Monday, May 14, 2007

This time of year finds us at a bit of a disadvantage at home.
Shana and I have learned a couple of things over the past decade, mostly by trial and error.
In all balanced relationships, both parties fall into certain roles. Sometimes these roles coincide with the strengths and aptitudes of the individual, or his or her willingness to compromise, at the least.
All the responsibilities of the couple, collectively, eventually become assigned to one or the other and these roles rarely change.
After time, the couple functions with machine-like precision, each half spinning about the other in an endless dance to put the most able person facing the most suitable threat. They become a merciless problem elimination system tuned constantly through action and a shared sense of community and trust.
I remember, however, the late June event right after we were married where we realized the glaring gap in our defenses against the world.
The notion dawned as we huddled, feet pulled up, on the sofa and realized that we had no spider killer.
She figured I would do it and I just assumed that she would be in charge of spiders.
Sucking the little guy up into a vacuum left us with no option but to discard the whole appliance afterwards and we knew we were looking, employing that method, at quickly becoming indentured servants to Sears or whatever place we bought our spider removal vacuums.
Shana has a deep respect for all living things. While she has no particular affection for arachnids, she insists that they qualify in spite of their inherent ickyness.
I, on the other hand, am too aware that they employ a method of movement which almost must be described as "skittering", which disqualifies me for spider smashing duty under the "uncontrollable nauseous horror" exemption. It is the same exemption that gets me out of all contact with clowns and french people.
We set about attempting to correct this weakness immediately, however our only child shares her mother's respect for all life and also managed to genetically get quite a bit of skitter aversion from me. Go, Team DNA!
And then, there are the cats.
This time of year in the South is when the spiders start to come in to enjoy the air conditioning. We have five freaking cats. We should never see a single skitter.
So yesterday I visited each cat in turn and tried to explain the situation. Uselessness I've come to expect from most of them, but I'm sorely disappointed in the ones that the shelter swore were rescued from "the streets".
I told them they had gone soft. I told them that it showed a lack of self-respect on their part. I told them they needed to hunt spiders instead of easing over to the kibble bowl every half hour to try to starve each other out.
For my trouble I got in return one mildly bemused, half-lidded glance from one and a bite on the forehead from another. There was no reaction from the other three cats at all.
And, this morning as I slipped on my shoe, something skittered around my toes in a way that makes me shudder and cringe as I type this while another of the cats did little marchy feet up my leg and demanded that I scratch her behind the ears.
Of course, I flung the offending shoe a long, long way and am wearing a different pair. In fact, I'm fairly certain I can never wear the spider-tainted shoes again.
And Shana, if you read this early enough, there is probably still a spider in the closet somewhere, paralyzed laughing at me. Be careful and call me when it is safe to come home.


Nathan said...

This one eats you from the inside out. The bad thing is, by the time you find out he has you, you have no insides left. /evilcackle "hahahahahaha"

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Nathan said...

Dammit! Your clever use of automatic comment formatting has thwarted my attempt at SPIDER ASCII PWNAGE!!!

Just look at him, from hell spawned spider bent on tearing into your eye sockets, to meaningless collection of slashes, backslashes, and some characters I cant find on my keyboard in one click of the mouse.

I stand shamed....


Anonymous said...

The spider had done the work it intended to do here and will not bother me.

Do I have permission to burn the spider shoes now?

I'm assuming they are your lucky ones....

Garrick said...

Yes. Please dispose of them in the manner you see fit.

And tell the cats I don't appreciate their attitude. I'm watching them. I'm going to expect some damn teamwork in the future.

Andrea said...

great post.

i run like hell from the spiders that are oh-so tiny, but looking into my eyes. my partner has the job of ridding them from our home- however he sees fit is fine with me!

Andrew Moore said...

Teamwork from cats.

Good luck with that, cat-person.

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to join the DOGS out in the front yard for a game of touch football.

Dogs = w00+.