Saturday, April 07, 2007

Uses for Plastic Tubs: Catch and Release

When I first started reading the lovely David Scrimshaw's very amusing blog, he was writing about the things you can do with binder clips, besides, you know, clipping pieces of paper together to bind them into one unit.

I will pause a moment while you go look at his binder clip series. And here is a link to my contribution, which David could not support.

Another good series, I suggested not so long ago, would be to figure out what to do with the damn plastic tubs that seem to multiply in my cupboard at a ferocious rate.

He came up with one solution, that ended up being two solutions. Once more, I will pause a moment while you go look.

In a conversation quite a few weeks ago now, Eric and I covered irrationally strong dislikes/phobias. Mine are ice and spiders.

I don't touch ice and I don't touch cold metal. If someone puts ice in my water, I'll wait until it melts a bit to start drinking. Mostly I drink whatever I'm drinking neat. If I'm at Grace and Greg's and getting us all water, I will use a spoon to put ice in Greg's water. He likes two cubes. Grace doesn't seem to care, though I may be misremembering.

What makes spiders worse than ice is the surprise factor. Ice rarely shows up in your house where ice didn't used to be. If you figure out a way to move it without touching it, it stays still and lets you manage it. Spiders, now. I went into the bathroom to get something out of the medicine cabinet. And there, beside the cabinet, was a spider, jammed into the corner where two walls meet, with its hairy looking grey legs stuck together in two clumps, one set extended up and one set down. I gasped and ran out into the kitchen, damn near smack into Eric.

"Okay. Spider. Spider. Needs to be removed. Can you put it outside or kill it?"

I may not have asked, come to think of it. I may have actually said "You need to put it outside or kill it."

There are a lot of advantages to being my close friend/lover. At least I like to think so. Being put on automatic spider disposal is probably not one of those advantages. I can tell you that taking care of someone else's phobia get boring. My friends have all gotten used to me by now though. I gasp my phobia gasp, they say where is it?, I point and they move into action, killing or removing as their personality dictates. By and large, I know removers rather than killers.

This was the first time Eric had seen me in close proximity to an arachnid. I assured him that I was actually being very calm and I am much better than I used to be.

"I'll take it outside."
"But it'll die outside, so why not just kill it now?"
"But maybe it will just hibernate."
"I don't think spiders hibernate. Maybe you should just kill it."
"I am going to put it outside. What do you want me to use?"
"Anything. As long as it's gone."

I think I stood at the table, shuffling papers around, looking down and keeping busy.

"Hey! I know! A plastic tub!" Eric reads David's blog too.

One plastic tub used, one spider removed.

He went into the bathroom. I heard the two things I do not like hearing when spiders are involved. "Wow. It's a big one." and "Oops. It fell." Of course, I knew it was going to fall. Spiders in corners always fall because you can't get the right angle on them.

But success at last. Eric came out of the bathroom, plastic tub aloft. "Hey, I wonder if it's really dead or if they just curl up to fool people into thinking they're dead. It's pretty cool. Wanna see?"

Ah, the early days of a relationship. My eyes widened. "No. No."

"You don't want a picture to blog it?"

"Oh, I'll blog it. Of course I'll blog it. But I am not taking a picture of a spider."

"Huh," he said, "I don't think I realized how serious you were about not liking them."

"I am very serious about not liking them."

And so because he is gallant and he likes me, he took it outside.

He came back in and I hugged him, which I'm prone to do, spiders or no. "I left the tub in the recycling,"* he said to the top of my head. "I didn't think you would want
to use it again."

"You know, if it were my last plastic tub, I would probably suck it up, wash it out and use it again. But it is not my last plastic tub."**

*Swear to god, I went outside and this is how he had left it in the recycling.
**Swear to god, this is what my plastic tubs look like. They're organized by shape. Frequent visitors will corroborate this.


e.s.pig said...

This is from and addresses spibernation.

Q. Do spiders hibernate in Winter?
A. Spiders like the garden orb weavers, argiopes, widow varieties that only live one season, will die in Winter, leaving behind their egg sac for the next season. Other spiders like tarantulas and fishing spiders, that live longer may hibernate in Winter spending the cold weather under tree bark or rocks, or in cellars and attics. Some adults survive by preparing a winter nest of silken webbing under loose bark within which they are insulated from the cold. In several species, young spiderlings hatch out, then remain in a communal webbed egg sac through the winter. Those spiders that hibernate in leaf litter and in rock piles often are not deeply asleep, and on mild winter days may crawl about in search of insect food that is plentiful and easy to secure in its dormant state. Young spiders often take refuge in moss, and should you bring a clump into the house, be prepared to have spiderlings and many other little hibernating creatures crawl out as warmth unlocks their muscles and increases their metabolism and consumption of oxygen.

Jo Stockton said...

I remember having to take a spider off your bicycle once last summer.

Now that I will be your neighbour, you can call me for spider removal when Eric is not around.

If I ever find a snake in my bathroom, I'll call you.


Asteroidea Press said...

See, I *knew* I didn't trust moss. Now I know why. Thank you, e.s.pig.

J. - That's right, I'd forgotten about that spider removal moment. I remember being slightly embarassed by

Anytime you want anything other than a spider removed, I'm up for it.