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The first and third Thursday of every month my mom and I embark on the Big Shopping Trip.  Early in the morning, we leave in her one-and-a-three-quarters ton van furnished with two monstrous coolers, a couple of  blankets and plenty of Purel hand sanitizer (my mom has a Purel bottle velcro-ed to the base of each front seat so hand sanitation is more convenient—I am not making this up!).  Touring our favorite stores in order of refrigeration needs, we spend the balance of the day shopping, gabbing and buying too much food.

However, this month’s schedule was disrupted by the arrival of our respective new computers. We were all too happy to forgo fresh fruit and milk for the pleasure of uploading programs and customizing our desktops. Tragedy struck at 9:am yesterday morning. Our ISP crashed. After an hour of phone calls to our ISP and each other, we gave up on connecting to the internet and decided upon an impromptu Big Shopping Trip.

So, I drove over to her place, where she was fixing a lunch tray for Dad and prepping the van for our adventure. Anyway, before leaving, I made a pit stop since peeing at Wal-Mart is loathsome.  Flushing the toilet, I noticed a black wriggling thing fighting the water vortex. Horrified, I peered into the bowl. Was that the Evil Queen Mother of all Spiders struggling for her life? Was that tiny tickle on my bum moments ago her wicked spider legs searching for purchase to escape her porcelain prison? Yikes!

Not wanting to be in the same room as a flushed spider, I bolted to the kitchen, crying out, “MOM!!! Sweet Jesus, was that a black widow spider in your toilet?!”

Mom blinked and frowned, “Ah yes. She was on the front porch this morning so I stepped on her and tossed her in the crapper.” (Note, Mom believes in bleach, soap and Purel, but not pesticides. She cinnamons the ants, garlics the aphids and squashes the rest.)

I went on a semi-hysterical rant about spiders and toilets and making sure that you really squash them, instead of stunning them, because they will want revenge. Contrite, yet amused, Mom apologized and promised to more vigorously stomp future black widows spiders before gathering their remains for toilet disposal. She also reminded me to wash my hands.

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