Archive | April, 2014

Me and the Tick or Arachnophobes and a Rubber Hose

6 Apr
Dog Tick with its Pound of Flesh Still Attached

Dog Tick With Its Pound of Flesh Still Attached

It is now getting closer to that time of year when I will have to awaken Brute and start attacking that cultivated weed called grass. It also means the start of tick season. Those vampirish little denizens of trees, bushes and grass. Just waiting to drop or jump onto you. Thus the “inspiration” for this post.

Several months ago, before the snows came, before glaciers smothered the driveway, before … Oh, I digress, you say. Anyway, a long, long time ago I noticed S-S staring at my body. Foolish me. I entertained fantasies of her admiring my (c)hunk of a studly form. Stupid me. She was checking a spot on my back that seemed to be growing larger. So, sometime around 2:00 a.m., I could feel her eyes burning into my back, in the dark and could hear a muttering, “Hmm, oh, hmm, eew,” and the like.

“OK,” says I, “to get some sleep, let’s check it in a better light in the bathroom.” So there I was, back exposed, with S-S getting closer, and closer and closer to look at the spot. When her nose was almost touching said spot – FFWWUUMMM – out shot 8 legs, instantly and suddenly. I, of course, blissfully unaware of proceedings heard a 100 decibel screech and the stomp of S-S running out of the bathroom, shrieks down the hall, screams into the bedroom, howling again down the hall, and finally, only a deathly hyperventilating, a panting and puffing. Slowly I turned, step by step, to look upon a face, white, ashen.

“It’s, it’s, it’s got legs…!,” pants my own Florence Nightingale.

“Then you will have to get some tweezers and get it off,” says I, the soul of calm, masculine courage.

“Me!” croaks Flo, “but it’s got legs!”

Soon the awful truth hit her: I couldn’t reach to do it myself, and unless there was someone living in the crawl space under the house, she was it.

With her head turned away, one eye closed, and the other barely open, my very own Flo eventually  managed to get the tweezers placed, just so to remove my new body appendage plus a chunk of flesh for good measure. I only gave one manly bellow of agony and hardly cried at all.

Daddy Longlegs, Pre- Spider-Whacker Intervention

Daddy Longlegs, Pre- Spider-Whacker Intervention

Flo’s, I mean S-S’s fear of 8-legged crawlers also showed up when we used to sleep in the V-berth of our sailboat (that’s in the pointy end, at the front). Spiders love being near water, therefore, they love boats. We used a length of rubber hose to keep the hatch slightly open for a nice evening breeze. S-S discovered that this hose made a great “spider -whacker” and she would beat the blankets and pound the pillows, and smack the living daylights out of spiders, seen and unseen, present or absent. That worked fine, as long as I wasn’t in bed at the time. If I was, it sounded like some nautical S&M party. I think the yelling kept more spiders away than the spider-whacker. Who knows what our neighbours on the dock thought of these goings on.

There are then two life lessons arising from this post: fear her fear of spiders; and it’s safer to mow the driveway than the grass.