Thursday, October 11, 2018


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I’m not afraid of spiders—generally speaking. Running across a black widow in the garden is a little unnerving, for sure; however, most of them are harmless and best left alone to do what they do which, to the best of my knowledge, is spinning their webs to trap insects and small mammals.

House spiders are completely harmless, though they do drive Mary crazy erecting their cobwebs in dark corners that only become visible when we have company over. “Would you look at that?” I say. “Why don’t we move into the kitchen while they polish off the neighborhood cat?”

It seems that, with the colder weather, more spiders take up residence inside. It’s their version of Florida. They pack their little spider luggage, transfer their spider phones, and move to warmer climes.

Like I said, I don’t hold any strong aversions to spiders. Live and let live, I say. Just stay out of my bed and don’t use my slippers as sleeping bags. I really don’t appreciate sharing my footwear, especially at four in the morning when I’m likely to pull a muscle leaping around the bedroom on one foot while attempting to remove the stinging night shoe from the other.

And one other thing. Stay out of the shower. There’s a certain level of vulnerability felt by people taking a shower. Just ask Marion Crane. When I'm done washing my face and open my eyes to a spider walking across the tile, my heart races and, darn it, I feel just a wee bit violated. I mean, most spiders have six or eight eyes, which allows them to survey you from head to toe all at the same time.

It’s really the surprise of it that gets me. The other day, I stepped into the shower and noticed a daddy-long-legs in the corner formed by the walls and ceiling. That didn’t bother me too much because I wasn’t taken by surprise. So I went about my business, keeping an eye on him just in case.

When I was finishing up my second shampoo and rinse—the instructions say “shampoo, rinse, repeat” and I’m not one to second guess the shampoo scientists’ years of laboratory testing which, no doubt, provides conclusive evidence that doing it twice is critical to obtaining the best results—he started walking across the wall towards the shower curtain.

He stepped onto the curtain rod, headed for my towel, and disappeared on the other side of the rod. Okay, that’s enough, I thought. I don’t want to grab my towel and have this guy hanging on, ready to pounce on me.

So I decided to reach over and back hand the shower curtain, just below the curtain rod, where I thought he would be. I figured this would knock him off and he’d land somewhere around the toilet, taking cover where I wouldn’t see him again until the next day.

Boy, was I wrong about that strategy. I popped the top of the shower curtain with the back of my fingers and, by an amazing feat of physics, the edge of the curtain reached out, grabbed Mr. D. Long-Legs and hurled him directly at my left eye. He’s flailing all eight legs while making this kamikaze flight and I’m watching him close in on my eyeball at break-neck speed.

Before I could blink, turn my head, or even watch my life flash before my eyes—BAM!!! OH MY GOD!! THERE’S A SPIDER IN MY EYE!!

Now you can’t go leaping around in the shower. You must keep your wits about you or you’ll end up slipping and feeling pretty stupid when you have to explain what happened to the emergency room doctor. BUT THERE’S A SPIDER RIGHT IN MY FREAKIN’ EYE!!

I started swiping at my face and put my head into the shower spray. That blew him back into my hair and I smacked my head until I was sure that I was the only one who could have survived this battle to the death. All that was left to do was to shampoo, rinse and repeat, which I did twice more just to be safe.

Emerging from the bathroom, Mary asked why I took such a long shower. I told her I was playing Spiderman. Not even wanting to hear what the heck that could mean, she just shrugged her shoulders and went back to applying her eyeliner.

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