Monday, October 15, 2007

Tales of the Crypt


Today I called in one of those "I would do anything for you, honey's." I got Flip to remove some of the cobwebs from our ceiling as it was beginning to look a lot like Halloween.

I normally accept that if I want something done I should do it myself, but the ceilings are high, and he is the only one of us who is 6'4". A tall man nowadays is hard to find.

For this favor, I had to endure bad jokes, like "I see all these cobwebs, but I have never seen a cob." With endless variations. His father was from Oklahoma. He seems to have been raised on a steady diet of corn.

I have never seen a spider in our living quarters either. These cobwebs seem to be made entirely of dust and cat hair, which is good because I do not practice or solicit murder. It would be wrong for spiders to live or die at the whim of a creature they cannot even comprehend. Which would probably make me God to the spiders.

Flip was happy to zap the furry stalagtites with a broom, although he repeatedly shooed me and my superior eyesight away as I pointed out dangling particles that he had missed.

Directing the operation was like operating a remote-controlled toy without the noise. I wonder what else I can have him do before he reaches critical mass.

Still, he got off easy. Most people buy new cars more often than he washes ours.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

I will not dignify this scurrilous bit of scandal by commenting in any way.
Oops too late!

NoRegrets said...

Aren't they called kitties? Not cobwebs. Maybe that's a New England thing.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Anonymous,

When you get a chance, would you please come in here with your broom and clear away one you missed?

Noregrets,

Hmmm. I've lived in both Massachusetts and Vermont and never heard the term. Or maybe I just don't remember.

I think if they're under the bed, they're called "dust bunnies."

Irrelephant said...

I thinK I stuck the spider comment in the last post...*grin* Woops.

Living in the country I see more than my share of the little scuttling buggers, but I've learned that a slow hand and a gentle heart can pick them up and return them to whence they need to be--outside.

Snoskred said...

If you lived in Australia you may have to practice spider murder, because probably 50% of the spiders here can kill you within oh, 15 minutes. And one of them chases you. Scary like. With arms waving. I won't publish a photo, it is far too terrifying. If you want to see it google "funnel web spider".

And one of the ones that can kill you likes to hide out behind toilets, in public toilet blocks. I practice good bladder control, and carry a can of spider spray in the car just in case. I have also identified numerous toilets which are cleaned regularly by people who remove such creatures. ;)

And one of the ones that can't kill you is terrifyingly scary looking, and can grow to be as big as your hand. Those ones like to be up high - and they like to jump. Onto you, if possible.

The most poisonous spider here is unable to bite you. I let those ones live, but it is estimated on average we Aussies eat 8 of them a year while we're sleeping, so ones appearing in the bedroom are advised to move on.

It's a dangerous land we live in.. :) sharks, snakes, spiders, killer kangaroos.. :)

Cheers!
Snoskred
www.snoskred.org

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Snoskred,

Wow, that was interesting. I googled Funnel Web Spider, and you didn't exaggerate.

I could spend a lifetime studying Australian animals, not necessarily spiders.

thailandchani said...

My housemates both consider me a bit wacky because I catch the spiders in a newspaper and put them outside.

Likewise, I just can't bring myself to kill them so I won't be inconvenienced by their cobwebs.. um.. kitties... um .. ceiling-based dust bunnies.. um.. whatever they are. :)


Peace,

~Chani

Rachel said...

Could Flip come over and clean out the dusty web hanging over my bed? I'd ask brian to do it, but every time I think to ask, he does something sweet, so I forget.

Josie said...

I once had a wolf spider that sat and watched TV with me. Wolf spiders don't make webs, they just sort of hang out wherever. One day I put on one of my sweaters, and he was wriggling around on my shoulder. I shrieked, brushed him off and accidentally killed him. I actually felt sort of bad.

heartinsanfrancisco said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
heartinsanfrancisco said...

Chani,

I also take insects outside. It's wrong to kill them just because they are in the space we consider ours.

What if all the wild creatures decided to kill humans every time they caught one outside?

Rachel,

I can see how that would be.

Josie,

Now you've done it. He was probably an ancestral spirit watching over you. Oops.

The CEO said...

I already asked for my good favor, so I am in abeyance for a while. I never thought about asking for someone to clean out spiderwebs. I never realized how truly utilitarian anonymous really is. Thank you for opening my eyes!

The CEO said...

I'd bet that anonymous would make the perfect house guest too!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Monty,

He would if he didn't already live here.

My cobwebs are his cobwebs. All our worldly goods and all that.

Odat said...

