PLUNK GENEALOGY -- see "Family" label on this blog and/or write Mike at

Sunday, November 25, 2007

'Life as Lucy Ricardo' -- Again

Sis-in-law Judy said that she particularly likes the “My Life as Lucy Ricardo” stories, so I’ll once again embarrass myself with the fifth in this series.

In our way-back first marriage, Mike and I moved from the tiny, one-bedroom apartment just across the tracks from Memphis State into what felt like a roomy rental house just a few blocks further away. It had two bedrooms, one bath and an actual, but smallish, dining room between the kitchen and living room. As an older house, it was heated by floor furnaces which weren’t desirable except to stand over them in a long nightgown on a wintry morning. It required a lot of initial paint due to the fact that the entire interior was Pepto Bismol pink. What was somebody thinking! But we liked it, and our little dog, Pepper Pot, liked the big back yard.

One night Mike was playing a club gig, and Pepper and I were on the sofa watching tv when I noted movement in the little hall that led to the bedrooms, bath and around the corner to the dining room and kitchen. I got up and moved closer. Apparently out of the floor furnace had crawled the largest, blackest, nastiest, scariest giant spider I’d ever seen. It looked like a tarantula on steroids.

It seems that I recall momentary screaming, but I protectively grabbed Pepper, threw him into the bedroom and slammed the door shut. I wasn’t going to allow that monster to eat my dog. Nope. He’d have to deal with me.

I jumped back in the living room and grabbed the first weapon I found – a newspaper which I folded for battle. Of course as I jumped back, the thing crept forward, so there was probably more screaming. I bravely initiated confrontation, however, and thrust the paper on the floor toward him. There were two good reasons for that move: I didn’t want him to attack me, and I didn’t want him to go back into the floor furnace where he could hide and sneak back out later. The furnace wasn’t on, so the option of roasting him wasn’t available.

The spare bedroom door was closed so I wouldn’t lose him in there. I needed to stop him from heading down the connecting hall to the dining room and other parts. The bathroom door was open making it my target.

So the monster and I began a little choreography. I’d scooch the paper, and he’d go a bit in the desired direction. He’d advance toward me, and I’d yelp and slightly retreat. He’d move his eight, creepy legs toward the other hall, and I’d use the paper to block his way. And over again. Our little dance wasn’t exactly salsa. It was more like the thrust and parry of an Errol Flynn sword fight, but with more screaming.

Eventually, he entered the bathroom and I pulled the door shut. Ah ha! I felt safer so I paused to catch my breath. But the thing was still alive and healthy. I had to cure that. From the kitchen, I retrieved a can of bug spray and prepared to do battle again. I creaked open the bathroom door, spraying the bug killer on the tile floor as I opened it to scare away the little demon. When I got a decent view of the small room, I could see that the spider was hiding. My guess was that he was on the other side of the toilet. With my left hand clutching the doorknob so I could slam it shut if threatened, I started spraying everything that was within firing range of my protected spot. It’s a wonder I didn’t poison myself with all the fumes.

Satisfied, I backed into the hall and slammed the door closed smugly believing that I had prevailed. But then I observed the bathroom light shining out from under the door. He could escape. I proceeded to lay down a thick coat of the spray around all four sides of the doorframe. Now! He couldn’t possibly live through that onslaught or escape.

I had only enjoyed my triumph for a couple of minutes when the next problems presented themselves for consideration:
1. I was not going to be the one to dispose of the dead body.
2. We only had one bathroom.
3. It was late already, but Mike wouldn’t be home for hours.

It actually didn’t take long to find the solution. Any good general knows when it’s time for a strategic withdrawal. I gathered Pepper from the bedroom, got my purse and car keys, and taped a note to the bathroom door.
“Mike -- There’s a big, dead spider in here. Please get rid of
it. I'm at Mother's. I'll call in the morning."


Anonymous said...

So anyway, I get home later that night and find Diane's note, but no spider. I think she made the whole thing up just to get out of the house!


Scarlett said...

And we never knew where the nasty little thing crawled off to die. It haunted me.