2609. Elizabeth’s bout of arachnophobia
© Bruce Goodman 9 January 2023

Elizabeth lived alone with her cat. Such a statement is not an uncommon oxymoron: if one lives with ones cat, one is not living alone.

Elizabeth had a phobia: spiders. It even had a name: arachnophobia. Arachnophobia is both common and debilitating. It should not be confused with fear of spider webs, although sometimes both phobias go hand in hand.

Suddenly there was a big black spider on Elizabeth’s carpet between her armchair and the drinks cabinet. She screamed. She felt dizzy and lightheaded. She felt nauseous. She sweated and trembled. She couldn’t breathe. Her heart was pounding. She had never seen such a big spider in the house. How did it get there? The entire house had only recently been sprayed.

Elizabeth phoned for an ambulance. She phoned her daughter. “There’s a spider! There’s a huge black spider crawling on the carpet between the armchair and the drinks cabinet!”

Elizabeth’s daughter was there within five minutes. The ambulance shunted Elizabeth away. The emergency was dealt with. The offending bit of black cat fur was picked up and disposed of.

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