I nearly soiled myself last night when Sophia – in a note of clear distress – suddenly yelled from the bedroom: “Honey, come quick!” Grabbing my phone in anticipation of an imminent 911 call, I raced to her side and quickly spotted … nothing: no arterial spray; no bone fragments jutting from exposed flesh; no dog with his little noggin caught in the headboard slats, again; no obvious sign of any disaster. Nonetheless, Sophia latched onto my arm as soon as I entered the room. In near panic, she pointed toward a carpeted spot in the far corner and gasped: “Richard, do something about that spider!”
“A spider? You cut five years off my life for a spider? Why are you bothering me with this?”
“I am not ‘bothering’ you, Richard. You know spiders scare me to death. When you said ‘I do,’ you implicitly promised to remove insects from the house. So take care of it!”
Having delivered her edict, she not only exited the room but fled to the far side of the house, awaiting receipt of my “all clear” signal.
I don’t like taking orders. I also don’t appreciate being interrupted in the middle of one of my computer baseball games. At the time my wife raised her SOS call, I was enjoying a nail-biter between the Yankees and Twins. I’d abandoned the game with the score tied in the bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, with Jeter at the plate! And needless to say, I felt anxious to return ASAP to observe whether “Mr. November” would come through in the clutch yet again. That’s probably why I didn’t waste more than a minute searching for the elusive spider, who’d seemingly vanished from plain sight while Sophia fled the room.
As I saw it, I had two options. First, I could truthfully notify the Mrs. of my failure to locate the bug, and then listen to her bitch and moan at me to stay in the room until the insect deigned to reappear. Second, I could shade the truth a tad by telling her I’d already taken care of the problem, while buying time to corral the critter at my future leisure. I went with option two, figuring it highly unlikely that the spider would show himself again that evening.
Now I know why I’m no statistician. When I got ready for bed an hour later (after the Yankees triumphed), the bathroom light wakened Sophia. Upon opening her eyes, she happened to catch sight of the same spider I’d supposedly evicted. She felt pretty sure it was the same bug anyway. Admittedly, the creature taking its ease on our comforter — six inches from her face — looked much bigger than the one she’d seen earlier from the far corner of the room. I didn’t hear those details until this morning though, when a somewhat calmer though no less angry wife filled me in. Last night, all I heard were the screams.