Dieses ist eine Fliege

The Previous Day...


07.02.2002 10:09 PM

Charlsie: Lets hope they don’t try again
Derision667: I’m sure they will.
Charlsie: you're going to give me nightmares
Derision667: Don’t worry, I've had them all before.
Derision667: I think that ultimately Mayor McCheese and Officer Big Mac may’ve had something to do with this.
Charlsie: ewwww.
Derision667: Think about it, though. Where are they? Mayor McCheese and Big Mac haven't been heard from in years.
Charlsie: I don’t really loose sleep over it
Derision667: Perhaps you should.
Charlsie: You know what, this is getting kind of deep
Derision667: This is the sort of thing I think about.
Charlsie: It’s rather interesting but I’m all tired and you’re making me think
Derision667: My theory is that Ronald McDonald had them assassinated so that he could consolidate his power over McDonaldland.
Charlsie: Ronald is a child molester
Derision667: It's a possibility.
Derision667: Which would even offer more of a reason to do off with the only law enforcement officer in town.
Charlsie: Poor Big Mac. 
Derision667: Though Ronald wouldn't do the deed himself. Oh no! That's why I think he hired the Hamburglar to actually devour Big Mac and the Mayor.
Derision667: And it scarred the Hambuglar, psychologically. He’s never been able to talk about it. Or about anything.
Derision667: "Robble muthafuckin’ robble."
Charlsie: Honestly i didnt know of Officer Big Mac until you brought him up. I know of the scary purple guy though
Derision667: Grimace.
Derision667: The enigma.
Derision667: For what IS Grimace, anyway?
Charlsie: I dont like him.
Derision667: The official explanation for Grimace is that he's a milk shake. But McDonald's has never served a purple milk shake.
Charlsie: Tastes like purple?
Derision667: Precisely.
Derision667: And if he IS, indeed, a milk shake... where is his cup?
Charlsie: I wouldnt dare question him. He looks like he could kick ass.
Derision667: True. He's Ronald's enforcer.
Derision667: He's the one that held them down so the Hamburglar could devour them alive.
Charlsie: What a horrible way to die
Derision667: Whilst Ronald laughed the entire time, his looming red hair glowing in the background.
Charlsie: You have this whole thing figured out huh? Where did you learn of such things?
Derision667: The McDonald's by where I used to live has pictures of them up on the walls, which I found baffling because I'd never heard of Officer Big Mac or Mayor McCheese before.
Charlsie: wow your McDonalds is all fancy
Derision667: Yeah... it's one of the old ones. It had TVs in it, like an actual diner.
Charlsie: the first McDonalds was in NJ? Good to know
Derision667: I know this was an old one, but I doubt it was the first.
Charlsie: now you made me all sad you could have at least pretend it was
Derision667: Ah. Well, it COULD be the first.
Derision667: You never know...
Charlsie: Thank you 
Derision667: No problem.
  • Current Music
    Pink Floyd - Not Now John
I pity the fool!

Good lord, sometimes I miss AIM.

7.03.2002 3:09 PM

Derision667: Howdy.
Charlsie: Hey You
Charlsie: I got yelled at for telling someone that Grimace is a milk shake
Derision667: Oh?
Charlsie: I got into an argument with someone over it
Derision667: What'd they believe that he was?
Charlsie: They didn’t have an answer for that they just said that he was purple and fuzzy and that milk shakes aren’t fuzzy
Derision667: They are if you leave them out long enough.
Derision667: When was the last time Grimace was refrigerated?
Charlsie: Good point I’m going to have to bring that up next time I’m in Literature class
Derision667: That might also explain why he's purple.
Derision667: I've never left a milkshake out that long, but I'm sure there's some kind of color things that happen.
Charlsie: Could be.... don’t think I’m gonna find out anytime soon
Derision667: Tell you what. I got a milk shake last night. I'll start leaving it out now, and in twenty years or so... I'll check it and see if it's purple.
Charlsie: Deal
Derision667: You know... that could also explain the name. After twenty years, that milk shake has got to have a smell.
Derision667: The kind of smell that might even make you... GRIMACE.
Charlsie: !!!
  • Current Music
    Snakehips - All My Friends
Sailing to Philadelphia

Well, that's nice.


It was a shame when the pictures that I'd had hosted on GeoCities and AOL disappeared. ImageShack was supposed to be safe from that. Even now, their site encourages you to "safeguard your hi-res photos in the cloud!" Except, you know, if you've tried to safeguard any of your photos in the cloud during any time other than just right now, you're out of luck. Hmm.

Well, one more chunk of the nostalgia that was this LiveJournal has gone down the shitter. What'll be next?
  • Current Music
    Ladyhawke: Back of the Van
Sailing to Philadelphia

December, 2000.

