I was almost finished with my, um, “business” when I looked up and saw the monster.
Its hundred beady eyes gleamed with malevolent purpose as it gazed at me from across the expanse of tastefully understated sage green bathmat. It was the size of a salad plate. Well…maybe a dessert plate. Okay, okay—it was the size of a quarter. A big quarter. Its slavering jaws gnashed senselessly together, and I saw one of its hairy legs twitch, as if readying itself for violence.
My pants were still down around my bare feet and I knew I was as helpless as a gazelle on Kapiti Plain at high noon. Slowly, so slowly, as my heart beat a rumba of terror in my chest, I hooked my fingers into my belt loops and slid my jeans up over my hips in a soft swish of denim, keeping my eyes locked onto the terrible beast while I zipped and buttoned and glanced helplessly around me for aid.
Still it stood there, right in the middle of the bathroom floor, in clear defiance of the Katrina-Arachnid Peace Accord of 2002 (Article 1.1 “No spider shall cross acknowledged boundaries into areas designated for human habitation, on pains of immediate and excruciating death by means of shoe, spray, or toilet.”) Not only was my official Spider Executioner away from the premises, but I had been caught unawares by the enemy at the most undignified, vulnerable moment of my day. Here, in my inner-sanctum-slash-library-slash-thoughtful-spot, where not even my children dare intrude, the loathsome interloper was boldly eyeballing me with its rude, unblinking stare.
I started to get mad.
It’s a powerful thing, anger, and it soon took the place of my fear as I gathered up a great wad of toilet paper in preparation for the squish. I leaned closer, snarling now, and advanced on the spider, visions of King Leonidas and his courageous Spartans flashing inspirationally across my mind’s eye.
And then, it moved.
I squealed. I jumped two feet in the air. I did the Icky Spider Dance of Girliness, and then, shuddering, I leapt forward and smashed the hairy brute under a bundle of Charmin the size of my head.
Later that afternoon, the spider’s cousin Vito showed up next to the heating grate and got the same treatment. I tossed his tiny corpse out onto the front step as a warning to other eight-legged invaders not to mess with me.
That was Monday. I guess it must be working.
Leonidas would be proud, I think.