Okay, Change of Topics....

>> Monday, October 19, 2009

I was going to write a blurb today about Houdini's latest failed escapades, but maybe later. Today, I've got insects on the brain.

You see, I just met this guy:


I'm not sure where he came from, but he was next to Toddler's chair when I stood up from the computer. I was fairly certain when first saw him that it was a big ... giant... baby-eating spider. Then, on careful reflection, I remembered that baby-eating spiders are black, and they live under my sister's stove or in my mother's downstairs bathroom. They do not live in my house. I do not permit them. Since we had to stop the pest terminator contract to save cash, I have been forced to permit other spiders to live in this house (but only until I find them), but not the baby-eating spiders. Nope. Not here.

I don't much care for spiders, but I wouldn't especially say that I am afraid of them. Snakes? Yes -- paralyzing, irrational, blood chilling fear of snakes, even little ones. Spiders? I would like to say no, but the dislike of them and sharp, noisy reaction to their presence has increased with age.

I recall when I was younger, helping my mother out with her Girl Scout Troop, Mom had a rule -- no screaming unless there is blood. Anyone screaming at spiders was subject to severe ridicule and spontaneous punishment. My middle sister was the other Girl Scout Leader of the troop, and I was the tagalong, with some authority, but not a lot of respect, if you know what I mean. I can safely say that Middle Sister and I have the same healthy dislike for spiders. (I know this for a fact.)

So, the Girl Scout "no screaming" rule often meant that at campouts, the leaders (and I) would need to go tent to tent to deal with little girls trying hard not to scream about the spiders. When I was a scout their age, the Daddy Longleggers didn't bother me, and we didn't see too many other creepy crawlies. By the time I was old enough to be helping my mother, I think I'd seen a few too many nature movies, or Alfred Hitchcock, or read too much science fiction, or something. I don't know, but picking up those Daddy Longleggers and pushing them out of the tent took all I had some days. Middle Sister would just go in, pick them up by the leg, and toss them, with a sideline to the girls, "See? That's all there is too it."

I used to feel a little sheepish about that reaction, until one day when I went to Middle Sister's house. Her oldest was a scarce few months old, and we were spending a lot of days together that summer. One of those days a spider as a big as the whole house crawled across the kitchen floor. To my shock, my sister yelped! She called me, and I came out, baby on my hip. She said, "Look at that!" This big giant arachnid was making a straight line to the stove. She swatted at it with something, but she missed. To my surprise, she almost seemed ... intimidated by it? She yelled, "Get it!" I said, "Get it? If I put the kid down, the spider might eat the baby!"

Well, the spider disappeared under the stove, never to be seen again, so far as I know. Middle Sister then confessed that spiders freaked her out a little. "Really? But you were so calm about them at camp!"

She grinned. "I know. It was because I had to. Here, I thought you might get it for me."

HA! (But don't ask her about it. She won't admit it, but I swear I'm telling the truth.)

Now, that couple-month old baby I was using as an excuse not to kill the spider is applying to college. (I wonder if she is afraid of spiders, too?) Now, there is me, Toddler, and this guy:


Before you go saying anything, I know it isn't a spider. I realized that as soon as I remembered that I don't permit baby-eating spiders in my house. This guy is a cricket ... I think. Well, he's some kind of jumping dude that is at least related to a cricket. I don't kill crickets. I tossed a paper towel over him and was about to scoop him up when he leaped up about the level of my head, at which point I yelped like a puppy. Mr. Cricket then snuck under the refrigerator and hasn't come out yet. Well, either he comes out soon, and I escort him to the front door, or he becomes cat food tonight when the three stooges find him.

PS -- edited to add, the cricket apparently returned in the middle of the night, at which point he met one or more of the sentry cats and did not survive.


Susan October 19, 2009 at 10:12 PM  

That looks like a very chubby cricket that (if I were a cat) would be a delicious midnight snack!

Karin October 20, 2009 at 9:08 AM  

I prefer mine dipped in chocolate ....

jacquie October 20, 2009 at 6:00 PM  

I think it looks more like a lobster. I'd be putting the house up for sale if I saw that baby on my kitchen floor!

Karin October 20, 2009 at 8:42 PM  

Jacquie, the thought did occur to me. Then I realized I'd have to paint the place and the urge passed.

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