As some of you may know, on most Saturdays Opie and I go to this little bar called George's for lunch and a few adult beverages.
We are very careful, however, to take turns being the designated driver.
This is especially lucky for Opie because when he drives home he is often treated to an incredible vocal performance by yours truly as I belt out classics from the 80s and 90s.
It is interesting to note that there is something horribly wrong with the acoustics in Opie’s car. When I'm in my car alone, I sound amazing. I hit the high notes every time I and I’m pretty sure I have about an 8 octave range. Then I get in Opie’s car and all of a sudden I sound like a cat who just got his tailcaught in the blinds. It’s weird.
But I digress…
As I was saying, when Opie drives he gets showered with song. And when I drive, he often gets treated to conversations like the one we had last week.
“Holy crap!” I said, a few seconds after we pulled out of the driveway. “Look at the size of that spider on the back window! It’s the size of a human head!”
Opie, after a cursory glance mumbled something like “Yeah, it’s big.”
“It’s not just big, it’s enormous! Is it on the inside or outside of the glass?”
Which is when he made one of the classic blunders: he told the truth. “I don’t know,” he said.
“Oh geez! What if it’s on the inside?”
“It’s not on the inside.”
“You don’t know that, you just said you weren’t sure.”
“I’m sure now. Besides, it might not even be a spider. It’s probably just a piece of dirt—“
“Oh, it’s a spider!” I assured him, taking another long look to make sure. “I can see its creepy spider legs dancing around in that creepy spider way. It’s definitely a spider.”
“Would you please be careful and pay attention to the road? There’s a cop right next to us.”
“I’m sure the cop would understand spider-induced car trouble,” I said. “But if you just watch the spider then I won’t have to. At least not much.”
“Why does anyone need to watch the spider?”
“Because if it’s inside the car, it could skitter across the ceiling in all its spider sneakiness and jump on one of us. Probably you. And then it could bite you on the jugular and you’d die before I could do anything to help.”
“ARE YOU GOING TO WATCH THE SPIDER OR NOT??”
“I’M WATCHING THE STUPID SPIDER!” He shouted back.
A few minutes later, I decided this was the perfect time to really put things into focus for him. “You know, things like this wouldn’t happen if you would just get me a scooter.”
“I will NEVER get you a scooter.”
“Can’t you just see me on a scooter? I’d scoot over to the store. I’d scoot to church. I’d scoot all over town on a scooter. And, if you were really nice to me, I’d let you ride in the sidecar.”
He ended this discussion with the rather abrupt announcement that if he ever does get me a scooter, I should take that as a sign he doesn’t really care about me all. Apparently he is under the impression that my life expectancy post-scooter purchase is about a week.
Which is totally unfair.
In any case, when we got to George’s, I jumped out of the car and determined that the spider was, in fact, on the outside of the glass…I couldn’t get a good picture of it, though, because I was pretty sure it was still plotting a way to leap on one of us.
Which may sound a little bit completely insane…but not when you realize that I’m clearly psychic because after a brief bit of Internet research I learned that this is called the “Bold Jumping Spider” (a fact I screamed at Opie triumphantly) and is characterized by its ability to “jump at prey with extraordinary accuracy” and the fact that it “isn’t afraid to eat creatures much larger than itself.”
Basically, my insistence on constant spider surveillance saved Opie’s life.
I could be wrong but I like to think it was just the overwhelming relief from this near-death experience that made him start shouting for a beer the instant we crossed George’s threshold.