Be prepared for a frightening adventure tale ... one with thrills, chills & as always, an embarrassing moment or two!
It all started last night as I was waiting on the curb at the train station for Brian to come pick me up. If you've read previous entries, you know about The Commute. I do walk to the train station in the morning, but Brian picks me up in the car at night. I usually don't get home until around 6:50 pm, so it's dark already & I'm pretty hungry & grumpy, so a walk home is sort of off the table at that point.
Anyway, so I'm standing there waiting & looking at the time on my cell phone ... hmm ... Brian's a bit late, that's unusual (actually, that's not sarcasm, he's been pretty punctual lately). By this time most of the commuters who got off the train with me have already been picked up, however, there's still a car or 2 parked at the curb waiting. I look up after a couple of blasts of the horn to see the Berry mobile (the white station wagon that is ours to use while we're here) pull up to the end of the line of cars, angled a little out on to the road. Hmm ... As I open the door to get in I'm saying:
"Brian, you don't have to honk at the car in front of us to move, I'm getting right in ... how rude, nag, nag, etc."
Silence from the driver's side.
I start to curl myself into the passenger seat as I shut the door & I hear a quiet:
"You don't want to be in the car right now"
Now let's be honest here, for anyone who's been in a relationship for over 15 years, over 7 of those married to the other person, your first thought is ... Oh no, you farted in the car ... couldn't you have waited, *sigh*. Right!?! OK, if not, well, I guess we're just kind of gross.
Anyway, as I'm sniffing the air and thinking the car actually smells really pleasant, I look over at Brian. He has a sheen of sweat on his forehead, which isn't too odd as it was 35 degrees out earlier that day & still quite warm. However, combined with the frozen rictus of a grin, white knuckle grip on the steering wheel & the glassy-eyed gaze dead ahead I became a bit worried. I followed Brian's stare & directly in front of Brian's eyes on the windshield is the biggest spider I have ever seen in real life ...
I should stop here and mention that we have been having car/spider issues for a while now. Apparently, since spiders like warm dry spaces, cars are ideal places for spiders to live. We had spotted one or two seemingly living in the side mirrors of our car. We would see them running over the roof of the car & up and down the windows every now and then as we would be driving. My heart would skip a beat or two, but they seemed harmless through the glass. We are taking a road trip to Canberra this weekend though so we thought we'd wash the car & our hitchhikers would have to find another home, as we were sure we wouldn't be getting gas money out of them.
Back to the car, where I'm frozen with fear. I look at this gigantor of a spider & terror trickles down my spine as I realize the spider is INSIDE the car, literally having a stare down with my husband. I actually don't even remember getting out of the car as I watch Brian roll the car a little forward out of the lane of traffic, as the car in front of us moves up a bit. Honestly, I have no idea how he has the presence of mind to actually drive in this situation. Then he seemingly calmly gets out & meets me on the curb.
Brian says:" So I got the car washed today, looks nice, huh?"
Stephanie, giggles hysterically ...
B.: "Yeah, I was driving here and about a block or 2 from home He (meaning the impossibly large Huntsman "the Australian tarantula" spider, check the bottom right-hind side of the spider chart in an earlier post for a visual, currently sitting alone in our car) crawled up from the dashboard & stopped directly in front of my face ... I could see his fangs, his beady eyes ... I think he's pissed."
S.:"aack ... aack ..."
Brian:"Yeah, he's really pissed. What should we do?"
At this point there were a few commuters still standing around waiting for rides & must have thought it very odd to see two people standing, staring horrified into their car, instead of driving away to the Curry House for a well-earned Friday night dinner. To be honest, I didn't much care about them at that point ...
Not to sound boastful but I'm actually usually a pretty quick thinker. In a library school management class we took this personality test that labelled me a problem-solver & most of the time that's pretty accurate. I have to admit though, in this situation, ... nothing. Standing there giggling, while shaking my hands (as you children's librarians might put it ... shaking your sillies out) and kind of hopping up & down ... yeah, not my proudest moment. OK, deep breath ...
S. babbles: "Well, I'm not getting back in that car until He's gone ... what should we do ... hmm, we need a bowl to cover him ... I don't seem to have one in my purse, teehee, who carries a bowl in their purse, teehee ... Oh, I know ... I'll go back in the station & ask the ticket counter guy if he has something."
B., quite cool-headed, but doing his share of giggling:"Hey, there's an oil funnel oil in the car, we could use that ... do you have anything to cover the bottom of the funnel?"
S., frantically searching purse: "Yes, here's the printed instructions for our road trip tomorrow. Well, here you go ... good luck!"
We continue to stand there & stare at the car as we realize the next train has let out & more commuters are pouring out on to the street getting rides home, etc. Perfect, now there's an audience of Australians watching silly Canadians watching their car. Despite this, my brave knight Brian draws a deep breath & opens the passenger side of the car & gets in. He sits for a moment gathering courage and figuring out how to smoothly place the funnel on the window without first hitting the dashboard and alerting the spider to our conspiracy.
Brian makes his move ... I run to the front of the car to make sure the spider is indeed trapped in the funnel. He's there & if we thought he was pissed before, well, now he's downright furious. He's kind of hurling himself at the sides of the funnel & then he starts to crawl towards the hole at the top of the funnel as Brian's slipping the paper under it to cover the big opening. I can no longer watch as the sillies overtake me again & I'm flapping my hands like, er, well, someone flapping their hands. Anyway, Brian jumps out of the car asking for another piece of paper to cover the top hole. Even though there is no way that big of a spider could fit through the hole, we're both thinking perhaps his fangs could fit, or he has super-spider power & can squeeze himself through the hole (well, maybe only I was thinking that, but it seemed valid at the time).
I was able to find a small brochure for Floriade (the botanical garden show we're seeing this weekend in Canberra: http://www.floriadeaustralia.com/ ) in my purse & flung it at Brian while skipping away, unsure of the Houdini-like characteristics of this spider. Taking a moment to look sheepishly at the woman and smiling over at us, Brian walked confidently across the street to deposit our nemesis in some bushes. Quickly retrieving the funnel & papers, he ran back across the street & jumped in the car. After repeated assurance that the spider did indeed end up on the other side of the street I got in. Shaking with relief & laughter, we sped away.
S.:" I bet he's going to wait until next Tuesday when you pick me up at the station & leap under our car like Robert DeNiro in Cape Fear & follow us home"
B.: "There's actually lot of white station wagons around, I think we're safe"
S: "Let's just hope he didn't get our license plate, *phew* ... Now let's get some curry, my big brave man!"
To sum up I highly recommend spending time with your significant other in a place where all you have to rely on is each other. It won't take long for you to remember exactly why you decided to hook up in the first place. I'm pretty lucky ... I live with my very own superhero!