Tuesday, November 20, 2018

And Now, More About the Horrors In My Home

When you look like this, it's time for a night cream.

Morning Readers,

Let me tell you a story.

A few years back, while celebrating the engagement of a good friend, I grabbed a drink and plopped down next to the wife of another friend. Not knowing each other extremely well, we made the usual small talk:

"Can you believe the size of this patio?"

"I'd give anything for outdoor fans like that."

"I heard death by outdoor fan is fairly rare, so yes, I'd also install some as well."

As these chit chats usually do, the conversation turned in the direction of  home-ownership and any progress being made on our respective fronts. Shortly after lamenting a shared tragedy of water in basements and the devastation of soggy drywall, my companion said something that made my blood run cold. "And you know, that was bad, but it's nothing compared to the spider crickets."

*record screeches*

I sucked lemonade down the wrong pipe, coughed, and stared dumbly back at her. "The what?"

"Spider crickets. They're real. They live in the basement."

I waited for her to bust out laughing and apologize for suggesting that this type of atrocity roamed the same terrain I did, but her face was as serious as an Irish grandmother talking about eternal salvation.

She continued. "Yeah, our house is really old. And when I wanna do laundry, I have to creep down these ancient basement steps and check any piles on the floor."

I balked. "For these cricket demons? They hide in the socks and underwear?"

"And they jump."


"At your face." 

The chicken wing I'd been holding dropped out of my hand.

I'd heard enough to be sickly fascinated for the rest of the evening. She proceeded to explain that spider crickets wait in and under things, launching their fat bodies at human's faces to stun them. They don't bite, but the sheer horror of their unnaturally long legs flying at one's eyes is enough to pitch them as the main focus for the eighteenth season of American Horror Story. I thanked my lucky stars that, even though we'd dealt with silverfish, house centipedes, and wasps attacking in the living room, this scourge had passed over The Oak Palace.

But then, last night happened.

After padding downstairs, laptop and wine in hand, I wandered past the ridiculously ugly insulated curtains adorning our backdoor (a leftover from the former owner that I've, regrettably, not set on fire).

There, nestled in a sea of brown taffeta was the most monstrous insect I've seen to date.

Eyes as big as marbles.
Enormous body.
Appendages from hell.
My past Google searches sounded a mental alarm.

Biting the inside of my cheek to keep from screaming, I gingerly set down my the most important thing I was holding and contemplated clubbing the thing with my computer. Sanity eventually won out, and I backed quickly away from what looked like a gigantic spider with antennae as long as flag poles.

It mocked me from its perch, "Oh, you thought you were about to sit down and work on your new book. But you were wrong. Because I'm going to jump off these Designing Women rejects and murder you."

"You are going to murder me," I whispered.

Fight or flight took over. Quick as a woman who's had three c-sections can scale two flights of stairs without popping a seam, I was up and back down again with a can of the only thing that makes me look decent before a wedding or a funeral and supplies strong but touchable hold.*

I raised the can of Herbal Essenses and fired.

And fired again.

And again.

With every shot, the thing with tarantula legs slowed but didn't stop climbing the drapes. Soon, it was at the top, staring directly down. A chill ran through me as I realized that, even though I'd made its hair look fabulous, it wasn't dead.

"You smell great," I hissed. "But, pretty soon, that stuff's gonna harden up, and you won't be able to stick a bobby pin in it."

But before I could monologue again, the tarantula hovering above me teetered and fell backwards. 

Behind the curtains.

I couldn't look. Instead, I grabbed the broom and retreated to the couch, where I clutched my wine and waited.  And waited. After an hour, I wondered if the dog had, after stealing an entire Toaster Strudel, mercifully eaten the intruder.

An hour passed. Warily, I got up to turn out the lights, but a flash of motion caught my eye, and I whirled around to see a heavily styled insect wandering across the carpet.

Whomp.Whomp Whomp.

When I die, All I ask is that people speak in hushed tones about the way I wielded a broom.

"Paige Kellerman? if you can't say anything else about the woman, she killed insects like a gladiator in a Colosseum. Her cooking though..."

Ugh. I really thought I'd be writing something Thanksgiving-themed this week, but you know me. Kill a giant, disgusting bug, debrief the internet about it.Then again, I suppose this is a good time to say how thankful I am the spider cricket won't be here for the holiday.

Unless there's more.

At any rate, you guys have an amazing Thanksgiving. I'll be over here, eating mashed potatoes and keeping my broom on standby.

Until Next Time, Readers!

And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on: