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Anne Wallingford, WordSmith


I Want a Medal
August 21, 2005

I know, I know, this would not be a biggie for most people. But it was for me!

When I got up this morning, I saw what looked like a black fuzzy on the bedroom carpet. As I walked towards it, I was trying to figure out where it had come from because the cat's fuzzies are light-colored, like her. I bent over to pick up the fuzzy and almost screamed. The black fuzzy was a BIG fuzzy black spider.

D*mn, d*mn, d*mn.

I think if I'd have touched it, I would have fallen because I'd have lost my balance in the recoil.

The darned thing didn't move. Aren't spiders supposed to scurry away from people? Because it was directly in my path, I held onto the walker and very carefully stepped over it with one foot and managed to lift my bad foot enough to also step over it. As soon as I was past it, I looked over my shoulder to make sure it wasn't following me. Then I looked in the linen closet to see if I had something I could spray on it. (In the past, I've used hair spray on small spiders.) I wasn't sure hairspray would work on this sucker, but I would have tried it! But there was nothing. So I went out to the garage for the ant spray. Read the label. The ant spray said it would work on spiders but to keep it away from pets. Ok, I'd have to go back in the bedroom, get the cat out of the room, dress, and spray the spider.

When I reached the bedroom, I had to step over the stupid spider again. This time it moved a little bit, so I knew it wasn't already dead. (Which is a good thing. It means I didn't step on it during the night!)

Dressed. Stepped over the horrible thing one more time so I was on the side by the bedroom door. Of course the cat wanted to see what I was doing so it took quite a bit of coaxing to get her out of the room. With her safely out of the room, I picked up the spray can and squirted the spider. It started to run, then stopped. I didn't stick around to see if it was dead. I just backed out of the room as quickly as I could and closed the door.

Then I went to church. And no, I did not pray for the spider.

After church I stopped at the local McD's to have a cup of coffee, then stopped at the grocery store. When I came out of the grocery, I knew I didn't want to go home and deal with the spider just yet. So, since it was such a beautiful day I decided to go for a "ride."

This time I headed off in my chair in an entirely new direction. To tell the truth, I had been curious for some time to learn where this main street through town went. I'd gone about a mile when an elderly gentleman, coming towards me on his bike, stopped to talk for a few minutes. (He thanked me for giving him an excuse to rest.) I wasn't sure how much further I wanted to ride so I asked him what was ahead. (He had come from that direction.) He told me that there was a little strip mall down the road a short ways. Ok, I figured I'd go that far, look around, then head home.

I was glad I kept going because I learned where another main street in town was located. I frequently heard this street mentioned but I had no idea where the street was in relation to my own house. Now I know.

I followed the road for another mile before reaching the tiny strip mall. Most of the stores in the mall were vacant, but I did find a wheelchair-accessible cleaners. And there was a beauty shop. This wasn't a chain outlet, either. I tapped on the glass door and the beauty consultant on duty came out to talk with me. We discussed how she could cut my hair with me in the wheelchair (not all beauticians will even consider doing this), and we traded business cards. We left it that if I could make it back tomorrow, I would phone her at noon and she would stay open for me. (She normally has short hours on Monday.)

With this done, it was time to head home. I timed myself so I would know how much time I would need on Monday to reach the shop, and it took about 45 min. to get home.

After getting home and back in the house I went into the kitchen, put the groceries away, and had a sandwich. I was stalling! As I ate, I debated whether I could call my brother to remove the dead spider, but decided that wouldn't be a good thing to do. Then I thought about calling a neighbor. He probably would have laughed at me, but he would have done the job. But since his car was gone I figured he wasn't home. I had to do this myself. The problem? No way could I stand having the thing touch me, dead or alive. I mean this was a BIG spider. And I was afraid of losing my balance while trying to scoop it up.

As I finished eating, I had an idea! I could cut some cardboard from the empty cereal box in the recycle bin, scoop the dead spider into the empty cole slaw container, then put the lid on the container. I just had to do all this without falling over.

Armed with my tools, I went into the bedroom. Sigh. The darn corpse was still there; it hadn't evaporated.

Very carefully, while holding the walker with one hand, I placed one piece of cardboard on the ground just touching the spider's legs. Then I used the other piece of cardboard to gently push the corpse onto the flat cardboard.

Once the dead spider was on the cardboard, I stood up and took a break.

Still holding on to the walker with one hand, I bent over a second time. This time I shook the dead spider into the empty cole slaw container. With that done, I stood up again.

Next, I bent over, put the lid on the container, picked up the container, and dropped it into the garbage. (Did I mention that I'd taken the garbage bag into the room with me?)

Finally I bent over one last time, picked up the two pieces of cardboard by their corners, and dropped the cardboard into the garbage bag. I tied up the garbage bag, put the bag into the hallway, then went back into the spider-free bedroom and took a nap.

Like I said at the beginning, I want a medal. I did this all by myself. And I still hate spiders!!!

Copyright © 2005 Anne Wallingford All Rights Reserved

Thursday, August 25, 2005 (rev. 08/27/05)

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