The first and third Thursday of every month 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 Purell hand sanitizer (my Mom has a Purell bottle Velcro-ed to the base of each front seat so hand sanitation is more convenient). 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 when our ISP crashed. And yes, we still have dial-up. 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 Mom’s, where she was fixing a lunch tray for Dad and prepping the van for our adventure. Before leaving, I made a pit stop since the restrooms at Wal-Mart always look post-apocalyptic. Flushing the toilet, I noticed a black wriggling thing fighting the water vortex. Horrified, I peered into the bowl. Holy Mother of Christ! 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 Purell, but not pesticides. She cinnamons the ants, garlics the aphids and squashes the rest.)
My wide-eyed, semi-hysterical rant over spiders and toilets spanned the next several minutes, “Mom! make sure that you really squash them, instead of stunning them, because they will want revenge!” Contrite, yet amused, Mom apologized and promised to stomp future black widow spiders with vigor before gathering their remains for toilet disposal. She also reminded me to wash my hands.