Spider spray

Wow. Where’ve I been lately? Oh, who’m I kidding? Nobody cares.

Life just gets busy. I never catch up on laundry. Never. This aggravates me to no end, too, because I was one of those know-it-all 20somethings who used to utter things in my mind like, “Stupid people. Why are they so domestically handicapped that they can’t catch up on laundry? Poor little hobos.”

I probably never did think, “poor little hobos” in my head, but you get the idea. I’ve turned into those people. That’s how it works. You are an authority on everything until you get to do it yourself. Then suddenly you are just as dumb, or dumber, as everyone else. Maybe not Baron Wetty. She has a pretty good laundry system going, but she doesn’t live with my boys, either. I will lean on that as my excuse.

At any rate, it doesn’t matter where I’ve been, what I’ve been doing, or which year of taxes I am working on for an October 15 deadline. And it doesn’t matter if you are normal and do your taxes in April (or January like the Informinator). And it further doesn’t matter if you are a reject like me and do your taxes in October and have done them already. I don’t care.

I really do care. Can you hear the desperation in my tone?

Well, anyway. All that matters is that I’m delaying a torture chamber in TurboTax and sitting here on WordPress. And I’m going to tell you a story about the spider I killed today.

It was a quiet Sunday afternoon following a good morning at church. The TV was off and the kids were all playing downstairs and nearby. I was in the kitchen unloading the dishwasher. I rounded the corner into the dining room, to return something to one of the kids when I saw it.

There it was. The spider I’ve been waiting to see. The one I’ve been dreading. The one that haunts my dreams at night and that makes boys cry in the corners. It was a large, brown, spider–positioned perfectly in the doorway between the family room and the dining room. There was no getting over it without risk of sending it crawling away into a place where I’d never find it. It was almost big enough to go under it, but I’m not dumb enough to entertain that thought for long.

This spider was about the size of a silver dollar. Not too fat. Not overly hairy. But big.  I froze. I do that when I see something I have to catch or kill. I freeze and its life passes before my eyes in pictures of execution methods and animal reactions. I picture the many different options I have and what could conceivably happen as I do this. For instance, if a roach is on the ceiling, you simply MUST go through this exercise to ensure that you will not have a still-living roach in your hair after a botched kill attempt. In that situation, failure is not an option. That’s why I go with the flat, heavy paperback book and the technique of a fancy waiter. Smack, smack. It’s done.

So as I froze there today, considering the life of this spider, I decided to call in the troops and go with spider spray. I would do a combination spider spray, paper towel approach. SPRAAAAAAY and smash. Done.

But the spider spray was upstairs in the kids’ bathroom and I’ve already told you I wasn’t going to step over that thing.

“Mama’s Boy?” I called out for him tentatively. He was playing on the stairs. I think he does this because it’s the only place in the house with carpet. The boy likes his carpet.

“Yes?” He answered.

“Run upstairs quickly and get me the can of spider killer in your bathroom.”

“What for?” He perked up. “What is it?”

“Just go get the spray and then we’ll talk,” I urged. He ran off. It seemed like a million years before he got back. As he was running around upstairs, I backed slowly into the kitchen to grab a paper towel for Phase 2 of Operation ArachniKill. When the boy returned, he saw the spider and said, “Whoa.”

I know. Right?

“Throw me the can carefully,” I instructed. “Toss it to me underhanded.”

“What?” He was flabberghasted. “I can’t do that!” He said. We don’t play baseball around here. Clearly it was not a good plan to start out throwing cans of spider killer around. OK. New plan.

“OK. OK. Climb up on the piano bench and hand it to me through the door.” At this point, Beloved came around the corner on Mama’s Boy’s side of the spider and wanted to know what was going on.

“STOP!” I hollered. “Big, HUGE spider. Don’t take another step!!” She stopped and her eyes got large.  Mama’s Boy was perched precariously on the piano and was reaching the can across the threshold to me.

I took the can, aimed it, and sprayed…paper towels ready.


I doused that spider good. I expected it to go crazy. That’s what they do. They hate the stuff, but it paralyzes them on a short journey to DEATH.

There was no movement. No reaction. No death. No life. Nothing.

I sprayed again, totally shocked that nothing was happening.  Then I inched forward to look. Then I nudged it with my paper towel.

The kids were now laughing.

“Mama, it’s fake. It came out of the Halloween box.”

And so it had.

I crumpled it up in the paper towel I had prepared for it and threw it away, just the same as I would have if it had been real and dead.

That’s what you get, you stupid plastic spider.

Now who’s the real loser?

(It’s still me, isn’t it?)