Well, I guess I had it comin'. Shoving my happy, festive, holiday spirit in the face of the world for months now. I knew it wouldn't be long before someone had to shit right on my smiley parade. Or on my Christmas tree skirt... whichever.
So, I was about to do the dishes (crap, I still haven't done them) when I saw my makeshift tree-watering device, a.k.a. a Poland Spring bottle, sitting there as a nagging reminder. I filled it up and went to do one of my least favorite chores. I crawled under the veil of falling needles- that are so sharp they actually draw blood sometimes- and fulfilled my duty as Blackthumb, The Thirst Quencher.
Now, those of you who know me can attest to my fear of many, many living creatures. We have discussed spiders, centipedes and moths just to name a few. But the fear goes way deeper. I find dead lady bugs in the upstairs bedrooms and I want to board the place up and move. I also LOATHE anything in large quantities. Swarms make me want to cut my eyeballs out. Big groups of insects, dead or alive, horrify me. It may sound childish and irrational but it's sort of out of my hands at this point.
Anyway, there I was, on my hands and knees pouring the last drop into the tree stand, when I saw them. When I tell you I gasped and my eyes became as wide as saucers I am NOT exaggerating. Not a stitch. Hundreds of 'black dots' peppering the white edges of the tree skirt and lining the floor at the baseboard. I was petrified. I did triple and quadruple takes. Panic was leaking into my system. My first hurried thought was 'mice droppings'. We have a controlled mice issue in our house but I had never seen any crime scene like THIS before. Taking a closer look, and holding my breath the entire time, I tossed out my initial guess. 'Holy shit, it's spider pods'. Remembering the day we brought the tree home when I saw a spider crawling on the wall, and another on the ceiling, and four total that day - I was now convinced. Millions of thoughts began to speed through my mind ... What the FFFFFF??? So basically our tree is infested with spiderlings?? I will DIE right this second. Oh my God I have to get this tree outside. Wait! I have to UNdecorate it first. All of our little, adorable ornaments TAINTED with crawled upon horror. And when I drag it outside all of the PODS will fall on me and all over the floor. I cannot touch this tree!! I will SPRAY it!! I will spray the tree with bug killer!! Wait, then everything will just fall to the ground and I will die all over again. WHAT will I DO?? ... That was just the first few moments upon realizing the nature of the situation.
I immediately dialed Gregg's cell phone number. In every "crisis" I call him instinctively, knowing full well that there is no way he can just leave work to sweep up a bug situation for me. I left the voice mail anyway. It's always worth a shot, right?? I then collected myself, somewhat, and made a dash for the trashcan, a broom, paper towels, bug killer and a dustpan. Just carrying these items together made me want to vomit.
I set up shop a few feet from the tree and planned my attack. First mission: Operation Tree Skirt Disposal. It took all of the courage I have inside me to gently un-Velcro those four openings. WHY is this Velcro so effing secure?? Is this super strength heavy duty Velcro made specifically for tightly fastening a frigging tree skirt?? With each slight pull I could see the 'dots' bouncing on the fabric. Vomit. Death. Fury. Panic. I finally managed to undo the damn thing and I gathered it up and marched it right outside into the big, black trash container of death. Dusting off my hands, I walked back into that living room more like a soldier than a shrieking housewife. I had my game face on. I doused those paper towels with tree water, mopped up some pods and threw the sopping mess in the trashcan. I swept up the remaining pellets of terror into a dustpan and disposed of them quickly. I even swept my broom and brush with each other to make sure that there were no lingering 'dots' to be hatched. Oh my God the word "hatched" is unacceptable. Feeling pretty intrepid about my cleanup I gave the area a quick once over to make sure all was secure. Ummm WHAT is that?? My eyes focused on a frightening sight. A god damned web. Right next to the 'back of the tree gold ball' was a creepy web o' disgust. What now?? I really don't have much experience in web-demolition. I am the girl who will ask an obvious serial killer to do things like that rather than ever attempt it myself. I began fumbling around for an item that was both long and something that I wouldn't mind tossing into a tar pit afterward. Unfortunately, not many items fit the bill. Tinfoil!!! I twisted up a tinfoil web-destroyer double quick! Back at the tree, hands shaking, I swirled that foil sword around and around, up and down the tree, taking down more than one web!! I hadn't even seen the others until now. And then, rounding a corner, a raisin-sized scumbag spider jerk was making his way out front to see what all the commotion was about. My heart stopped. Faced with the evil demon himself, I knew I had to keep my brave boots on and fight this mutha until his scary, little breaths were silenced. Well, I lost him in the tree. Apparently it's not that easy to balance on unstable tinfoil. It was at this moment that I decided to spray the tree, the wall, window and floor with good old fashioned Hot Shots Bug Killer.
This ordeal lasted for close to an hour. Once I tossed the disgusting waste, I reached for the phone number to Arrest-A-Pest. That's right. You know I have them on speed dial. I realize that I brought a TREE into my living room. I get it. I'm not an idiot. But I have every right to consider them intruders anyway. They are unwelcome guests at best. My service man will be here tomorrow with his trusty spray (I should have asked for a tank of that for Christmas) and hopefully everything will be salvageable. If not, guess who's getting a new tree this weekend?
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go light myself on fire.