Hi! Come on in. It’s sleepover night tonight and I have an array of snacks and drinks for your pleasure, or displeasure! Hope you brought your own pillow as I don’t share (it’s a thing I have about mouth breathers and dribble…eww!). Dump your stuff over there by the bookshelf and come sit down.
Whilst we wait for the rest of the crew to arrive, let me tell you an amusing tale about last night. It was dead on half one in the morning and Henry needed to go out for his last bathroom run before bedtime. Due to the holidays, everyone’s bedtime seems to have been extended, which in turn means a later wake-up call in the morning, so it’s not too bad. Anyway, in my wisdom, I decided not to switch on the passage light or the light downstairs. After all, I do this run nearly every night and I know which dark objects move and don’t move. I did spare a thought for the funny dark spot on the floor but decided to skip over it with my bare feet and hoped whatever it was, it wouldn’t move. It didn’t.
Henry went out and disappeared in the darkness of the garden as he usually did and I decided it would be a good idea to do the same and go for my last bathroom break. I’m not brave enough to broach the bathroom without a light on, so with a loud click, the bulb burst into a bright sun radiating from the ceiling. For the few seconds it took me to half close the door behind me (yes, even though no-one is awake, I still close the door! Don’t you?) and as I half turned to look behind me, I noticed a visitor on the wall next to the toilet. It was huge, not just the average oh my God kind of big but the SH*T! RUUNNNN! kind of big.
I practically flew out of the bathroom. I have to admit I don’t recall re-opening that door, but somehow I was out in the shadowy passageway again, searching the darkness for the visitor’s friends. My shrieks woke my second eldest who called down to find out what was the matter. I dared not move away from the door of the bathroom, in case this guest decided to move to a more secluded place where I wouldn’t find him. Stuttering out incoherent sentences drew my daughter out of her room and onto the landing upstairs. I shrieked for her to call her brother. He, of course, was fast asleep and refused to budge. She came instead.
Once she was in place, I ran to get us both pairs of shoes – something that is vitally important when you have a guest that can run faster than you and can creep under doors! Once we were dressed in our nightshirts and trainers, we decided on a course of action. She ran to the kitchen cupboard and brought back all the deadliest bleach sprays we possessed. I eyeballed her hardware and agreed that Cillit Bang could definitely do the job. After all, the advert always bragged “BANG! And the dirt is dead!” as its catchphrase. Now the problem was how to actually go into the narrow space and spray our guest/tormentor. Did I mention how big he was?
At last the Hubble joined us in his slippers, boxers and t-shirt (perfect fighting-wear!) A hilarious conversation ensued with each of us suggesting close to the ridiculous on how to try and get this sucker out of the bathroom. In the end the Hubble decided to spray the floor where said guest would hopefully try to make his leggy escape. Then came the definitive spray that would drop him. The first two squirts fell short and didn’t even tickle him. The third knocked him off the wall onto the floor where he bounced up and down, jumping and running with the agility of a combat soldier out on the war field. Screams and curses followed him as he raced for cover behind the toilet. My cries of terror accompanied the Hubble’s squirting action which soon coated the unwanted guest in a foam of white killer bubbles. He struggled at first, fighting through the poison, but slowly his body succumbed to the deadly toxins surrounding him.
Brave daughter decided to move forward whilst Hubble went out with a flourish since his job was done. She blew the body of the beast, testing to see if he was still alive. We waited with bated breath. Nothing. She blew again, hopping back in case he jumped. Nothing. Phew! The beasty was dead. I wanted to get a stick from outside to remove him and throw him down Davey Jones’ locker. As I was about to leave my post by the door, I heard a squeal. Said brave daughter practically mowed me down as the beasty lifted his two front legs, the longest I’ve ever seen, and waved them as though reaching out to her. I don’t think I need to mention the expletives I might have uttered as we both fell over each other in a hasty retreat. The few seconds felt tense as we peeped round the corner of the bathroom door to check if he had followed us out. Instead, we saw him flip over (this was a first as I’ve never seen a spider do this) and with one last jerk of his long hairy legs, he gave up the fight and died.
For those not afraid of spiders, this must seem cruel and obscene, but I swear, this guy was huge. I can handle small spiders…hell, I can even take out medium ones and release them back into the garden. But there was no saving this beasty. It was him or us and I had to choose us. The way he jumped and leaped over the spray, in the spray, through the spray – he was a professional! My skin crawls when I think of it and it takes days for the paranoia to die down. Every shadow that moves becomes a beasty; every bit of fluff that floats by or rolls just out of my direct line of sight becomes a guest running towards me. I have to fight down the fear again and regain my confidence in living with the knowledge that there are hundreds of those big guys living just outside my kitchen door, waiting – waiting patiently for us to forget to close the windows; waiting for us to leave the door open past twighlight when the house stays warm and the outside gets just a bit too cool to be comfortable. That’s when they move in. That’s when they visit.
Anyway, don’t worry, the doors have been closed early tonight and I’ve only vacuumed three times in every corner of the house. My hands have been washed over fifty times and I am sure that the interim showers (with checks before and after on the shower curtain for certain visitors) are all absolutely normal.
So, ready for our sleepover? I thought, for our movie tonight we could watch Arachnophobia! Just kidding!
Whoop! I hear the doorbell. Check the snacks and drinks for me, will you, whilst I let the others in. It’s going to be a great night!