“Eh, what do you think you’re doing?
“What does it look like I’m doing?
“It looks to me very much like you’re destroying my home and my livelihood.
“It looks to me like I’m destroying a dust-collecting web right beside my bathroom mirror. Which is why I’m destroying it. And I might just catch you and throw you out the window too.
“You are in a nasty mood, aren’t you? Anyway, I’d only come right back in again.
“If a bird didn’t gobble you up. Or a bigger spider ….
“Oooh, you ARE in a nasty mood!
“Not really – just mildly irritated. You had to build it right beside my mirror, didn’t you!
“Well, that’s where the light is.
“And you need the light …. what for? To read your paper? To thread your needle?
“No need to be sarcastic. I don’t need it for anything except to catch flies – they’re attracted by the light.
“Catch flies, is it? I haven’t seen you or any other spider here catch a fly in years.
“Well, if you keep destroying our webs …
“I’ve left some for months. Just how long does it take to catch a fly?
“It’s an art …. you can’t rush it.
“Yeah, right! I’ve killed hundreds of them in a month.
“Yes, well, with chemical warfare ….
“Not at all! I mean with my hands or a damp cloth. Swipe, bam! One less fruit fly, or house fly, or bluebottle.
“Well, aren’t you the matador!
“What I mean is, I’ve killed hundreds of flies in the same time that you have killed none – and it’s supposed to be your defining characteristic: killing flies!
“Every human, is it?
“You’ve never asked the arachnids, have you though?
“I try not to get into conversations with them. I’m having this one with you because a) I’m shaving near you and b) you’re bending my ear.
“Bending your ear? I haven’t touched you!
“It’s an expression, a turn of phrase, for speaking a lot or complaining to me.
“What’s that got to do with your ear?
“That’s what I hear with!
“Really? You mean you don’t hear with your legs and body, like we do?
“Of course not!
“You’re trying to change the subject. Spiders are supposed to catch flies – isn’t that the purpose of the web? Or are you going to claim it’s a work of art?
“You don’t think my web’s artistic?
“Honestly? No. The orb-weavers’ webs now, they are artistic. But most others, including your species, the Short-Bodied Cellar Spider? No, not at all.”
“Well, we go more for function than artistic appeal.
“Catching fli ….. er …
“Yes, you see the problem? Your webs are supposedly for catching flies but all yours are catching is dust. Which is why I’m destroying them.
“Projecting. You have your failures, you feel angry about them so you project them on to me so you can express your anger more safely.
“Where did you get hold of that shit?
“On the Web.
“Oh, very, very funny! Projection or not, it happens to be the truth. Your webs are not catching flies but they are collecting dust, so destroyed they will be.
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave ….
“Funny! But that quote from Walter Scott is about deception. Since you are not an ant-mimicking spider, or a crab spider, or any other kind of deceiving spider, what are you talking about?
“I’m referring to your self-deception. Anyway, how do you know about those other kinds of spiders?
“I read Compton’s The Life of the Spider when I was a boy.
“It was John CRompton, not Compton.
“And it was just The Spider, without The Life of, which was the title of Jean Henri Fabre’s book.
“Whatever. I read other stuff about spiders from time to time .. and watch them. I’ve had Zebra Spiders jump from one finger to another in my hand.
“Humph! Zebra Spiders! They don’t even build webs.
“No, they don’t …. but here’s the thing ….
“They DO catch FLIES! And now, out the window you go.
“No! Uuff rmmm fff!
“I’LL BE Baaaaack….!