spiders that often. Just the odd one at home, plus on the pages of newspapers that run stories about arachnophobia with a ruddy great picture of one of the horrors without any warnings. Seriously, I've campaigned against editors doing that here. Join me.

Anyway, I'm not keen to take up London Zoo on the other event it's contacted me about: the Friendly Spider Programme. I'm happy to keep my distance and leave my phobia be. Everyone I've asked is frightened of something and one person's spider is another's rat, tall building, deep water or, um, price tag. Yes, one colleague is scared of rats and price tags ("Imagine a rat with price stickers all over it. UGH," she shuddered, when I asked.) Unless she was planning to work in a shop selling vermin, I imagine she'll get through life without needing to go on a programme. Of course, if you're frightened of lifts, flying, going through tunnels or being stuck in crowded spaces, I can see the value in trying to get over it in order to live a fuller life. I salute anyone who's brave enough to face their phobia in a bid to banish it, but frankly, I feel as though my life is sufficiently full without cluttering it up with knee-laden monsters. Although thinking about it (not too hard, otherwise I'd run screaming from my desk), if spiders have knees, do they have ankles? Actually, London Zoo, please save that fact for someone else.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Opilio Recruitment: QA Automation Engineer

£30k - 38k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: An award-winning consume...

Opilio Recruitment: UX & Design Specialist

£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Opilio Recruitment: Publishing Application Support Analyst

£30k - 35k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We’re currently re...

Opilio Recruitment: Digital Marketing Manager

£35k - 45k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A Pokot woman holds a razor blade after performing a circumcision on four girls  

The campaigns to end FGM are a welcomed step, but they don't go far enough

Charlotte Rachael Proudman
Our political system is fragmented, with disillusioned voters looking to the margins for satisfaction  

Politics of hope needed to avert flight to margins

Liam Fox
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game