Sunday, May 22, 2011

Valhalla Can Wait

I did not get raptured yesterday.

According to Christian broadcaster, Harold Camping, May 21 was the day that all the good people of the world were to be whisked away to heaven, leaving the rest of us baddies behind.

That's okay with me. Because that meant that I got to spend time in my shop building a little table for our back porch.

And yet, I can't help but wonder what might have prevented me from being raptured.  I mean, I'm a nice lady.  I buy girl scout cookies, tip the mailman at Christmas, wear deodorant.

No, the only thing I can think of is that I used to be a spider-killer. My 8-legged nemeses and I now have a pact: I don't kill them, and they don't seek me out to torment.

You think I'm kidding?

True story: about 10 years ago while attending a church service in our sanctuary, I was menacingly threatened by a nefarious arachnid.

Our 150-year-old church has a peaked 56' ceiling.  I was sitting toward the middle of the center pew, attentively listening to the sermon, when a Honda-sized spider appeared right before my eyes—2" from my line of vision.

Now, in previous encounters with spiders, I have been known to leap from a front-passenger seat into the back seat of a car; swerve off the road and leap from my car, arms a-flailing; and awaken from slumber halfway out of the room, having leapt from my bed to escape the clutches of a dream-inspired arthropod. With fangs.

But I was in church. Where no leaping is allowed. Presbyterians are called the "frozen chosen" for a reason. We don't move, or sway, or clap. We sit stoically in the pews, eyes toward the pulpit.

So, what does a puritan do when faced with the wicked glare of a bedeviled creature? She, in one swift movement, uses her worship bulletin to sever its thread, lightly drop it to the floor, and gently encourage it to become a permanent part of the carpet fibers with the heel of her shoe.

I was smooth. In control. Cool hand Kari.  Through an herculean effort, I had overcome a monumental challenge....and no one would know.

Or so I thought.

Following the service, and for several years (years!) later, I was forced to relive the event through the  interminable recollections of the amused onlookers who had been sitting in the pews behind me.

"Man, we saw it coming all the way down from the ceiling, heading right for you!" they'd chuckle.

With a 56' ceiling, surely it would take at least a couple minutes for a spider to reach its target. Meaning, my brothers and sisters in Christ watched and waited as a freight train with eight legs made tracks for my face.

Nice way to "do unto others," guys.

So, for that event, as well as other equally fun spider confrontations, I am left behind.  With my workshop, and tools, and projects.

Which is the very reason I've included "squashing ants" on my to-do list.