Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A Homer Moment

After the alcohol went missing I asked my housekeepers to leave the key after they were done cleaning. Every week I place the key for them to use. The housekeeper shows only a few minutes after I leave so there is little chance of it being taken. While placing the key last week, I hear a ker-plunk. Oh crap, I’m thinking and feel about in the dark for the key. It’s not there. It fell through the grate into the depths of the cellar window shaft.

In Germany most houses have a cellar. If you have an exposed wall the windows for the cellar are there. If you don’t have an exposed wall, they create air shafts that lead down to the window. Both the shaft and the window are fitted with security grates but unfortunately the grate holes are large enough for a key to slip through. I need to leave to go to work but I can’t just leave the key down there.

Not only does the shaft hold my key but it also holds my favourite creature of all times – the arachnid. I am not talking about the little bitty spider that you leave around your windows to eat the bugs for you, but the huge, nasty, hairy, jump half a foot kind. Just thinking about it makes me break out in a sweat. As I head down into the basement I grab the golfing brollie my husband uses and a step ladder. Using the brollie, I open the window lock, pull open the window, unlock the security grate latch and pull open the security grate (yes I am quite agile with my brollie). I wave the brollie about in the shaft to remove any spider webs and carefully stick my head in to look for the key.

I spy the key and using the brollie I push the key over to the right side so I don’t have to lean so much to grab it. If something should crawl on me I will jump 60 feet in the air and probably end up unconscious on the floor until the housekeeper comes. With all this adrenaline in my system I am a tad sweaty, including my palms. I reach in, grab the key and within an inch of clearing the window shaft I drop the key. Now a long train of expletives cross my mind as I think about having to reach my hand into the unseen. In an effort to see where I am reaching for, I move the empty beer racks around only to find the mother of all arachnids hiding between them. This vile wee beastie had the body the size of the first digit of my thumb and a leg span the size of the palm of my hand. Quickly running upstairs I grab a fly swatter and beat it to death. I then stomp it a few times for good measure.

Finally I move the step ladder where I can look into the depths of leaves and muck to try and find the key. I used the fly swatter to move the stuff around until I see a small portion of the key. Wouldn’t you know that darn thing is sitting precariously on the edge of falling into some cave like hole? For all I knew it was a snake hole (not likely really) or the hole for the Arachnid King. No way in hell was I sticking my hand near there. “Pliers” I exclaimed as the idea popped into my head. I grabbed the key while maintaining approximately a six inch safety space between me and the home of the Arachnid King. I held that key in a death grip in those pliers as I moved it to the top of the fridge. I quickly closed the security grate, latched it, closed and locked the windows.

Late as hell for work, I carried everything upstairs and found a small key ring that didn’t take up to much space to place the key on – there was no way that was going to happen again! All the way to work I had to fight the urge to scratch. I had the psychosomatic, self inflicted, irrational fear of spiders crawling on me – in other words I itched for no real reason.

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