There’s one thing you have to understand about me: I’ve always been pretty tough. I don’t like to admit when I’m scared nor do I readily admit defeat. Okay, so that’s technically more than one thing, but go with it.
I moved into my current apartment during the last week of September 2015. I was excited to start a new chapter in my life (man, that sounds just as cliche as I thought it might). Unbeknownst to me, I was in for one doozy of a time.
I moved in on a Sunday. I didn’t really have much. A loveseat. A bed. A TV. Wifi. A shower curtain. Pretty much all the necessities. But, the worst part of moving in on a Sunday was that I had to go to work on Monday. There was no chance to do a whole lot or get stuff situated. Everything felt disjointed.
I awoke the next morning as excited as anyone who wakes up in an unfamiliar place. It took me a second to gain the acceptance of where I was. I stumbled out of my bedroom and into the living room, then I made the right into the minuscule water closet just off the living room.
This would be my first use of the shower at this apartment, so I didn’t really know what to expect. Some showers are awesome, others not so much. A shower is my favorite part of the day. No lie, if the hot water tank would hold out, I’d be in there for hours. Water is also included as part of my rent, meaning I don’t have to see the water bill. So, there’s that.
Anyhow. I flipped on the overhead light and pulled back the new brown shower curtain and liner from front to back. I looked down at the new anti-microbial, anti-slip mat that, only a half day ago, I had suction-cupped to the recently cleaned tub floor and “Gah!” (That’s the exact sound I made, just fyi).
At the back of the tub, where my sleepy, and late for work, feet should have already been, was a ginormous spider. I’m sure it wasn’t as big as my brain remembers it being, but it was large. I’ve heard people refer to such arachnids as a wolf spider. Disclaimer: I don’t know if that’s really what they are or not. Regardless, if that doesn’t spark an image in your mind, imagine a spider that has a really big butt and an itty bitty body. Teenage Brandon would have described it in the words of his favorite rapper Nelly: “She got mo’ back than she got body, Eh!”
If even those descriptions don’t help, Google it. The internet is a wonderful thing. Actually, don’t do that. I just did, and now I won’t be able to sleep for a few hours. Sorry if you actually listened to my instructions. Now, back to the story.
We stared at each other for a second or two, him, to adjust to the sudden light shining down on him and me, to try to get my heart and lungs functioning in all normalcy again. Once those couple seconds passed, I reacted almost immediately. I spun around and rolled off a long series of toilet tissue squares. Charmin Ultra. Strong, yet soft. I judge people based on the toilet paper they buy.
I hovered the quilted pile over my spidey nemesis, anticipating it to scurry at any moment, but it just sat there as if he knew the inevitable was coming. The TP trap descended slowly and I was able to partially smash him and scoop him into the toilet bowl and send him on his last ride accompanied by his personal ferryman named Charmin. (Charon/Charmin. Get it? The underworld ferryman? Greek mythology… Nevermind.)
“That was it,” I told myself. No biggie. The apartment had been empty for a couple weeks prior to me moving in, so I figured that things like this could potentially happen. When there’s no human activity in a place for a while, non-human creatures can try to take over. I mentally prepared myself that this could happen again in the future.
And it has. And I’ve managed to not freak out and “Yah Mo Burn” this little yellow duplex to the ground. I just always check the shower AFTER pulling back the curtain and BEFORE stepping over the threshold into the warm, soothing stream.
Working in the seasonal business that is the swimming pool industry, it is understandable that there should be a slow season. Like, really slow. Because of this, Burnett Pools closes on Sunday and Tuesday during the time period of October through April. This past Tuesday was our last one that found us closed for the season. It also turned out to be Election Day in PA.
As I was getting ready to travel the mile down the road to do my civic duty, I jumped in the shower after eating some Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pop-Tarts. I was just about finished getting all squeaky clean when I turned around to wash the excess shampoo off of my back and looked down and, through my bleary water filled eyes, I saw a little black mass with a big butt and a small body scurry towards me from the back of the tub.
Now mind you, I had been in the shower for about ten or so minutes. That meant that this little dude had been in here with me for that period. I didn’t hesitate this time. I was out of that shower faster than you can say, “Ahhh Gahh.. Nnngghh!” I know that because I finished that sentence as I stubbed my toe on the terra cotta brown bar table in my living room.
I’m not sure how I got through the shower curtain as quickly as I did, because when I turned around the curtain was barely moved to one side. It was easy to get into the living room because the bathroom door was already open, because what person who lives by themselves actually closes the door when they’re in the bathroom? Show of hands? Seriously, if your hand isn’t up right now, you’re the weird one. Ask around.
I turned around and decided that I was going to be that brave guy that I said I was at the beginning of this story. I went back into that bathroom, grabbed a large chunk of Charmin and prepared to face my fear. I whipped back the curtain and looked at the place where big booty had been scampering toward and there was no sign of him. I turned toward the front of the tub and there he was.
I lifted the murder weapon and started to pounce…
During my days of living on campus at Geneva, I roomed every year with my best friend and IC Editor in Chief, Seth. As he has discussed in prior posts, and if he doesn’t want me saying this he’ll just do his editor duty and take it out, Seth has Type I Diabetes. And if there is one thing you learn when you live with someone with Diabetes it’s that you will find blood glucose test strips everywhere. They will be in your clothes, in your bed, they stick to your feet… They are literally everywhere.
The funny thing is this: Living with a Type I Diabetes patient is very similar to living with, or being, a guitarist. When you’re a guitarist you find guitar picks everywhere. In your clothes. In your bed.
And sometimes guitar picks stick to your feet. And sometimes when they stick to your feet you may not feel them. And then, when they stick to your feet and you don’t feel them, they can sometimes end up in your shower with you…
I guess the moral of the story is this: Don’t freak out over every spidery situation in life. Sometimes the big booty spider in your shower of life is just a dark brown celluloid medium thickness Fender guitar pick.