He done good!!! (in spite of the corn. I'm going to use that joke, btw, thanks!)
I also take spiders outside. I can't kill them either.
Peace

WNG said...

"Most people buy new cars more often than he washes ours." Not only does it rhyme, but it also gives me a great snapshot of your life together for some reason. And you crack me up... as usual.
The only bugs I kill are roaches and I must admit that I do it with malice in my heart- especially for the flying ones. Shudder.

jali said...

Hey anon,

It seems that you have many, many skills.

Ian Lidster said...

Now that you (and Flip) menton it, just what is a cob. Our spiders (I'm Buddhist about them and feel they have a place in my world) live in the garage whence they take a huge toll on various destructive insects. They're predominantly so-called 'Hobo' spiders. I believe they sit around a teeny-weeny campfire at night in their little 'jungle' and sing Woody Guthrie songs.

*~*Cece*~* said...

Thanks for reminding me to clean my ceilings this weekend.

furiousBall said...

I did a fair share of evicting spiders whilst painting my porch. They are protesting and demanding affordable housing. Spiders.

My Reflecting Pool said...

At least he was there to aide you. We get lots of webs near the light at our front door. We opted not to get rid of it until after halloween. The kids aren't thrilled with our lazy decorating.

Angela said...

Heart, I do so love the connections. I lived in Mass. for two years. I call it my Boston vacation.

I love corn. It's my favorite kind of humor.

And there are many reasons I love my husband, but the fact that he puts insects in jars and releases them outside is a big one.

MsLittlePea said...

I just love a tall man. They are so useful aren't they?

MsLittlePea said...

By the way my French Canadian father in law once told me it was bad luck to kill spiders in the house. He would catch them with a paper cup and put them outside.....you must have all kinds of good luck then :o)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Odat,

Help yourself. Please help yourself. He has many such jokes. You are welcome to all of them.

Wng,

It is difficult not to have malice in your heart for cockroaches, but you have to admire their tenacity as they are one of the oldest creatures on the planet.

Jali,

Oh, he does indeed. Word.

Ian,

With their tiny bindles, toasting hot dogs and marshmallows on sticks.

Cece,

Why not wait until after Halloween? It's only a few weeks away, and they add to the decor.

Furious,

At least you didn't paint over them.

There is no affordable housing anymore. That's why they freeload.

Reflective,

You're a girl after my own heart. When life hands you cobwebs, make Halloween decorations.

Angela,

We have that trick mastered, too. We try to relocate them to a place with the right kind of food.

Where in MA did you live?

Sweet Pea,

Oh, yes. Especially to the severely height-challenged, who shall remain nameless.

I had no idea we were accruing good fortune. That's so very nice to know!

Open Grove Claudia said...

Hurray for tall men!! Another good reason to keep a man around. Of course, mine takes out the trash too! OH and handles the recycling. yea!

Dumdad said...

I voted for your blog - I tried to click several times but they're wise to that!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Claudia,

Yes!! And Flip also takes out the trash. He likes to use the shute from a high floor.

Dumdad,

THANK YOU! It's so nice when I get a vote that isn't my own. I'll never win, though... I checked out one of the winners and she was asking for votes in every post.

the walking man said...

I don't do anything around the house because I am comfortable with the way things are, dusty, musty and dirty.

If the wife wants to go on a cleaning jag ...good for her I'll move to another room,

I let all the spiders stay in my house because I like watching the other bugs get caught in the web..."oops I tell them you're fucked now."

Even outside my house there are at least ten webs of varying kinds so i just let them be...they have to eat too.

I have one spider named Bob about three inches from leg to leg when he opens up to take a walk in his piece of my nirvana.

life is like that

Peace

TWM

TomCat said...

Hi Hearts. First thanks for your visit and comment at Politics Plus. I apologize that it took a couple days to get back to you.

We guys specialize in needing just enough supervision to make you give up and do it yourself. If he actually finished it, you are blessed. :-)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Mark,

You sound like my ex-husband, whose idea of helping with the housework was to lift his feet so I could vacuum under them.

Tomcat,

I've noticed that. Somewhere in your DNA is encoded the ability to walk into the kitchen and ask if you can help as we are washing the very last dish.

Judith said...

