...was way more dangerous than she was letting on. Seriously, folks. Don't let her fool you with that whole "up the water spout" trick. She's not going up the water spout. She's going up the leg of your trousers and she's packing some venom. If you see the Itsy Bitsy Spider, make like Miss Muffet, get off your tuffet and get the hell outta there.
By now, you all think I'm boozing at the computer terminal. I'm not. Really. But I am quite serious about the spiders. Dad was bitten by a spider just before the July 4th holiday (one more reason to live in the city - the spiders don't bite. They carry guns and knives and run in gangs, but they don't bite). The little spider bite left him with an infection and a rash that ran all the way up his leg. One round of antibiotics didn't cure him, so now he's having a second round. The leg looks better, which means he no longer looks like he's propped up on the trunk of a California Redwood, but the ankle puffs up like a water balloon by the end of the day.
We visited him and Mom this past weekend, in part to say "hi" and in part because they took Anna Lee last Tuesday and we figured we should get her back before she got too used to the good life with Grandma Lee Lee and Grandpa Doc.
"That leg looks like hell, Dad," I said.
"It's really much better," he replied as he hobbled after the three-year-old. "It's almost normal."
"I think you should get it looked at, Dad."
"It's fine," he said over his shoulder, clearly getting annoyed with me. Then he limped out to the pool to give Anna Lee a swimming lesson.
Mom clucked disapprovingly at his back.
"He isn't wearing sunscreen," she said.
I didn't respond. If she thought I was going to cross him over suncreen, she was out of her mind. I had bigger fish to fry - there is a huge mud wasp nest in the bush next to the grill and I was afraid Dad was going to get himself stung to pieces trying to get rid of it.
"Don't try to take it down," Dan and I cautioned them. "Get somebody else to do it. Somebody with experience. Somebody with tools. Somebody with a hazmat suit."
Do you think they listened? Naaaahhhhh. Last I heard, Mom was trying to frighten the wasps into giving up their home by throwing beer at them. I believe they responded by sending an emissary to request chips and dip.
So we finished our visit, came back to the city and got the phone call that one of our other relatives is in the hospital with... guess what... an infected spider bite. So I renew my word of caution to you all - watch out for the spiders! I've spent a decade mocking Dan for his arachnophobia. Perhaps his fear is well placed.
Mom and Dad are in the city for another round of scans today. Dad is literally having the scan as I type this. Mom called to say that they took him in and to ask if I thought we would have the results any sooner than next week (answer: nope). As always, I will post as soon as I have information to share. In the mean time, keep thinking good thoughts and I'll do the same.
And watch out for the spiders.