There’s nothing like a femme fatale screaming in panic down the phone at you at 6am to bring your mind into focus.
There’s a huge spider in my bathroom!
It’s Eolist. Ms. Petite, my tiny American friend, is not known as a panicker with wildlife. I once watched her straighten out a pair of delinquent anteaters who foolishly tried to lift her pocketwatch with a double-team bump and dip. It wasn’t pretty.
But let’s be honest, nobody likes spiders. Well, nobody who’s entirely sane, anyway.
Um, good morning? Grasping for etiquette is probably a poor attempt at calming the lady down, but I’ve not had a coffee yet.
Not here it bloody well isn’t! Please can you come help?! THIS SPIDER IS FREAKISHLY LARGE! she wails. It sounds like Eolist may already have had a few pints of coffee herself, possibly with a red bull chaser, but that’s not unusual, even at this time of day.
Um, sure. Just lemme get dressed and…
Please hurry! The line goes dead.
Good grief, it’s only a spider. I’m not fond of them either, but what is it about them that makes us so irrational? I've often suspected it’s something about the angles in the legs, the numbers of eyes, or the way they move. They could almost be an alien species.
Involuntarily, I twitch as I swipe an imaginary one from my hair.
Right, best get moving. I raise myself from bed, step into trousers and shuffle into shoes. What’s missing? Oh yeah, a shirt. Not strictly needed for heroics, but my string vest is in the wash.
I wonder where my spider-catching pint glass is.
Ten minutes later, I arrive at Eolist’s. It’s a lovely house, a nice white-painted wooden affair in an acre of land. A well tended gravel pathway heads out to meet the road, and there’s a decent-sized outdoor swimming pool which stop well short of; I don’t want to have to call the badgers to get my vehicle out of the deep end again.
Eolist runs out onto the driveway, a vision of early-morning dishevelment. It’s a good look on her. She takes one look at my pint glass and shakes her head.
You’re going to need a bigger boat, Quint. I chuckle, but not unkindly; it’ll be more than sufficient. We then exchange broken sentences, each interrupted by the next. I wave the pint glass.
I’m sure I can catch it with this pi...
I have some much bigger containers in the garage, I’ll go ge...
Never mind the garage, there’s no nee...
Did I mention how big this bloo...
IT’S JUST A SPIDER! I exclaim, gently putting my hands on her shoulders to stop her bouncing. We take a breath; the panic is infectious. I’ll deal with it. That’s why you called me, right?
Eolist pouts a little, but nods. Right.
I give her a quick hug and head indoors.
Upstairs bathroom! she yells at me as I pass the threshold. Please be careful! I'm annoyed that the tune Billy Don't Be A Hero starts up in my head.
One minute later, I’m standing chuckling at her bathroom sink. The spider is a couple of inches across, and distressingly hairy, but not worth the panic. It eyes me suspiciously before making another attempt to scramble up the side of the porcelain.
Feeling brave, I put my glass down and scoop the wee lad up carefully between my cupped hands. It tickles me with its thrashing, and a shiver passes up my spine, but I deposit him out of an open window and close it quietly.
Taking some deep breaths, I feel rather heroic.
I turn at a noise from behind the shower curtain above the bath.
Ten seconds later, I’m on the drive with Eolist.
I’m doubled over, drenched in sweat and breathing heavily. She fusses over me, but I regain my composure and try to look heroic as I raise myself upright.
So, tell me about those big containers you have in the garage...
I make a mental note never to answer the phone again.
This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2011