Ysee its all geographically relevant - Im for the buddhist way of thinking - the only dangerous spiders here are the ones you break your neck running away from, harmless to you until you scream like a wuss and trip over something in the course of escaping from them - I have no arachnaphobia as I live in a place where spiders mind their own business in return for a small corner of a window or doorway - now if I lived in Austrailia well then Id be polishing up my 12 gauge shotgun and rubber bands on the ends of my pants - Yeah I think Id quite quickly cultivate an ever growing fear in my heart for those arachnid mofos

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Judith,

Those arachnid mofos. Arachnid mofos. Did you hear me? I said ARACHNID MOFOS.

Oh look, dear, the baby's said her first word.

It sounds as if in Australia, the insects are the ones with 12-gauge shotguns.

Rachel said...

you mentioned in your book post to let you know if we filled out the meme on our own blogs..well, I did! And thank you for a great meme...it was hard to complete.

Are all the cobs out now?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Rachel,

No more cobs. They've all gone a- packing.

I loved your list of books. Thanks for the heads up!

Sienna said...

Spiderwebs are so pretty, I have a couple of pictures of webs on a fence in nice light, but to find those pictures would be looking for a needle in a haystack fun.

We don't have the funnel webs here, (so far :) ) they are more to our north...we do have heaps of redback spiders, had a horse bitten by one once, she was so ill but did get better with treatment...and there is a song made famous by an Ozzy singer....

Redback On The Toilet Seat (lyrics)

There was a red-back on the toilet seat
When I was there last night,
I didn't see him in the dark,
But boy! I felt his bite!
I jumped high up into the air,
And when I hit the ground,
That crafty red-back spider
Wasn't nowhere to be found.

Chorus:
There was a red-back on the toilet seat
When I was there last night,
I didn't see him in the dark,
But boy! I felt his bite!
And now I'm here in hospital,
A sad and sorry plight,
And I curse that red-back spider
On the toilet seat last night.

Rushed in to the missus,
Told her just where I'd been bit,
She grabbed the cut throat razor blade,
And I nearly took a fit.
I said, "Just forget what's on your mind,
And call a doctor please,
'Cause I've got a feeling that your cure
Is worse than the disease."

I can't lay down, I can't sit up,
And I don't know what to do,
And all the nurses think it's funny,
But that's not my point of view.
I tell you it's embarrassing,
(And that's to say the least)
That I'm to sick to eat a bite,
While that spider had a feast!

And when I get back home again,
I tell you what I'll do,
I'll make that red-back suffer
For the pain I'm going through.
I've had so many needles
That I'm looking like a sieve,
And I promise you that spider
Hasn't very long to live!

I love the daddy long leg spiders...so wispy and frail but so determined to stay with us indoors!

Pam

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

I don't know... so long as you don't have the spiders, you could always consider the cobwebs decorative... a sort of Miss Haversham/Great Expectations look...?
;-)

Franki said...

If a spider decides to enter my abode, it is obviously tryin to commit suicide. I'm the Dr. Kevorkian for spiders. Well, my kids are cuz I'm too scared to get close enough to kill them myself.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Pam,

Yes, spider webs are beautiful. We didn't have any in the house, just dangling strings of dust and cat hair. That's why there were no spiders.

Who is the Ozzie singer? The only ones I know about are those who come to America.

I'm so glad your horse recovered. I have been snacked on by spiders and it isn't pretty, but not for a long time.

Hi Vanilla, and welcome!

Miss Haversham is not exactly my idea of a decorous individual, but on the other hand, I could go trick-or-treating without leaving home.

Ms. Kevorkian,

I didn't realize that spiders had death wishes, but you've convinced me.

How did you train your henchmen without being able to demonstrate?

Angela said...

Quincy, just south of Boston. It was marvelous. I was writing for a little paper and taking the red line to Harvard and other fabulous places. During the day, I'd take my little one to Cape Cod or the Boston Children's Museum. It was amazing, amazing, amazing.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Angela,

I remember the shipyards at Quincy. I lived in Marshfield, several towns further south of Boston. One of my most vivid memories is of trying to take my children to the Children's Museum; we could see it from the freeway, but had to go 12 miles out of our way before we could turn around. Boston driving practically reduced me to tears, all those circles and one-way streets.

I loved the Cape, whale watching, P-town, sliding down the dunes at Truro, and my daughter and I did summer stock at the Priscilla Beach Theatre in Plymouth. I once tried to get a job on a fishing boat in Scituate because it was so picturesque. They laughed at me.

Massachusetts is so beautiful!

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

HA ha ha haaahaaa.

Funny girl.

I do not handle crawling things well at all.
You are lucky to have cobweb man come to your rescue!


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Scarlett,

There are no crawling things to be dispatched outside via paper cup. Just tendrils of dust, like furry stalagtites.