Saturday, October 15, 2011
I suppose it was just a matter of time. I needed to replace a lightbulb out by the garage, but being too short to accomplish this chore without a stepladder, I asked Lillian to do it. While she was busy being tall and useful she came face to face with, ah yes, a really big spider, crouching on an eave, no doubt waiting for one of us to leave a door or window open to the pleasant autumn weather so he could sneak into my house.
Faithful readers will recall that I have a Hatfields-and-McCoys relationship with the creatures who share my property. Here's the deal, nature: I pay the mortgage, so I get to decide who comes in and who stays out. My cats come in; their cats stay out. My kids come in; traveling salesmen stay out. The occasional burglar comes in without my permission; and so do random spiders, lizards, snakes, and bees. [My grandma kept a little window open year round so her cat Scrapper could come and go and at one point a large, nasty--and evidently unwell--opossum clambered in and subsequently died in her back hall. Gaaah. Maybe because her house was fully paid for?]
Anyway you will also recall that I described my children as weenie cowards afraid of spiders. They all are. After much discussion, and providing Little Miss Muffett with a flyswatter, flipflop and broom, she managed to gently nudge the spider into a crack, annoying him (and me) in the process and convincing him that his next move should definitely be straight into my house so he could bite and paralyze us while we sleep. It took another twenty minutes and threats of fetching the stepladder so I could dispatch him by myself, but she managed (while screaming) to knock him to the driveway where I sent him straight to hell with the flipflop. I have almost no sense of balance and stepladders and I are not friends or I would have done the whole operation without help.
When it comes to swatting spiders you can't overthink it. See it--kill it--apologize to Buddhists later. I Googled spiders just now and decided that this beast (a homeboy of the monster who came in last winter) was probably an innocent-sounding "house spider" which certainly sounds like he is genetically designed to live cozily in my underwear drawer but makes me sure that Darwin was wrong about one or two things. And if you want to creep yourself out entirely, spend a few moments googling "spider" so you can see hundreds of pictures of spiders on the computer screen and can spend the next hour trying to get all your flesh to unclench from around your neck. Sweet dreams!
Post-mortem: In all fairness, Lillian has a skill far more valuable than spider slaying. She is an unsurpassed sparkly thing finder. This morning I discovered one mortgage-payment, girls-best-friend earring was not in its ear-hole--and of course I had just been outside stuffing tree branches into the green can (yes I know better and am generally very careful about those earrings, but the urge to stuff just came over me when I went out to get the Sunday paper.) As I was digging desperately through my pillows and blankets she pounced right on the earring, twinkling on the carpet by my bed. My daughter the magpie.