Spider Defense Readiness Condition

I’ve been meaning to blog about this, but I mentioned it on Twitter last night, so that’s encouraged me to actually get around to it. Besides, I have some time to kill yet, waiting for everyone else to get up so my dog will come downstairs and sleep on my bed instead of theirs.

The SpiDEFCON system was invented on the fly a few nights ago after encountering two huntsmen spiders left me in an elevated state of agitation. Spiders do me in at the best of times, and I’m generally left paranoid for weeks on end. Even at SpiDEFCON5 – the lowest state of readiness – I’m on some level of alert for huntsmen (all invetebrates freak the bejebus out of me, as do several vertebrates, but there’s a very special hell reserved for huntsmen, as the largest ugliest spiders I am forced to come into contact with).

From least to most “ready” (aka paranoid):

SpiDEFCON5 Lowest level of paranoia. At night at least one light must be on unless I’m sleeping; lights are turned on in the bedroom before they are turned off in the living room. Floor is checked for spiders before walking across it. Occasionally mistake objects seen out of the corner of the eye for a spider.
SpiDEFCON4 Raised paranoia levels. As above, but floor inspection before walking is more thorough. Other surfaces (walls, ceiling) are also checked. Frequently mistake objects, dust, or illusion of movement seen out of the corner of the eye for a spider.
SpiDEFCON3 Very high paranoia levels; or the corpse of an immature huntsman is known and needs to be addressed. At this stage, worrying about spiders is interfering with sleep. As above, but the light in the current room must be switched on – light from an adjoining room is insufficient. Walls, floor, and ceiling are checked more thoroughly. Constantly mistakes objects, dust, or illusion of movement out of the corner of the eye for a spider. Experiences twinges and/or itches that feel like a spider crawling on skin. Panics when touched unexpectedly.
SpiDEFCON2 The corpse of a mature huntsman is known or suspected in the house; or a live immature huntsman has been sighted. Occurs after the spraying of a huntsman, and persists until the spider can be removed by someone less upset by spiders. As above, but twinges occur more frequently and touching something unexpectedly causes panic. All surfaces are examined thoroughly. Spider corpse, if known, must be checked to ensure it hasn’t ressurrected and disappeared. Skin crawls when thinking about, or looking at dead spider.
SpiDEFCON1 Maximum state of panic. Live, mature huntsman has been sighted. Initially response is paralasis. Preferred method of dealing with grown huntsman is “let someone else take care of it”; however, taking eyes off a huntsman may result in the demon spawn disappearing, and that is worse in every way. As above, but skin constantly crawls, and frequently suffers chills. A light must be on at all times, if possible. Panics constantly with near-constant twinges.

The differences between the levels can be a bit fuzzy sometimes. There was a little baby huntsman in the toilet (the room, not the bowl) last night before bed. I can general clean up the corspe of a spider classified “small” or “tiny” myself, but it requires the vacuum cleaner, and obviously I wasn’t going to run the vacuum at 11:30 at night, so I had to deal with it being there (at the time of writing, it still is there, I’ll deal with it once I’ve had some sleep).

I was hovering somewhere between SpiDEFCON3 and SpiDEFCON2 all night. I was checking the floors with extreme prejudice, but as the night wore on and I wasn’t getting any sleep, and every time I tried I kept thinking about icky, horrible spiders, and the random twinges on my skin felt like there were spiders on my face and under the covers, I began to escalate to SpiDEFCON2. I even performed a fairly cursory check of the whole apartment (which belongs in SpiDEFCON2, despite the lack of thoroughness, because SpiDEFCON3 is only checking the area I want to use; whereas I was doing a check of areas I wasn’t using, because I thought it would be better to discover an invader now, while people were still home, than sometime this afternoon when I would be alone, and even if I killed the damn thing, would have to wait at SpiDEFCON2 for someone to get home and assist with corpse removal).

But, it’s full daylight now, and my puppy has joined me in bad. Hopefully the distraction (and exhaustion) will be enough that I can get some sleep. And later, I’m off to the chemist to get something to counter the stress-induced heartburn that makes me feel like someone’s lit my breastbone on fire.


~ by ghostwolfe on November 11, 2010.

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