fear of spiders or why we don't have a pet tarantula

Photo by jpctalbot

I have maybe a medium fear of spiders, after reading Kit's tale of tarantula escape-"Please don't read this if you are Arachnophobic, Seriously" over at Blogging Dangerously, I thought it time to delve into my phobia and reason it out.
Or not. -the reasoning part, that is..

As a child, I was pretty fearless. I once found a tarantula walking down our street (we lived close to orange groves) and I still can't believe this, but hey, I was there...I took a large, glass mayo jar and scooped the hairy thing up. It's unbelievable, really, because nowadays, being in the doorway of a room with a loose tarantula in it would cause my arm, and then my body- to do that shivery-jiggle-heevie-jeebbie thing and then I would run screaming the other way.

Clearly, my growing fear of spiders must be hereditary, because- I remember running into the house to proudly show my mother my 'catch'... she was blow-drying her hair in the bathroom...she hopped from one foot to the other, cringing and screaming at me to get it out of there. I think she might have burst into tears, too- that part is a bit fuzzy, I was busy high-tailing it out.

This defining moment, though- might have triggered my problem with spiders: I was maybe 8 years old, I walked into my room and out of the corner of my eye, I saw something hide in the crack of my bed, next to the wall. Somehow, I thought I had caught a fairy or a doll playing in my room and then hiding from me...it's weird, but-yeah, that was my thought process. I laughed and jumped on my bed.
And a big, hairy spider jumped out at me.
I ran out of the room screaming.

Since then, my aversion to spiders has grown into a fear. I can't watch the spider part of The Lord of the Rings, and Sky is the official killer of all things Arachnid. I can't even pick up a dead one with a napkin. Seen the scene in Malcolm in the Middle where a tarantula bites Hal on the face? Yes, the stuff nightmares are made of...

Sky and I visited Taiwan in 2004. The stay in Taipei went well, but while we were visiting a church in a small village-waiting to find out who we were going to stay with, I looked across the room and saw the dried exoskeleton of a humongous, tarantula sized spider hanging on a curtain. It was bigger than Sky's out-stretched hand. Since it molted, the important question was, how big is it now? I remained in mortal fear of meeting one of these the rest of my trip.
I regret not taking a photo, but I was worried about offending the church people.
It looked like this spider I think, it was big like a tarantula, but skinnier and longer.
Youtube Taiwan spider

Demi went through a stage of loving and being fascinated with spiders. His room still has a wallpaper border with these cute, cartoon spiders on it. But, no pet spiders will ever live in a house with me.
No stinking way, with cherries on top.

How about you? What are you afraid of?
Any good spider stories?