Hobo spiders, for those who are blessed enough to live somewhere other than the NW or Europe, are nasty big brown hairy spiders that like to hang out in your bathtub, woodpile, basement, or slippers, have a tendency to go running across the carpet just when you thought you were safe, and can give a bite that sometimes turns extremely ugly (necrotic, as in "dead flesh"), resembling the bite of the brown recluse. In the Northwest here, we do not have the brown recluse, but the similarity of the bite confused experts for a while, before they worked out the source as the hobo spider. Hobo spiders, see, are new to the area: they are from mainland Europe and got into Seattle on a boat, and have now spread at least as far south as Corvallis, Oregon (we definitely had them there), and east into Idaho. All I can say is: thanks a lot, Europe. First Scotch broom and now this. *sigh*
I encountered three or four hobo spiders lurking on the beds and in the corners of the vacation house this weekend, and thereby did not sleep very well Friday night. And then I came down with a cold. So in some way I can blame spiders (or Europe) for my illness. Yes.
Btw, that fast-breaking Shelob pic was courtesy of wee_tolkien, which is absolutely the best, funniest, coolest, snarkiest source for your Tolkien-related news, and you must join at once if you have not done so. They provide two concise updates per day, which is much tidier than sifting through the numerous "Legolas rox!!!" posts of, say, lordoftherings (which is a fine community anyway and I am still a member and all that).