About a week ago, I noticed a small spider web clinging to the sides of the paper dock of my printer. Spider webs are not an unusual occurrence in my room.
My room is in the basement, which is sort of a like a housing development for various members of the Extrarius Skeletal family, which is my made-up Latin genus name for any kind of bug that might happen to live inside my shoe at any given moment.
For about the last month and a half, I have opened my room to many homeless spiders, but I usually end up squishing them because they start to live in my clothes, which are organized in complex Dirty and Clean piles on my floor.
Please note these are harmless spiders. They are tiny, and probably couldn’t even produce enough venom to sedate your average-sized pea.
On the other side of things, I do not welcome largish spiders, especially if they have hair.
I don’t care if they’re poisonous or not. They give me the willies. So I squish them.
However, the web I found inside my printer, upon closer inspection, turned out to be home to the one of the previously mentioned harmless spiders.
I liked him. He wasn’t living in my shirts, he wasn’t building a web in any walking paths and he really didn’t do anything but just sort of hang there.
I named him Nigel.
I admit, at first I was a little leery of this housing arrangement. My printer has provided many services that have absolutely nothing to do with paper and/or ink. However, it has never served as a habitat.
In fact, right now it’s serving as a shelf that is holding a stack of CDs, an inspirational card with a picture of an eagle on it, a half-used roll of toilet paper and a collection of shot glasses from Mount Rushmore, Pikes Peak and Yellowstone National Park and Gift Shop.
But never before had it accommodated an arachnid.
So when I first met Nigel, I wasn’t exactly delighted by his presence. But as the days progressed, and he just sort of hung there, I grew to love him.
I’m not exactly sure how Nigel survived. His web wasn’t exactly an insect trapping machine. Metaphorically speaking, if you’re looking at the Golden Gate Bridge, Nigel’s web was more along the lines of putting a long two-by-four across a small ditch.
So when it came to food, I don’t know what he did. Maybe he crawled up into the mechanics of the printer, got into the wires and ate electrons.
Now, the last thing I would allow to live in my room is a radioactive spider, but Nigel never seemed to threaten me with anything of that nature. He just watched quietly whenever I was using the computer.
And in return for him not acting aggressive, I did him the favor of not printing anything, which would have messed up his web.
OK, so maybe I didn’t avoid printing just for Nigel. But he did give me an excuse to be lazy on at least two different occasions.
During Nigel’s stay, my boss and mother requested for me to print them something from my computer. Both times, my excuse was that in order to print something out, I would have to relocate Nigel.
I’m not kidding. My mom gave me The Look and my boss just made some sort of comment about being pathetic.
But as the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
I say this not just because I know cliches tend to be highly obnoxious, but because a couple of days ago I came into my room to find that Nigel had left the printer. I have no idea where he went.
I highly doubt he would have run away. Not after I gave him such a comfortable place to stay. Not to mention all the electrons he could eat.
All that remains is a few pieces of web. I sort of miss him.
But getting back to pulling the troops out of Iraq, somebody really needs to look into that issue. I’ve done all I can do.
* * *
UFO: If Michael Jordan could jump proportionately as high as a jumping spider, he would be able to dunk on a 260-foot-high rim.
Don’t ask why.