Lessons from my sons

Stuck Between a Possum and a Spider

Not the smile he was expecting! Photo: Daniel Johnson (Creative Commons Flickr)
Not the most welcoming smile! Photo: Daniel Johnson (Creative Commons Flickr)

Here’s another “blast from the past” post, this time featuring my middle son. Enjoy!

“You have got to be kidding me.” That’s how my Nathan put it. Grad school study exhaustion is one thing, but nocturnes too? Right at the front door?

“I’m day shift, he’s night shift.” Humans and nocturnes might share the same living space, but we aren’t supposed to cross paths. In the middle of the night, nobody wants to stumble on an opossum. Those teeth, that creepy rat tail, the hissing…

“So I had to stand there, because you know how slow opossums are.” Nathan waited while it scuttled away, swaying on his feet from no sleep and too much coffee.

Volunteer Doorman? Photo: David Lee (Creative Commons Flickr)
Self-appointed doorman! Photo: David Lee (Creative Commons Flickr)

“Dude, really?” Not done yet! Another hungry hunter barred Nathan’s way. A spider–the fat kind with long legs–had built a web right in the door frame. So Nathan had to hunt around for a stick to clear the way.

“It figures. The two things I hate most.” Nathan hates spiders, like really hates them. And opossums are not high on his list either, not since chasing one around his friend’s kitchen. Also in the middle of the night.

“There was another spider on the living room wall, but I went upstairs.” This shows how exhausted Nathan was, because he is our vigilant spider hunter. If spiders come inside, he wants them dead. Want to know how much he loathes them? The other day he was wondering if there was a way for spiders to get out of a vacuum bag.

Thus a new saying has been born. See, there’s no creep factor in “Stuck between a rock and a hard place.” So when I’m wiped out and things get scary bad, I’m using “Stuck between a possum and a spider.”

 

This article originally appeared at Jane Started It!

17 thoughts on “Stuck Between a Possum and a Spider

  1. Nathan and I are kindred spirits. I hates spiders with passion, but I’m not allowed to kill them if Larry’s home. He catches them and puts them outside. Thinks they’re good. SMH But if he’s not home, I get out the bug spray I have hidden away. (Insert evil laugh here.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh. My. Word.

      What are the chances?

      Robin, of all my family — men, every one — I am the sole spider catcher! Like Larry, I want them outside eating bugs and insects! Hahahahaha!

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      1. I’m the one who rids the house of insects. I loath them, but someone’s got to do it. I can even tissue-pick box elder bugs who have the temerity to invade the house these past years. And yes, insects sucked into a vacuum BAG stay put. Not so with those bagless, dump-in-the-trash kind. They crawl back through the mechanism. Ask me how I know.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. And you know the trouble we’ve had with the Goodreads-Wordpress blog interface regarding photos? This time it worked perfectly. So right there on my profile is the grinning oppossum!

      Like

  2. Possums freak me out. We get plenty of visits on our rural property, but not in the house, for which I’m thankful. Spiders are everywhere. I will tolerate them in the house because they do catch the flies that drive me crazy. Little umbrella spiders are OK and earn their keep.

    But spiders that crawl up walls, especially near where I sleep, get caught and released during the day or trapped until morning. I save the vacuum cleaner for those creepy black ladies with red hourglass tummies that like to lurk in dark corners, like behind the books in my bookcases. They aren’t welcome in or near the house.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m with you, Barbara. Black widows get the full-on toxic killer spray. Zero tolerance for those! Fortunately, we do not have many in this part of Oregon, but where I was raised in California, we knew just where the webs would be — at the sides of the garage door, and in the crawl space access under the house.

    Shiver.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The widows I like least are the ones that make their webs outside over the sliding glass doors and the ones who make them near the bottom of the garage door. I have to really keep an eye on those. I hate the thought of one dropping on me at night when I’m coming into the house or garage.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Any spider dropping on me is a horrible thought — and I don’t hate (harmless garden) spiders. *shiver*

        In our area of Southern California tarantulas were rare, but we had them. Our house had chaparral wilderness on three sides, so coyotes and rattlesnakes and other critters at times came calling. Anyway, if you remove the weather stripping on an outer door and it happens to be a cold winter night, a tarantula will squeeze in…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Now that is scary, since I live on the California Central Coast and our weather stripping is just about non-existent. I’ve seen tarantulas in the neighborhood, but never on my property – yet. The spiders have no problem getting in, nor do the mice. Ugh!

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Be ready to be creeped out, folks. Two years ago, I left a Black Widow that was nesting in the window frame over the kitchen sink. I watched her spin and toil and eat her prey. It was pretty interesting. I never told my husband.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Out of the reach of children, it would be … a fascinating display. Especially for a fiction writer. (Horror, anyone?)

        Black Widows, in my experience, tend to stay put, if the food supply is good. The like a corner near an opening — beside the garage door or in your window frame — and they don’t go ranging through the house. Their sticky webs creep me out, as well as the vivid red hourglass on the belly.

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  4. My husband has been known to shoot spiders, and my MIL had a possum stuck in her hand-dug basement for a week. It floated in when the area flooded. I can still hear the hissing.

    Years ago when the movie, “Snakes on a Plane” came out, all sorts of stories about creepy critters on planes filled the Web. One was about some spoiled food found in the passenger cabin. Tiny critters were aboard. In the comment section was the quote: “One maggot can wreck your entire vacation.”

    Wildlife, meh.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Amusing – picturing this in my mind. I usually kill spiders in my house – hate the webs they leave everywhere. My husband is not one to “rescue” me if I wanted a spider taken out. He will take out mice caught in a trap (long ago, a new house, mice moved inside with cold weather, droppings on counters, set traps). Never encountered a possum but did encounter a groundhog and fearing it was rabid used a rolled up newspaper to chase it away from our house…it kept going in circles. We has lots of wild life in our immediate area: deer, fox, wild turkeys, pheasants, hawks, etc.

    Thanks for sharing.

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