Subtitle: We be schleppin' spiders formication An abnormal sensation as of insects running over or into the skin, associated with cocaine intoxication or disease of the spinal cord and peripheral nerves.
I'm formicating without the benefit of cocaine and without the excuse of peripheral neuropathy. No, my skin crawls because this house is overrun by fleas. We have a vet date next Wednesday to get the cats dipped. That will be a fine time to bomb the house, right? Well . . . don't forget my wife's forty tarantulas. Can't gas the fleas without gassing those bad boys (and girls). That means we have to clear out all our little critters before bombing the house. We're moving them to our office. No, they will not be in view of the patients, some of whom have heart conditions. Which reminds me of a story . . . Karen always wanted a King Baboon spider. For the love of God, if you're afraid of spiders, don't click on this link. And if you treasure your sanity, don't look at this one, either. We had her shipped to us by overnight mail, all eight inches of her. Eight inches of pleasure -- we had Grace Slick beat by an inch. (Sorry. I'm showing my age.) Karen unpacked her and placed her in a large plastic jar covered with nylon fabric. Shift to present tense for that extra bit of urgency. As usual, I get to the office before Karen. Noya and Catrina (my staff) and several patients show up before Karen, too. While those first few patients wait for me, I plug in the laptop and turn it on. Gots to do the morning email & surfing. Okay, so the laptop takes a while to warm up. Let's see how Karen's big motha is doing. Um. Um, how exactly do you misplace eight inches of tarantula? The plastic jar is empty. A hole has been snipped through the nylon, a hole with a serrated edge, as if two not-so-little fangs have been very busy all night long. I give a panicky glance into my waiting room. Two women, each spilling over the physical boundaries of the chairs -- faces florid, neck veins bulging -- smile at me. I give them my most sincere cheesy grin,thinking, How am I going to check beneath their chairs without looking very, very strange? I edge my way over to Catrina and Noya and whisper without moving my lips (because many of my patients are hard of hearing and can read lips), "There is one big fucking spider on the loose somewhere in this office. Get Karen down here now."
***Karen laughed at us when she got in. She thought it was sooo funny that we were all freaking like little girlie-men (and girlie-girls) when she (1) knew where the spider would head, and (2) felt confident the spider would be dormant, thanks to the low ambient temperature. I kept wondering, Does my malpractice cover heart attack due to spider? To Karen's credit, she later apologized for laughing at us. No patients were harmed in the hatching of this anecdote. D. UPDATE. The tarantulas have made it successfully to the office. My bedroom is now an arachnid-free zone. Now I can have sex with my wife without 320 dark beady eyes bearing down on us. (And you thought having the dog watch was freaky.)