Have I ever mentioned that I don’t like spiders?
Well in case I haven’t, let there be no room for doubt . . .
I HATE SPIDERS.
Don’t try and convince me of how good they are for the garden, or how they eat other bugs in the house, or how they’re magnificent webs are veritable works of art. Just don’t. My fear/hatred/utter paranoia of spiders is such that on the day we closed on our home back in Maine in the summer of ’07, I told Gareth, (this was after our broker told us the oh-so-comforting tale of a recent home he closed that had 18 spider “nests” in the living spaces of the home), that if I so much as found one pregnant spider, we were going to burn the house down. Period. End of story.
Looking back, I guess there have been a few times where I’ve mentioned how much I detest spiders. As a totally unrelated aside, if you click on those links (and you totally should, there are some awesome photos of our late Griffy-cat, stalking the mother of all spiders!) and you get a password pop-up thingy, just hit cancel a few times and it should go away. It’s some sort of weird hold-over from migrating the blog off of Typepad. I’m working on getting those kinks sorted out. Anyhow, moving on, I have passed my hatred of spiders onto Meg (Gaby? Well she’s in a weird Buddha phase where she believes in letting all living creatures . . . live. Yes, even spiders. We’re currently looking into some sort of intervention program for her, but oddly enough, those are hard to find), and she’s as terrified of spiders as I am.
My general theory about spiders is to kill them all. KILL THEM WITH FIRE!
OK so now that we’ve had a refresher course on how much I don’t like the nasty 8-legged freaks, I can move on with my story.
We’ve been working on a few projects around the house that have had us running back and forth to Home Depot with unusual frequency. Why “unusual”? Well because we are DDIYers. Don’t Do It Yourself’ers. When the two massive projects we’re working on are done, so are we with this whole, “Do It Yourself” nonsense! We don’t possess the necessary genetic material, or the power tools, to do stuff like this. Lesson learned. So I find myself in Home Depot again today, buying more paint as well as a few other odds and ends. I’m standing at the cash register waiting for the clerk to ring up my stuff, and then I took my wallet out of my purse. I set my wallet down on the counter and open it up in order to pull out my credit card. I stopped for a minute to take my keys out of my pocket and when I looked back up the clerk had finished scanning all of my stuff and told me how much I owed him. I opened my wallet and then let out the loudest, longest, scream ever. Not only did I scream, at some point I threw my wallet at the clerk. I didn’t mean to, it just sort of happened in the middle of all the screaming and having what I thought was some sort of cardiac event because of what I found when I opened my wallet. I guess I screamed so loud that it caused the man behind me in line to jump and let out a little “yip” too. The clerk didn’t so much scream as he did this bizarre arm- raised thing and made this little strangled noise. Here, I’ll show you what he looked like . . . except imagine the clerk with bright red hair cut in a Justin Bieber style, and with a smattering of huge freckles across the bridge of his nose . . .
Why all the excitement? What exactly did I see when I opened my wallet?
I’m so glad you asked.
This is what I saw when I opened my wallet, that caused me to make a jackass of myself, scare the living crap out of other people shopping at Home Depot, and what caused the clerk at the cash register to bust a Michael Jackson move:
A big-ass fake spider. Of course, at the time, I didn’t realize it was fake. It was, for all I knew, a real, live, huge spider just chilling in my wallet. IN. MY. WALLET.
Once I’d calmed down and managed to sputter an apology, the clerk picked up my wallet, and then he did something I was not expecting. He picked up the spider. Now remember, at this point I thought the spider was in fact, a spider. Then he hands me both of them. The wallet AND THE SPIDER.
“Ma’am, when it bounced on the floor I realized it wasn’t a real spider. It’s just plastic. See? Just a fake spider.“
Mr. “Yip”, still standing behind me, started to laugh. No wait, he didn’t just laugh, he chortled. He chortled at me. Not only had I just been punked by a plastic spider, I was being chortled at. The humiliation, the shame, the embarrassment of what had happened and how loudly I had screamed, and then not just screamed but threw my wallet at someone, was too much. I took my wallet, left my paint and other bits and pieces on the counter and then walked out of Home Depot.
When I got home, I realized that the spider had been put there by none other than my own itty bitty prankster-in-training. This is not the first time Gaby has nearly given me a heart attack. I doubt it will be the last. After all, her mother and her sister have pulled off the occasional epic prank. I myself, even have a tidy little sum invested in fake cockroaches, mice, and other assorted oddities that have come in handy over the years. However, I have never ever bought any fake spiders because there have been no end of times I’ve scared the crap out of myself after forgetting that I’ve put a fake cockroach into my pocket, and then reached into my pocket only to need an almost immediate change of pants. My former mother-in-law was probably elated when she realized I was no longer going to be her daughter-in-law because she would finally be able to escape the endless mornings where she’d open the sugar jar to find a teeny tiny mouse staring up at her. Oh it was fake, but it sure didn’t look like it. I’m ashamed (OK maybe not) to admit that when I was hospitalized for per-eclampsia and pre-term labor while pregnant with my twins, that I terrorized the nurses and phlebotomy staff with my fake bugs. One of my favorite things to do was to slip a fake cockroach in between the collection vials in the blood-draw kits while the tech was putting the tourniquet on my arm. Ahhhh, such fond memories.
So, I probably shouldn’t be too surprised that Gaby is now mastering the art. And believe me, it is an art, especially when you’ve honed your craft to the point of causing your own mother to make an utter fool of herself in public.
Well played Gaby, well played indeed!