Spiders in the house

“…I’ll bet you monsters lead interesting lives…”

In our house there are a great number of those small, thin spiders, like miniature daddy-long-legs-es.  They don’t bother me, but of course they cannot be allowed to remain.  Every day I sweep, and as I do, some of the dust tries to walk away.  Those are the spiders.  I squish each one under my shoe, and I eulogize: “And so, having re-disposed of the monster, exit our hero…”

The spiders don’t put up much of a fight.  If I didn’t sweep them away, they would get bigger, but they wouldn’t move.  Once they get too big, though, they move to the basement.  They seem to have some size cut-off that I don’t know about.  The upstairs vacancies are filled quickly.

My sister lives in California, where spiders “walk brazenly in from the porch,” as she says.  They just saunter into her living room like they own the place.  She has taught her three-year-old son that boys protect girls, including Mommy, by killing spiders for them.

We did have a bad, scary spider in our house once.  I was washing my hands in the bathroom when, in the mirror, I saw him, scurrying down the wall behind me.  “Biggest spider in the world!” I called out, and I ran into the bedroom with dripping hands.  Th. would not be rushed.

“He’s probably gone by now anyway.”

“If you hurry you can still catch him.”

“I need a shoe.”


“Oh, for shame!  Just look at your fingernails!”

We didn’t find the spider that night, so my shoe spent the night atop the toilet tank.  I told Th. that when he can’t find the spider I want killed, he should wait until I’m not looking and hit the shoe against the wall and make a lot of noise, just to make me feel safe.  He says he can’t do that.

Anyway, I have my shoe back now because the next day, Biggest Spider In The World was in the shower.  I drowned him.

In early September, Th. and I visited my California sister and her family.  We hadn’t seen them in over a year, and I was afraid we suddenly wouldn’t like each other or have anything in common anymore.  But then she was showing me her shoe collection, and she said, “Oh, this one is missing its mate because its mate stays in the bathroom for killing spiders.”

Yes.  We still understand each other.  I expect if she had a basement, she would do as I do, and call out from the top of the stairs, “Spiders and mousies, run and hide!  I’m coming down, and I don’t want to see you!”

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