Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The oldies are the goodies...

I can't stand it anymore. For the 3rd time in as many days I heard the new urban myth about spiders (this time at the Super Savvy Me launch, thankyou P&G, by the way), mentioned by Lowri Turner in her very funny and engaging speech, and I have to post about it. Call it a primal urge; what with spiders being something of a bete noire, I can't help myself.

Can it be true? Can keeping them out of your home really be as simple as putting a pile of conkers in the rooms that they tend to congregate in? Because - allegedly - our little hairy-legged friends don't like the smell, and will stay away.

Nice idea, huh? And so decoratively sympathetic to the season, too! But wait. Firstly, who knew spiders could smell? Not me, that's for sure, and I whilst I know there is scientific evidence that proves they do, the thought of them having their own hairy little nostrils is so nasty (can you tell I'm not an arachnid fan?) that I still need to be convinced. And secondly, are we absolutely certain that there is not a group of street and park cleaners congregated in a smokey room somewhere, laughing their socks off and congratulating each other on coming up with such a great wheeze to get someone else to collect all those annoying conkers that clog up their lawnmowers?

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but...

It got me thinking about all those other fantastic urban myths and who could be responsible for them. In particular, the old classic; 'If your baby is overdue, a curry and some sex will get things moving.' I mean, really. I can't be the only one who suspects that men the world over periodically gather together in a smokey room (probably the same one as the parkies and street cleaners), and slap each other on the back whilst saying "I never thought she'd go for it, but..."?


  1. oh, right with you on the curry and sex one. 'and insist it's from behind, tell her you're concerned about her bump'. Yep, we see straight thru them PottyM.

    Err, was my comment a little crude for this family blog??!

    Sorry about that...

  2. Heh heh. Have I told you I love you? Well I love you. And I totally fell for the curry and sex thing. Tsk.
    I am going to get me some conkers though. Seriously. There are too many spiders in my house right now to not try it. Even though the thought of their little hairy nostrils all a quiver, and the fact that they might leave little pools of spidery vomit beside the offending horse chestnuts makes me heave a bit, I am going to do it. Shudder.

  3. PLEASE don't tell me the conkers thing isn't true, I got so excited by that and was planning a conker hunt for this weekend (see the neat involvement of small child activity with mummy-friendly-spider-destroying ulterior motive?).

    As for the other, curry really was nonsense (as was pineapple) but I fell for the rude stuff and avoided induction by 24 hours...

  4. Damn it. I totally fell for the curry/sex think too. Gah!

    I'm growing quite fond of the giant spiders or at least that's what I'm telling myself.


  5. People buy into the strangest things don't they?

    (Um...what are conkers?)

  6. QUICK someone send me some conkers!!! I shall crush them up and mix them into a paste and paint the walls with them.

    I got confused about why your "parkies" cared about conkers. Here parkies are the homeless - park people. I guess they would make the ground mighty uncomfortable... then I re-read the earlier paragraph.

  7. Conkers? Really?!

    Though saying that I quite like the spiders. They all have names in our house.

    And yes totally with you on the whole conspiracy theory. And yet (and here is the genius part), by 40 weeks pregnant we are willing to try anything aren't we so don't put up much of an argument?

    Those men... cunning they are. Do you think conkers would repel them too?

    P.S. I used one of your posts as a prompt for my writing workshop this week - hope that was ok x

  8. As one who made it to 43 weeks with son #1 and still had to go into hospital to be induced I think little short of a stick of dynamite would have worked. Even the induction required heavy duty forceps!

    Australian 'fly' spray kills all known multi-legged creatures of the insect persuasion - eventually. I could send you some . . .

  9. I have them all over the house in startgeic places. Makes me feel better. Nice to see you, BTW.

  10. Spiders - lowri turner - hmm

    I would rather have spiders in the house than Lowri anyday

  11. The curry and sex thing is genius, just need a way to include Match of Day and we'd have hit the jackpot.

  12. I have both conkers and spiders in this room.

  13. A lot of women say that curry has started their labours and sex really does work!

    The thing to bear in mind though, is that anything like that (including long walks) will only help to kick-start labour if your body is ready anyway. If you're not ready then it's not going to happen.

    Curry - The jury's out on curry, although it is believed that if you don't eat curry very often then your gut and bowel will probably be irritated and contract. That in turn can set off uterine contractions.

    Sex - you might want to cover your ears and sing la la la at this point if you're of a nervous disposition! Sex works because (a) when you have sex your body releases oxytocin which is what they use to induce women and (b) sperm contains prostagladin (sp?) which softens the cervix ready to open up.

    Now I'm off to go and shudder in a corner at the thought of spider nostrils. Just when I thought I couldn't like spiders any less.

  14. The men were having a particular laugh, and it's just surprising that myth didn't come out with a beer as an essential part of the formula.

    The midwives in Scotland had their own laugh. They used to say that eating turnips did the trick. Turnips.

    As for that spider urban myth. Conkers? Bonkers!

  15. The men in Scotland were having a particular laugh, but so were the midwives who used to say that turnips did the trick. Turnips.

    As for that spider urban myth. Conkers? Bonkers!

  16. Pig, crude, maybe. True - absolutely!

    Jo, you just had to take that spider imagery one step further, didn't you???

    PlanB, well, it may be true - who knows? As for the curry and sex thing - read further down the comments....

    IM, that's right, hide the fear from the children. I do that too.

    Lisa, check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conkers - and don't say you don't learn anything here...

    Mummy McT, sorry for confusing you!

    Josie, my pleasure, I'm flattered you used the post. And yes, I too would have done anything (almost) if I had ever gone as far as 40 weeks (my two were impatient little beggars)

    Sharon, thanks for the offer - which I may take you up on if Ruskie spiders are more fearsome than British ones.

    Susanna, good to see you too - and if nothing else I'm sure the conkers look picturesque!

    Mad House, ah, but I DO have spiders and I DON'T have Lowri Turner, and since I suspect that the latter wouldn't drop down on my head from the ceiling or bite my boys on the eye in the night (see another post), actually Lowri is preferable.

    SPD, I have no doubt that somewhere a secret committee of blokes is working on it. Nice to meet you, btw.

    Mwa, you see, YOU SEE? I knew it! A conspiracy!

    BSouth, oh I know the theory, and you're right, it probably does work - sometimes. It's just that it's so damn convenient for the men... (And you can bet it wasn't a woman who worked the chemistry out!)

    Iota, turnips? Really??? And I'm with you on the conkers. Covered with spiders, but with you...

  17. Oh yes, fair point. I didn't really think that through!

  18. The urban myth (well a rural myth really) that gets a real laugh in our American house is that cows sit down when it's going to rain. They do don't they? Every time we pass a herd of cows, which is rare in Chicago thank god, the Ball & Chain has to make some smarmy comment on the weather.

  19. EPM, you're right, they do. Though heaven knows why. And they sometimes get it wrong. Although maybe that's because they got bored with repeatedly getting piles from all the dampness. I mean, cold wet grass on your udders... (is there a blog post in here?)

  20. Oh. I'm surrounded by conkers. I thought Lowri had the answer to all my spider fears. Now I'm to quietly remove them from every room in the house, one by one. It was worth a try. *head in hands*

  21. Rosie, don't do that! It could be true, I don't know - I just have to admit that I have yet to be convinced on this one... (and it was lovely to meet you, btw!)

  22. I agree - Mr Muddling has always looked a little bit hopeful come the end of pregnancy ... not that I find being heavily pregnant particularly sexy but i do love a curry !


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