I bet you're wondering what this post is going to be about. First and foremost I want you to know that I do shower. Regularly. I do. But I want to tell you a story about what happened to me in the shower the other day. Because I think it should be told and when I'm eighty and can search the internet in my brain (because that's what technology will be like then), I would like to re-read this story and remember just how tough I was back in my youth. Because I was at least 50% tough (Which is a lot considering that I am only usually around 10% tough). Alright. So here it goes:
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It's been a particularly humid day in Tonga, I arrive home and realize how badly I need to shower. It's 9pm and all I want to do is get "clean" (I haven't felt truly clean since September 1st) and crawl into my bed to sweat some more. I grab my forest green towel from Target and head into my shower area. Gone are the days I bucket bathe, my shower has since been fixed so cold showers have become my new favorite thing. I hang my towel on the towel bar and go to grab the knob. This knob.
Man, Mandy. That's a pretty big hole around the shower knob there. Aren't you freaked out that something creepy crawly might just squirm out and get you? Prior to yesterday, I would have said no. I see strange stuff every day in Tonga so the fact that this shower knob has a big gaping hole around it really hasn't freaked me out all that much since moving in. I'm a tough girl. Please. Showering shouldn't scare me. Wait for it...
So I'm on the second turn of three to get the shower working when out pops a spider. PAUSE.
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Here's a story from my childhood: When I was in seventh grade I lived in the basement of my parent's home. They remodeled and put an extra bedroom in the basement and because I am the oldest and most mature (Molly, don't laugh.) I had the honor of moving in. Within months I had issues with the wildlife. Spiders, centipedes, earwigs. Yuck. I believe it was a Sunday night in 1997 when I had one scary run in with a spider. This thing was as big as my fist. I saw it on the floor while I was trying to finish up a Science Report on dissecting a frog. I watched it crawl under my dresser. Before it ran to safety I may have tried to throw the largest book I owned at it (which may have been the Bible...). I had had enough of dealing with insects and arachnids and wanted out. I walked upstairs to find my dad watching the evening news and asked him to come and kill it. I handed him a yardstick and told him that I wouldn't be going to bed until he went downstairs and rid my room of the massive monster. I think he might have rolled his eyes, but he followed me down the stairs. Long story, short: What I thought was a huge spider, was actually no bigger than my thumb nail. Dad laughed. I moved out the next day. Taking my candle collection and Hanson poster with me, I switched rooms with my sister. A wimp. That's what you might have called me. And I was.
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Fast foward time. (zhwooooooop) Back to Tonga. This spider pops out. And no lie. It really is as big as my fist. I think the Universe might be trying to get back at me for lying about that spider in 1997. It's all furry, I can see all 5 of its eyes (well there were definitely more than 2), it's body area is huge and brown. Now even though I learned in Peace Corps Safety and Security Training that there aren't any poisonous spiders in Tonga, I am still freaked out. So I react like this guy (remember Home Alone? What a great 1990 Christmas flick!):
Now lucky me, this isn't what happened. The spider on the face thing, I mean. Instead, I yell something along the lines of "Are you freakin' kidding me?!" Johnny Too Many Feet takes off crawling up the wall - attempting to get to higher ground - probably getting to a better place in order to pounce on me when I return. Next I grab my towel, walk into the kitchen and locate the largest bottle of insect spray ever. It's called Mortein - Black Label and kills everything from ants, to cockroaches, to spiders. I calmly walk back into the shower area and lock eyes with Mr. Spider (who, by the way, has way too many eyes so I wasn't sure where to look). He has perched himself about 6 inches higher than I am tall, but that doesn't matter because I unlock Mortein's fury and spray and spray and spray. And then I have to hold my breath because I have made quite the cloud of toxic fumes (that smell like oranges because apparently orange attracts bugs? Who would have thought...), so pretty soon I have followed Mr. Spider over to the sink. He is desperately trying to avoid his death sentence, but the Mortein has already entered his system and he falls to the ground. He is twitching and paralyzed and almost dead. This furry little beast decides to die right in the middle of the tiled floor foiling my plans for a nice, cool, and cleansing bed time routine. Instead I shrug, walk into my bedroom, lock the door (because this will surely keep other creepy crawlies out) and I wait until the following morning to do anything about it. When I see that Senor Eight Legs is lying in the same place I left him, then I know that he really is finished. I walk over, sweep up his stiff body, and dump him outside... all. by. myself. I only dry heave once. Then I take a nice cold, spider-free shower.
Aren't you proud, Dad?
*Also, I am fully aware that spiders are one of Nature's great helpers. They keep the insect population under control, but I just couldn't deal with this guy. Something had to be done.