formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Let Me Tell You a Story About a Spider...

It's, like, 652 degrees below zero outside and I'm as sick as the proverbial dog (though my real dog is quite fine, snoring beside me). My brain is all frozen and fuzzy and I've had difficulty articulating coherent thoughts all day.

So, instead of slapping down some NyQuil-induced gibberish, I'm going to give you some gibberish I came up with when it was about 652 degrees above zero outside, in the way of several recycled Facebook posts.

Last summer, I started a story on Facebook that just trailed off after several installments, but I've been meaning to pick it back up, as several people enjoyed it and I had fun writing it. I'll give you the back-story today, as well as several of the original posts, and then, hopefully, I'll continue it periodically, until it's finished.

So, as I say, let me tell you a story about a spider...

It all began two summers ago, actually, when Ryan went into my bedroom for something... she came back into the living room and stated (rather matter-of-factly, I thought), "There was a spider on your pillow."

"Um... a spider? On my pillow?"

"Yeah. A big one."

"Did you get it?"

"Uh, no. It was a big one."

Lovely. I went to bed that night with some trepidation. I'm not afraid of spiders, mind you (like several people I know), and I "rescue" them quite often, but the idea of one crawling on me in my sleep? That gave me the heebie-jeebies.

Turns out? I had little to worry about. I became convinced, in fact, that the spider was friendly, and that he'd taken it upon himself to turn off my alarm the next morning.

Two days after Ryan's initial spotting (July 3, 2012, to be specific), I posted this on Facebook...

I met the spider last night. A lovely chap, really... Christopher J. Arachington, of the Red Shed Arachingtons. We had rather a pleasant chat. Christopher J., it seems, is full of the wanderlust, much like his grandfather, Sheldon P. Arachington (who, sadly, met his demise when he frightened a lady in the shower in a shockingly pink bathroom on the second floor of a house down on Willow). I thanked Christopher J. for kindly turning off my alarm yesterday and, since I believe in reciprocal relationships, asked if I could give him a lift back to the Red Shed. He suggested the front yard, however, as he had his passport with him (tucked into the breast pocket of his vest, so as not to lose it [wish I'd thought of that]). I obliged, quite happily, warning him to steer clear of the house 3 doors down (I helped the lady of the house with her groceries the other day and saw a big can of bug spray in her bag).

Safe travels, Christopher J.! It was lovely to meet you!

I will admit, many people who read that Facebook post thought I was a little... well... screwy. Whatevs. Wouldn't be the first time. Won't be the last.

It would be more than a year before I would hear from Christopher J. again. It was, in fact, this past August that he re-appeared. Here is the post from August 16, 2013...

Last night, exhausted, I dragged myself to my room, ready to sleep for days. Sundance hopped onto the bed, barked once, and then snuffled about my pillow. How surprised I was to see our very own Christopher J. Arachington, of the Red Shed Arachingtons, holding onto the corner of my pillowcase for dear life, to avoid being sucked up Sunny’s nose! He looked decidedly bedraggled, his vest torn, his bowler hat (did I mention he wears a bowler hat?) askew, and he was (gasp!) missing a leg! 

“Christopher J.” I exclaimed, pulling my curious dog away. “You startled me. Are you alright? What are you doing here?”

Poor Christopher J. collapsed, prone on my pillow, clearly exhausted and possibly even in shock. “I’m… sorry. I… need… a… place… to… stay… tonight…”

Given his state, I decided it was best not to press him for more information. “Of course,” I nodded, “no worries.” I lifted him gently, opened my nightstand drawer, and placed him onto an open pack of Kleenex (a soft bed for certain). He sighed, closed his eyes, and dropped immediately off to sleep. He’s still sleeping, in fact, poor little guy. His story will have to wait until later…

Now, understandably, some people were curious about what on earth Christopher J. had been doing for a whole year and I know I wanted to find out how he lost an appendage! It would be the next day before the little guy woke up, though...

I stole quietly into my room  and crept over to the nightstand. The drawer was open a smidge, so as not to suffocate poor Christopher J. Arachington , of the Red Shed Arachingtons, and to keep nosy canines and felines from injuring him further (or worse!). I slid the drawer open to find our friendly arachnid pal reclining on his Kleenex bed.

“Christopher J.! How are you? I’ve been thinking of you all day!"
He smiled and tipped his bowler hat at me, “I’m well, thank you. Much better than last night, certainly. I slept longer and more deeply than I have in a year. I don’t know how to thank you for your hospitality.”
“Aw, it was nothing, really. I have to say, though, I’m very curious to hear about what’s happened in your life since the last time we spoke.”
Christopher J. straightened up and cleared his throat, “I would love to regale you with tales of my adventures. But first, might I impose upon you a wee bit more? I haven’t had a proper meal in a few days and, well, the truth is, a bath is really in order, as I’m rather, shall we say, ripe.”
“Of course! How rude of me not to offer. But, um, I’m not sure what to prepare. I mean, I don’t really have a supply of, you know,” I dropped my voice to a whisper,”… insects...  hanging about.”
“Oh, dear me, no!” Christopher J. exclaimed. “I’m a vegetarian. Some sort of salad would be lovely.”
“A vegetarian? Really?”
He looked a bit defensive, as if, perhaps, he’s had to explain this often. “Don’t get me wrong, I used to love a good, juicy fly as much as the next spider. But then I met my friend, Spencer C. Flyby (‘Specs’ for short) and, well, as you can imagine, I was faced with a moral dilemma the likes of which I’ve never encountered! It changed my philosophy regarding ‘the circle of life’ altogether.”
I nodded, understanding completely (I felt the same way about a cow I knew as a child) and ran about fetching something for Christopher J. to bathe in (a jar lid) and dry off with (a neatly trimmed piece of thick, absorbent paper towel). When his bath was ready, I set off to find salad fixings fit for a spider, leaving Christopher J. to sort himself out (he seemed a bit reluctant to remove his vest in front of me).
As I left the room, he called out, “And perhaps, if it’s not too much trouble, a spot of tea? Earl Grey if you have it. With cream and sugar? If you please.”
I do so love a spider with good manners. Don’t you?
After his bath, dinner (finely chopped spinach, tomato, and a wee bit of grated cheese [for protein]), and his tea (Earl Grey, sipped from the lid of a honey container), Christopher J. thanked me profusely, settled back onto his Kleenex bed, patted his tummy in a satisfied manner, and rummaged in his valise. Bringing out a tiny pipe, he asked, “Do you mind?”
“Well, I do, actually. But if you’d like to sit on the window sill and blow the smoke outside, that would be fine.”
At the mention of the sill, his eyes widened in fear and he quickly put the pipe away. “No, no, really. I should quit anyway. Nasty habit, it is. Alright then, where should I begin? At the beginning, I suppose… on the evening of July 3, 2012, when you kindly set me out in the front yard, off for the adventure of a lifetime…”
And so it began --  the story of Christopher J. Arachington, of the Red Shed Arachingtons…

I'll leave off there for now... but there is more to come. Soon...