New Castle News

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August 20, 2013

Kali Davies-Anderson: A not so itsy-bitsy battle with a spider

NEW CASTLE — As a mother, I have the innate ability to push through any circumstance, good or bad, to keep my children safe.

I would walk on hot coals for my children. I would slay dragons. I would brave the darkest of forests. (Can you tell that I have watched the move “Shrek” 47 times since Sunday?)

But, there is one thing that I will not — let me re-phrase, CANNOT — do for my daughters.

I cannot examine, move, kill or fling any kind of spider.

I dread the day that one of my kids runs into my bedroom in the middle of the night, because that is the point at which they will find out what a lame protector their mother really is.

I love my children. I really do. But my love does not extend into the realm of arachnid extermination.

Sorry, girls.

For as long as I can remember I have been terrified of the eight-legged monsters that so happily inhabit all of western Pennsylvania (namely, MY HOUSE) and will avoid “handling” them at all costs. On rare occasions, however, I am FORCED to come face-to-face with these unrelenting beasts.

One such occasion presented itself last Tuesday.

It was 3 a.m. and I had just fed and rocked my youngest daughter back to sleep. I was in the bathroom adjacent to my bedroom getting a drink of water, when out of the darkness I noticed a menacing, shadowy figure about the size of a hamster. OK, it was more like the size of a pea but a very large, very scary pea.

At any rate, as I sipped water from a Dixie cup, the dark figure scurried across the vanity and under the Kleenex box.

I instantly switched on the light to get a better look at the figure.

In that moment I was hoping  — praying — for it to be an ant or perhaps a moth, but I knew I could never be so lucky.

It was ... A SPIDER!

Not just any spider, but a large, furry, black one, with hundreds of beady little eyes staring back at me.

As my husband lay unassuming in our bed I contemplated waking him up, but something came over me and I made the ludicrous decision to brave this abomination alone.

Looking around me for weapons of mass destruction, my heart was racing. He must have been a sleepy one, however, and his delayed movements gave me hope that I could conquer this beast, but I needed tools.

Hairspray? Nah, too messy.

I do have shoes in my closet, but that would mean taking my eyes off of the spider, at which time he would surely get away and somehow make his way into my pillowcase.

The July edition of “O” magazine? I don’t think I can do that to Oprah.

After much deliberation it seemed as though a ball of toilet paper, the size of a basketball, MIGHT suffice.

Armed with my weapon, I approached the arachnid and took a deep breath. I could not believe that I put myself in this predicament.

My heart was racing, my palms were sweaty. I lifted my hand up and centered it over top of the spider, but then a stream of horrific thoughts raced through my mind.

What if he flees? What if he crawls up my arm? What if he makes a nest in my ear canal like the boy on the Discovery Channel? Can spiders fly?

Then, in a burst of courage and valor I threw all caution to the wind and scooped the little guy from the counter and threw him (toilet paper ball and all) into the toilet and FLUSHED.

As I watched him swirl and then finally succumb to the pressure of the flush I had a dreadful thought: What if he climbs back up?  

Geez, that seems almost as bad as the pillowcase.  

And the vicious cycle continues.


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