A huge spider jumped out of one of our kitchen cupboards recently, in an apparently unprovoked attack on my wife.
Living as we do here in the UK, the term ‘huge spider’ is all relative, of course. It was probably about 2 ½ inches in length, timid, and completely harmless. But nevertheless, as my wife innocently opened that kitchen cupboard to retrieve a packet of pasta – as is her right – this spider launched itself in her direction.
Being upstairs at the time, the first I heard of the incident was a slightly startled shout of “erm…are you busy!”
I was, as it happened.
I was deep in thought about whether the handlebars on my bike could be tilted just a millimetre or two further forward, thus nudging its aesthetic lines one step closer to perfection, and creating a very slightly more racy, but definitely manageable riding position.
As you may remember, my bike lives in the marital bedroom, and so I am prone to being waylaid by such vitally important work every time I go upstairs. How was I to know that my wife was deep in the midst of a life and death struggle?
But moments later, the slightly anxious tone in her voice registered.
“Something’s wrong”, I thought, in the style of Spiderman tuning in to his Spidey-senses (or whatever they’re called).
I selflessly abandoned what I was doing and bounded down the stairs two at a time. I reached the kitchen (just 30 brief seconds after the incident, don’t forget), to find my wife absent-mindedly putting pasta on to boil, and singing away to some terrible song on Radio 2 (drive time…I’m not a fan).
In the middle of the kitchen floor was a wine glass (a wine glass, no less!) under which the formerly aggressive and (relatively) large spider stood motionless.
“Bugger!” I imagine he/she was thinking (my wife hadn’t had time to sex the spider).
What was not in doubt was that when that spider had launched at my wife’s face, it had bitten off more than it could chew (not literally of course, we’re not in Australia for goodness sake!)
“That thing jumped out of the cupboard, which was a bit of a surprise, do me a favour and get rid of it”, said my wife, with no trace of the previous startled strain in her voice.
She was over it. She’d moved on. No drama.
As I slid a piece of paper beneath that upturned wine glass, and deposited our visitor safely out into the yard, I mused on the fact that had I not been lost in bike related reverie I could have leapt courageously between wife and spider and saved the day. Instead, she simply dealt with her mild surprise, outwitted the beast, and ordered me to clean up after her like some worthless lackey.
This bike-in-the-bedroom business is starting to get complicated.
To be continued…