Today was the final day of my internship, which means I’m back to a normal work schedule next week. (I expect my Middlemarch progress to increase significantly now [cough].) I even took time to go to the grocery store last night, so I had something to cook in my fridge when I got home tonight. With such sanguine expectations, what else could be hovering in the wings at stage left but drama?
We interrupt this post to bring you the post’s sole piece of visual interest, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the rest of this story, but which is one of my favorite things.
I am terribly afraid of spiders. I can’t help it. All of the things people who aren’t afraid of spiders say to people like me who are afraid of spiders make no difference whatsoever. They might ask, “What do you think the spider will do to you?” Well, honestly, I don’t have any idea. And I don’t think it’s fair to expect logic from me in these circumstances. All I know is that when I see one, buzzing begins in my brain and my heart starts to race and the only coherent thought to be mustered is it must die, which, after a tense staring contest (me versus the menace), is followed by a pep talk to myself (if there is no one else to do battle for me) to be a grown up and deal with it.
In June, I drove home from work one day, and pulling into the garage with my sunglasses on, and just above where I was storing my winter tires I saw a giant spider. I’m not exaggerating when I assure you that the body of that spider was larger than a quarter, not counting the legs. Dealing with that spider was an ordeal that involved first desperately calling my mother for moral support, backing my car out of the garage again (I had to have room to run in case of attack failure, and also as much light as possible from the open garage door), and a standoff that felt like 30 seconds which was probably more like five, until the giant spider started move (quickly) and I screwed my courage to the sticking place and launched my attack, face distorted for extra bravado. Suffice it to say attack number one was unsuccessful – tires had to be toppled – and eventually, it died.
So, in July, my father, who is one of my favorite people in the whole entire world despite his audacious suggestion that I try immersion therapy for my spider fear (he’s been known to rubber-band plastic bags around the ends of vacuum hoses, “just in case”, so it was a pot-kettle situation to begin with), came and swept out my garage for me. And sprayed Raid all the way around the inside edges of the garage, and the garage door. (Thanks, Dad! I love you!)
And it’s mostly been great since then. I suspect that the garage-sweeping exercise resulted in dislodging some from their habitats, as I had the misfortune to reach into my purse the next weekend and suddenly discover that a spider was ON MY HAND (but it was small and its death was swift).
Tonight after retrieving the mail, I was headed into my apartment and chanced to glance down toward the corner of the garage to find a mid-size spider. Too large for me to deal with while things were in my hands, so I dashed upstairs, divested myself of the things, grabbed a stiff shoe, and went back downstairs.
I think I really need to work on my aim. Smacking at the wall with my stiff shoe, I missed, or it darted out of the way too quickly – who can say for certain? – and it sandwiched itself in the crevice between the wall and the garage floor and I thought to myself, RAID!
But as soon as I picked it up, I had doubts. The Raid was too light. I gave it a shake and could hear a little left in the bottle, so I returned to the scene of battle to discover that, when the button was depressed, the “steady line of spray” for which this specific bottle of Raid was purchased was nothing more than spits of drops falling only inches away. So I held it as close as I dared to the crevice, and as I did my best to apply the random drops evenly, I saw another spider – a smaller one – scurrying. (In hindsight it occurred to me that perhaps mid-size spider was hunting the smaller spider – or the other way around – but I remain remorseless.)
I have no idea whether this final line of defense (as I refuse to sit and wait for them to come out of the crevice) was successful. But the moral to today’s story is, if you’re using someone’s Raid and you almost use up the entire bottle, you should really let them know, so that they can restock before it is too late.
And thanks again Dad! You’re the best-est of the best!
Author’s note: If you did in fact tell me that I needed to buy more Raid, and I just forgot, I blame it entirely on my crazy schedule heretofore this summer and thereby absolve myself of any untoward moralizing.