I was in the bathtub the other night, when I suddenly realized I had seen a spider in the bathroom earlier that day. A really creepy spider. I cast my eyes around, trying to make sure it wasn’t, say, right behind me, or in the bathwater, or dangling above my head. I was clear.
I don’t consider myself arachnophobic. In fact, I feel much the same way about spiders as I do about sharks: if it’s nowhere near me, I’m just fine. As long as it’s not in any of the movies I’m watching. And I’m not in any water that might potentially have sharks in it. Or any smaller fish…. I might have a small phobia of fish and/or spiders. But it’s not generally a crippling fear – just a jolt and a typical found-a-spider dance.
So as I lay naked and vulnerable in the bathtub, I took comfort when I saw no big, brown house spider anywhere near me. And then something caught my eye, just under the sink, on the handle of the water valve. I saw a long, thin, delicate black leg extend like a ballerina’s and slowly creep forward, followed by another spindly leg. I couldn’t see the body, but the legs were long, and the whole operation just seemed too sneaky for my taste. I yelled for Ethan.
Ethan compassionately came to my rescue, first bringing a shoe, and then realizing that the spider had chosen a very difficult spot to reach. As Ethan pondered the best means of killing the spider, the fiend slowly crept up the pipe and hid underneath the sink. After ratcheting about a bit to get at the thing, Ethan left the bathroom and returned with a cigarette lighter and a can of cooking spray.
With a few well-aimed puffs from his improvised flamethrower, Ethan cleverly toasted the fiend. The smell of hot, burning oil filled the air. The remains of the spider flew up, then floated to the ground, still intact but delicately roasted. The bathroom smelled a little like a Chinese restaurant. Ethan puffed out his chest, proud to announce that until he grew a mustache, he had never before killed a spider with a flamethrower. Clearly, his mustache was enhancing his raw manliness.
Upon further inspection, Ethan found red markings on the spider’s front and back. This was no ordinary spider. This was a black widow – a deadly spider! Ethan’s chest swelled yet again. He had saved his naked, helpless wife from a venomous fate by rushing to the rescue and torching the beast! And all thanks to his new mustache.
He burned the body outside as a warning to the rest of its kind. Then he came back inside to groom his ‘stache. Happy Movember, everyone. ♦