I am the big spider killer. Yes, yes, keep the applause to a minimum. The children and husband are quite capable of killing your garden variety daddy long leg, or even some of those small-but-evil looking buggers the size of a pen head, but if a spider has visible leg hair, it immediately falls within my domain. I take a sound shoe (a flip-flop will just piss it off) and whack them. Today, I cleaned the basement, and the outdoor stairwell that leads to it. At some point I realized that I was seriously outnumbered. They seemed to recall my last de-webbing and scurried up my legs, dropped from ceiling into my hair, and repelled from walls in order to whisk into my face. I am not a skittish woman and do not screech at the sight of small woodland creatures, toads, insects, etc., but the thought of something living trapped in my hair has a tendency to make me beat myself about the head until I feel certain that I have killed whatever lurks within.
Now when I say I am not squeamish, I realize that there are those out there who would be happy to point out my slug phobia. This fear I feel is a warranted one. In fact, anything that has neither bone structure, nor exoskeleton is unearthly and yucky. Some will say:” Oh a slug, you silly girl. They are neither threatening, nor quick moving”. I will retort with a brief tale of how a slug nearly bit my ass.
Once upon a time (nearly 7 years ago), there was a woman who lived in half a house. Her half of the house also included half a basement, where she was required to do her wash. Now this woman worked many long hours building shoddy trailers, and was very weary. And yet she plugged on and did her laundry every Friday. One particular Friday, her father had come to visit. She continued her routine and went about trucking laundry in to dark, moist basement. As she neared the washer, she noticed what appeared to be a piece of rubber. After turning on the light, the woman began to scream. Her father rushed down the stairs only to discover his fearless daughter cowering in the wake of a mere slug. Wiping his eyes, he carefully wrapped slug in toilet paper and prepared to send him to a watery grave. His daughter, being very worn and dirty after working ten hours at trailer factory, was concerned. She asks “Couldn’t he swim his way out”. Father, sending her a condescending glance, replies “He has nothing to swim with”. Undaunted, the woman presses her point “but he has those antennae thingys, couldn’t he propel himself with those?” He assures her that this is not the case. About 40 minutes later she undresses, and prepares to shower. She sits down to pee (yes some of us don’t pee in the shower!) and notices what appears to be a poop smear along the rim of the toilet. The woman has a two year-old (i.e. this would not be unprecedented), so she bends over for a closer look (yes she is flexible, but not circus flexible, and no she can't do that though she has never tried). Alas! It is her nemesis, the slug! Her butt, with wisdom beyond it’s years, propels itself off of the toilet and into the wall. Screaming like a woman with no pride, she wraps herself in shower curtain and calls for her father. The man is sobbing is he laughing so hard. All she could think to say was “I told you he could swim!!!”