Guest Column:An Extra Hour -- To Kill Spiders

Last Sunday morning was one of those fabulous fall mornings when you wake feeling great and can't wait to get up and start your day. As I stretched carefully and quietly beside my still sleeping husbandI realized it was fall-back morning so it was really now an hour earlier than the clock showed. Even more fabulous!

That's when I saw the spider. An inadvertent squeak escaped me and Royal was up in a flash.

"What's wrong!?" he demanded.

I apologized and pointed out the big, BIG brown arachnid up on the wall right below the crown molding. He reasonably pointed out he could get him later. I more reasonably pointed out he might not be there later and as long as we were awake …

Royal got up and got his bathrobe, got the little cherry library ladder from my dressing room then fetched a wad of tissue from the bathroom.

Climbing up the ladder and steadying himself on the wall, Royal studied his prey.

"Just get him!" I insisted "If you wait he'll see you and drop."

"He's not gonna see me!" Royal reassured me with that patronizing tone men use toward women in these situations. He reached upward just as the spider swung downward and disappeared behind all the framed photos on the mantel.

"I told you he was gonna get away!" I shreiked. "Now he's going to get away into the room and he'll end up in the bed!"

Royal started poking around on the mantel and the first photo fell. Fortunately it fell onto the rug and didn't break. I flew off the bed and grabbed my bathrobe and announced I was going to go get the Windex and some rags and clean all those frames and glass and the big mirror over the fireplace.

When I returned he was taking the photos off the mantel one-by-one, and laying them on the bed.

He was taking so long that I started washing the windows in the french doors to the balcony. Sometime later, Royal announced he'd gotten the spider and was going back to bed.

"Come on, Honey," he cajoled, but I said I'd just be a few more minutes finishing the windows and washing the big mirror and replacing all those cleaned photos onto the mantel.

As I turned back to the bed, the long-legged quarry in all this scuttled across the sheets on my side and headed for the edge.

With a piercing scream I grabbed a book and repeatedly whacked him till he was dead. Royal had just fallen back asleep and now he shot up out of the covers.

"You LIED!!!!You didn't get him you let him get away! And he was in the bed!"

"No, I GOT him. That is ANOTHER spider."

"NO, IT ISN"T!!! I recognize it!!"

"Oh, don't be ridiculous! You can't tell one spider from another!"

"Yes I CAN! That was the SAME ONE and YOU LIED to me!!"

Royal headed for the master bath insisting he'd gotten the first one and pointing out the wad of toilet tissue floating in the bowl.

As he tossed the second wad of paper into the bowl, it immediately became translucent, clearly revealing the dark glob of dead spider in its midst.

"Oh yeah? Why is there no dark spot in the other tissue?"

As the hideous realization that he was caught flashed over my husband's face, he changed tack.

"All right, he got away," he admitted. "But I was just trying to protect you. I knew you'd be all freaked out."

"No, you knew I'd make you help me tear the bedroom apart till we found him!"

"Well, what were the odds he'd get in the bed?" he slimily purred.

"Since that was where you brilliantly placed all the photos I'd say they were pretty high! And odds are meaningless because that's exactly where he did end up!!" I raged.

Royal was trying unsuccessfully to stay contrite, but failing miserably as he kept failing to stifle his laughter.

"Awwww come on Honey. The point is he's dead and you got the pictures all washed and the windows washed and that's great! Come back to bed and we'll sleep late. It's fall-back morning. Come ONNNNNNN …"

But I drew myself up as tall as I could be and announced testily that I was not coming back to bed . Then I stalked out and have now spent the last hour or two washing walls and woodwork, doors and windows and telling myself I was right and I was VINDICATED and he KNOWS IT!

Now if only he looked like he knew it. Because right now he's all snuggled in the warm, soft, spiderless sheets and downy comforter blissfully snoring away.

At least I got all that cleaning done.

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