Before I go into a pet store, my husband, Stij, now frisks me to be sure I have no money, no checkbook, and no credit cards.
I’m too dangerous with them.
But last week, I got a check from a friend as a birthday present, and, unbeknownst to Stij, I went to a pet shop and spent $300 on tarantulas. I just love spiders!
Buying them was easy, but getting them into the house was another matter. I decided to use the old “hide-`em-in-the-garage-and-sneak-`em-in-after-he-goes-to-bed” ploy. It’s always worked well in the past.
“Easy,” I thought. There were only twelve spiders, and the biggest one was barely seven inches. No problem. After Stij went to bed, I planned to move them into my studio (where he never goes, anyway – I think he’s afraid), and put them in the extra cages I bought the last time the pet store had a sale on them. They would all fit wonderfully on my bookshelf. Perfect!
Unfortunately, Stij was planning to do some work on the car that afternoon and…
I pretended to read a magazine.
“CARSON! Where are you!?”
“Behind the milk,” I muttered, feeding my six-foot iguana a piece of banana. He’d never look for me there.
“Get the hell out here…NOW!”
My razor-sharp instincts told me that he wasn’t about to suggest fine dining followed by a moonlit drive along the beach, so I bid a fond farewell to my iguana, my cat, my parrot, my python, my boa constrictor, my hedgehog, my skunk, my rats, my frogs, my chinchilla, and my ferrets; and with a last sigh, I headed for the garage.
What I walked into looked like a scene from “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” You know the one…where the guide is covered with spiders?
Stij had backed into the shelf that hid the flimsy plastic containers into which the pizza-faced kid at the store had put my new pets, and he jarred them just enough to loosen the lid so that the spiders, strong little creatures that they are, were able to push them aside and step out into the world to look for a warm place to hang out. The nearest one turned out to be Stij, and he didn’t even know they were all over him until one crawled across his shoulder.
I carefully picked each spider off his shirt, put them back in their containers, packed them into a handy shopping bag, picked up the bag, and walked back into the house, quietly closing the garage door behind me. No bloodshed, no frantic call to 911, no dodging auto repair tools flying through the air. Amazing.
Stij is still in the garage. I know because I keep leaving meals outside the door he’s locked, and they keep disappearing. I haven’t seen him for two or three weeks now, and only hear from him when he picks up the phone out there and calls me.
He never says anything…just gibbers softly.