There is nothing in this world like walking into a dark room and getting a face full of cobweb. Arms flap about in a most ridiculous fashion, the back becomes a hump, and legs kick outwardly connecting shinbones with nearby sharp objects all accompanied by outcries of:
“Hablahabble hablahab!” (with or without modifiers)
Gestures and speech might resemble (if you let your imagination completely off the leash) auditioning for the part of some prehistoric bird long extinct due to ineptitude.
It is an unnerving experience even for the best of us. Intelligence does not diminish the impact. Knowing exactly what it is does not ease the huge sense of dread even for adrenalin junkies like me. But imagine getting a face full when you have no idea what cobwebs are.
I have not cleaned the garage in a while. Cobwebs are all over the place, but for some reason there is not a cob in sight. It makes you wonder. Spiderwebs are more honest in that their presence indicates spiders on duty. The cobs must sneak in and out during the night. I think they lay their eggs in a cornfield nearby.
I went into the back yard by way of the rear door from the garage. As soon as I opened it, Sir Benson Zipper De Doo Dah charged inside that cobweb-laced rummage sale bonanza junk stacked on stacks of junk-barn of mine we call the garage. The mice have quit the place: too dangerous for them!
It is amazing just how much cobweb will fit onto the face of a Boston Terrier even though they as a breed do not resemble a dust mop. There are other breeds, however, that resemble nothing else. Further, it is amazing he didn’t lose his ever-loving mind what with his never having had any previous experience with webs of that sort in any venue whether well lighted or in total darkness. He has no fear of the dark, but did not seem to care for having his face wrapped with unseen sticky fiber.
Lila Bea did not go in there: she suffers from arachnophobia. She is also afraid of thunder, and would be no threat to burglars or other intruders, either. She wilfully stays clear of anything she doesn’t fully understand which of course makes her ineligible to run for congress.
She established early in her residency here that the prefix “guard” did not suit her. I guess that’s why they call her a “Yellow” lab. It certainly is not from her coat which is mostly white with some streaks of tan. Besides, even if she had gone in, you wouldn’t notice cobwebs on her: they’d be perfectly camouflaged.
I’m not calling her out to be a total coward. She will face up to snakes, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, and bedroom slippers with an honorable level of assertiveness. But not spiders. I think she somehow associates spiders with lightning, thunder and rain. Do you think it could be because of that little “Itsy Bitsy Spider” song? Nah!
Zipper, on the other hand, did go into the garage and came out looking like he’d lost a battle with a cotton candy machine. What a mess! It looked like a frosted Christmas wreath was wrapped around his head. But he cleaned up easily enough, and was grateful–he thought I was petting him, and my attentiveness was rewarded. For a moment I thought he was going to lick me to death.
I had gone out into the yard in the first place to confirm my suspicion that it was too hot to mow the lawn, and it was. Since Zipper had cleaned the cobwebs out of the garage, the dawgs and I could now in good conscience go into the air conditioned part of the house for some rest and refreshment. Inside the comfort of the living quarters there would be no shortage of refreshment, and webs would be no obstacle.
In the summertime, we give the dawgs ice cubes instead of a bucket of water while they are in the house. They crunch and chew the ice haphazardly taking most of the pieces to carpeted areas to melt. Finding a wet spot on the rug with your bare feet is almost as unnerving as walking into cobwebs.
But that is far less inconvenient than the kinds of hazards too much drinking water can cause for an animal that cannot operate a door knob. A thirsty dawg when quenched will soon have other needs. It is not necessary to be overly graphic, but suffice it to say the dawgs are no longer allowed on the bed.
This rule will remain in place for awhile. Out in the garage there are toys and tools that seemed so important only a few short years ago, but now collect dust and cobwebs. They just don’t have the same sense of urgent need and utility of earlier days.
How quickly the time passes! Only a figurative yesterday ago a great sacrifice of energy, time and money was spent to get possession of tools I thought I just had to have–couldn’t live without. But never did the collection include a crystal ball. If it had, I would’ve probably drilled three holes in it and gone bowling anyway.
The same is true about some of the things that take up space in my head. I don’t use algebra as much now as I used to, and factoring methods are stacked up in a corner of my mind covered in cobwebs. Sentence diagramming procedures also show no signs of recent use, and may have dry-rotted by now. Looking back, I never spent much time using either of those tools very often, and even when I did, it may have not been the way they were intended to be used.
There are also remnants of brilliant plans that never fully developed. Those now dusty ideas would require enormous amounts of energy to implement, yet they are still unworn from any practicum and scattered about in corners of my mind. It’s funny sometimes to think about them, but they will never be employed again. Those plans were designed by a younger me at a time when dreams could become goals, but never did. They are so much like the tools in the garage that were once so important to have, but now I simply pray that I should never actually need to use them anymore. But I keep them just the same in case I do.
So in a way, the garage is a garden of memories. A lot was planted there, but a good bit of it will have to be harvested by some other gardener, or just plowed under. Now and then I pick up other fruits from the memory gardens cultivated by my father and my grandfathers, but quickly move on back to today. After all, yesterday is gone, isn’t it?
And so it will be for rules set down today to govern today. Tomorrow some of them will just not seem so important. Certainly if I live long enough it will be an entirely different light that shines on who wets the bed. But in the meantime, since dawgs won’t change the sheets or buy a new mattress, they can stay on the floor, thank you very much!