Ah, childhood in the 1960's....
I'll share a memory of dear ol' Dad and his encounter with our backdoor "john"....
I remember lots of things about Dad. How hard he worked, his commitment to the family, how he boasted he was tough as an ox, and scared of nothing. He was a Man with a capital M.
But there was this one time when he met his match.
With no running water in the house, our necessary room was the building out back. It wasn’t too bad in summer as you sat there cloaked with nature and listened to the birds singing. Sometimes inquisitive bees got too close, and blue-tailed lizards liked to sun themselves on the rafters, but it was all okay, because you knew you had to share and everybody respected each other’s space.
Until the spider decided to take up residence.
This wasn’t a measley itty-bitty spider either. It was a monster, a possible escapee from one of Hollywood’s B-rated horror flicks. Eyes glinting malevolently, it crouched, twitching each of its’ hairy, creepy eight legs, daring us to challenge it as The Boss, Master of the Toilet.
We hated that rascal, and a war raged. But no matter how much rock throwing or poison we sprayed, the next time we opened the door, there he’d be sitting on the edge of the hole. Body quivering with fiendishly spider glee, he taunted us further by casting a quick look our way before scurrying out of sight – under the seat.
Our pleas for help fell on Dad’s deaf ears. He scorned our terror, ridiculing us as nothing more than hysterical women.
Then Dad met Spider.
In full sun-dappled daylight.
And Spider cared snuff about Man with a capital M.
Suddenly, we hysterical women heard a cry of alarm.
“Clarie!” Dad called for Mom. “Bring the shotgun!”
(Dear Spider, you know this means war)
He joined the fight, but it was no use. With eight legs supporting him, the spider always outran us, and he could hide in the darkest corners that even a Man as tough as an ox wouldn’t venture into.
The time came that we moved away and we left the outhouse, and its occupant, behind. We never learned what happened to the toilet. Did the new tenants tear it down? Build a newer model? Or did they, maybe, outwit that crafty old spider?
Ha. That critter didn’t grow that large by being stupid. If a Man couldn’t beat him, then nobody could.
It’d take more than his namesake Spider-Man to beat the BOSS.