Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Spider in my Shower

This morning I washed a spider down the plughole while taking a shower. Again.

I'm averaging about three kills a week now. It's not that I go into the shower with the deliberate intention of drowning a spider (Hygena and Dolphin would presumably sell bathroom suites with integral arachnids for people who actually wanted to slake their bloods lusts in this way). They just happen to be collateral damage, much like Afghan wedding guests and Dresden civilians. Consequently, though I can publicly regret the loss of life, I feel no real guilt or sense of responsibility for it.

It does occur to me, however, that something more sinister could be going on here. A few months ago, it would only take a couple of seconds for the average spider to be swept away. Now, though, they appear to be becoming increasingly more resilient. Today's, for example, inclusive of legs, was about four inches across. He was therefore able to grip the edges of the plughole for a good one and a half minutes before succumbing to the flow of the water and the suds from my up-market triple-milled soap and the residue from my lime and mint hair conditioner.

I am suddenly reminded of the film, "Zulu." As you may recall, when Cetshwayo's warriors began their attack on Rorke's Drift, they initially probed its defences by deliberately sacrificing their first wave of troops. Only when they'd worked where the British guns were, and their firepower, did they commit the bulk of their army to the attack. So exactly the same scenario could well be playing itself out in my bathroom: the first spiders were merely the expendable foot-soldiers of a spider "impi", testing the efficacy of my shower. But when they have, that's when the main attack could arrive.

So what do I do when three thousand spiders suddenly come at me at once? Stanley Baker and Michael Caine would up-end wagons and surround the shower with oxen. The trouble is, an ox in my shower would probably be even more of a problem to dislodge than a spider. You can't readily force oxen down the plughole, even if you use the power jet on them. They just sit there and moo, blocking the outlet completely. Or worse, they deposit large ox pats all over your bathroom floor and shag female oxes.

I really can't be having this. Especially as, given today's atmosphere of anti-militarism, there's virtually no chance of me getting a Victoria Cross out of it. In future, therefore, I may well take all my showers at the gym. Then it becomes someone else's problem.

No comments: