The Spiderpodium is pretty self-explanatory: It's a gadget-stand/tripod (well, an octo-pod, technically) shaped like an arthropod. Lacking much to explain, I'm going to tell you the origins of my arachnophobia. Everyone take a seat. It's about to get real.
First, to get the business part of this out of the way, the Spiderpodium is sort of a riff on the Gorillapod, only it has eight flexible legs shaped like the legs of its terrifying namesake. It's a good idea, actually; since all eight legs are equally flexible, it can be attached to pretty much anything, and it can also securely hold pretty much any gadget, of any size. It's like if Gumby was hugging your gadget, only he had eight legs and gave me nightmares. This is what it looks like in different configurations:
Anyway, here's my story. Warning: The events described within scarred me for life. Neither I nor the fine people at Gizmodo can be held responsible if the same happens to you.
When I was about 15, my family moved to a bigger house, still within my Pennsylvania hometown. I had grown up in a very Wonder Years kind of suburban neighborhood: Block parties, lots of kids riding bikes, fenced backyards, a careful amount of trees and shrubs planted with the birth of the neighbourhood a half-century before. It was the kind of neighbourhood where you'd play sports in the street, and passing cars would have to bend to your will, would have to wait there patiently as you lifted the PVC soccer goal your friend's dad had made and moved it to the side of the road. Idyllic as a little kid, and unbelievably dull as a teenager, is what I'm saying.
My parents moved to the next town over, staying within the school district so my brother and I wouldn't have to change schools, and they picked out a house I pretty much loved—bigger, sort of inoffensively suburban-modernist architecturally, with a great basement, and even though it was only a fifteen-minute drive from my old house, it felt like a different world. In place of carefully sheared lawns of unnatural green, this neighbourhood was smack in the middle of the woods—about as wild as suburban Philadelphia gets. That meant my new backyard stretched on for what seemed like ever, with no fenced demarcations. It meant deer eating the seasonal flowers my dad planted out front, it meant no lawn to mow, and, as I would come to find out at the worst possible moment, it meant...spiders.
The first week in the house, we were still getting sorted. The house had been empty for a few months, I don't remember why, and some minor details hadn't been ironed out quite yet. In the bathroom I shared with my brother, for instance, there happened to be no toilet paper holder. No big deal, we'd install it at some point, and in the meantime, the roll of toilet paper just sat on top of the toilet tank, within reach but out of sight.
One day, one awful, awful day, I sat on the toilet, doing, in the words of Big Black, work. I finished my business, folded over the corner of the page of the book I was reading (bad habit, I know), and reached behind my back for the roll of toilet paper. Bringing it in front of my face, I started to unroll it. Two squares...four squares...then I turned the roll over in my hand to get the last two squares I needed, and, in one of the biggest mistakes of my life, looked inside the cardboard tube in the roll of toilet paper.
Sitting inside was a giant, menacing wolf spider, probably four inches across. Just sitting there, looking at me, with a mirrored gleam of malice in its ten thousand horrible fucking eyes.
I calmly (read: With the spasmodic panic of a man being forcibly electrocuted) tossed the entire, brand-new roll of toilet paper in the bathtub and turned the water on full blast, with my pants around my ankles, for added vulnerability. Voicing my surprise (read: Shrieking) until it was out of sight, I watched it swirl down the drain. Only then did I clean myself up and get the hell out of there. I used the other bathroom for a good month before getting up the courage to go back into the one I'd been assigned.
And that is why I am not in the target demographic for the Spiderpodium.