Invasion, Part Deux
ANYWAY. So on Saturday Mr. K felt strongly about mowing the lawn one last time before fall is fully upon us (my argument that we live in a virtual rainforest and fall is NEVER fully upon us fell on deaf ears) so he sharpened up the blades of the riding mower and had me drive around in ever decreasing circles until all the grass was short. (Do you ever think what aliens from space might thing viewing our activities? Like planting and watering and tending grass which we then hack down to the the ground while driving around in circles? Let's just say they're probably not going to stop and ask us for our accumulated wisdom...or even directions to the next "little alien's room" for that matter.) What he and I had both forgotten, at least initially (I remembered real jiffy quick) was that while the spiders around the house had been duly shopvacced, the ones on the OUTER edges of the yard were enjoying a respite, a dappled autumn afternoon--and these were the very edges on which I had to mow. There are a lot of spiders around the edges of our yard.
In truth, Mr. K and I both think that there are more spiders this year than we've ever seen, which lends some credence to my theory that every one we kill has an enormous funeral and all of his family and friends move in, waiting for an opportunity to break my legs or put the evil eye on me, or whatever. And Monica, I'm not at all sure what kind they are. I know we have what Mr. K refers to as "little wolf spiders" (which is like saying "slightly trashy rock star" when discussing Brittany Spears) but they are hooved and tend to hang out in the sinks and showers for maximum scaring potential. The ones outside are striped and huge--like cherry tomatos with stripes and legs and little black hearts. I think I've heard them called "money spiders" because of an old superstition that having one outside your door means you'll come into money. Aside from the collection the neighbors are raising to try to bribe me into not screaming quite so much when taking the garbage out in the wee hours, this has not proven true for me.
So, on my first pass around the yard, I nearly drove right into one of the aforementioned black-hearted tomatos. I was not impressed. Neither would Mr. K have been if I hadn't finally stopped flailing long enough to grab the steering wheel, mere inches from the tree that had somehow leaped into my path as I tried to look at my entire body at once, certain that the thing was there SOMEWHERE. After that, I started watching and, sure enough, there were tomato webs stretched across my path at intervals all around the yard, with nasty little occupants sharpening up the cuisinart blades in preparation for a tasty meal of Knitingale. This would never do.
I tried all the logical things--screaming some more, nearly driving into multiple stationary objects, and flailing desperately but to no avail. They seem to have brought every friend they ever knew. Finally, when he stopped laughing long enough (he'll pay for that), Mr. K presented me with a thin, light board that I could hold in front of me as I drove, swatting the offending nasties out of the way before they could land on me and suck out my brain or whatever else they might have been plotting. (Yes, I did watch too much cheap horror as a child..why do you ask?)
And so it was that the Knitingales held their first ever jousting event--with the brave Lady Knitingale perched on her trusty riding mower, jousting pole at the ready, and then driving hell bent for leather into the webs of the enemy, unconcerned for her safety.
Well, okay. So absolutely panicked about safety--but not, oddly, worred about plowing into a tree, running my stick into a tree and impaling my torso with the other end, or getting my stick caught on something and pulling myself from my trusty, oilsnorting steed. No. I was worried about one of the little buggers leaping for safety to my hair and as such spent much of the next two hours waving a stick crazily with one hand while using the other to swipe ineffectually at my head. The riding mower pretty much was given free rein. I rather suspect that the back yard appears for all the world to be completely covered in complex crop circles at this point. I am absolutely not one whit interested in trying to remedy that.
By the way, I did prove once and for all that spiders have not just a sense of humor, but a vicious one. I noticed one spider on my way around and, knowing that I had to get close in to where it was, planned to attack with my stick when I came back around. But when I got there, it was gone. Which, of course, forced me to wonder where it had gone, how close I'd gotten to it in the first place, and what that strange tickling sensation on the back of my neck was (turned out to be my hair...but for a minute there....well, you know). Took me a few more rounds and a LOT more batting at my neck to finally look up and see the little bastard, about 15 feet up, laughing like hell as it watched me circling around trying to locate it.
Okay, I can't prove it was laughing. But I'm pretty sure I heard some evil, tomato-y snickers.