"Hey, er... am I interrupting anything?"
I shrugged.  "Drinking.  But then, you're doing that, too."
"I mean, I don't want to interrupt anything..."
"Don't worry about it."
"Dude," he started, "you know you could just..."
I drank.
"I mean, it's obvious that you..."
"Off the ride, Man." I opened another bottle of whiskey.
  • Current Music
    David Bowie: Ashes to Ashes
Sailing to Philadelphia

Looking Back

Man, things were fun back in the old days.

I've been looking back over this LiveJournal today and reliving some interesting experiences. I first got my account here back in 2002, when LJ was actually still an invite-only community. jenniever sent me the invite -- I'm not even quite sure why, really -- and I started this thing up. I was never really comfortable with it, though... whereas other people were able to post good spur-of-the-moment, emotional, well constructed entries, I had to edit mine to death, and generally deleted them rather than actually put them up. Most of what did get posted are so over-though and over-edited that they retain very little of what I'd initially intended.

Back then, the internet seemed so much more interesting, because I was just getting really "exposed" to it. I'd had email and so on before, yeah -- I had email as far back as 1996, using my old Commodore 128 -- but in 2002, I was just starting out with things like AIM and so on. I had just gotten, and was using, a Mac, and finding ways to do things on that machine -- and remember, this is 2002, not 2012, so Apple wasn't firmly entrenched as the consumer products monolith that it is now -- was frustrating, to say the least. Nothing was cross-compatible. You simply couldn't do video chat (I don't think there were even any webcams that worked with the Mac) or audio chat, and half the time simple things like file transfers between OSes ended hilariously bad half the time.

My machine, since that time, has gone from a poorly supported PowerMac to a well supported MacBook Pro (though I still use the Phoenix application to post to this), and when searching back through some of my bookmarks (which I have kept all these years), I find that most of the websites I used back then to supplement my search for software are defunct. Even LiveJournal seems largely defunct: exactly zero of the people that I was "friends" with on this are still using it, and even I have barely made any use of it in the past few years.

Not that anybody actually read it, anyway, mind you.

I have a blog called Just West of Hell. I used to write a semi-regular internet column and that site is what it has morphed into. I had, initially, hoped to use this LiveJournal for something of the sort, and then later decided that I would use it instead for "personal" kinds of entries. Neither really happened.

Everything now is Facebook and Twitter -- again, more things that I've never quite gotten the hang of -- so I don't know what to do with this elderly contraption of a blog. It's sitting here, it has a choice username (I mean, seriously, could it get better than ajh.livejournal.com?), and zero people read or use the thing anymore. I stopped paying for my premium membership because I didn't see the point, so most of the awesome userpics that I made are lost. Lord knows what else is.

I wish I could mirror the thing on my computer in case the LJ servers go teats up. That'd be excellent because, though I never could figure out how to use the thing, it is kind of a nice stroll down memory lane... though some of those memories, perhaps, I'd rather forget.

So I guess I'll just leave it here, languishing in the garbage dump of forgotten internet, like so many other people have. And when it eventually goes down -- like the sites I had at GeoCities, AOL Hometown and Longshot Productions -- I'll hope for a mirror or something to pop up somewhere. That's why half the pictures don't load anymore, you know, because they were hosted on my webspace at AOL Hometown or GeoCities. Eh, maybe the WayBackMachine can archive this... though it didn't archive my GeoCities or AOL pages.

I don't know, Man. I'm finding it hard to really put into words what I'm thinking. 2002 was so long ago. I've been through like four jobs, five living situations... a plethora of girlfriends and exes... and yet it sort of still seems like 2002 was just yesterday. Or maybe last week, more aptly. Near enough to actively feel the contrast.

Whatever. Carry on.

  • Current Music
    Dire Straits: Once Upon a Time in the West
Sailing to Philadelphia


Wait, when did this happen?

Ah, Yahoo. So many pointless changes, so few actual updates to your awful service.

I pity the fool!

Cracking the 2012 Pot

Cracking the 2012 Pot
March, 2012

Harold Camping is a bit of a crackpot.

For those blissfully unaware (or outside of the United States, where people seem largely immune to this sort of ridiculosity), Harold Camping is an undead, five hundred-year-old Christian fundamentalist preacher who predicted that, on May 21, 2011, some two hundred million people would be “raptured” and rise, hilariously nude, to heaven while most of us would remain, clothed, on Earth to suffer God’s wrath and eventually die horrible (and presumably still clothed) deaths.

I hesitate to call him a fraud because of this, though there are plenty others that are happy to throw that label at him. Establishing an absolute date and time for your fraud to fall apart is kind of counter-productive to the whole “fraud” thing, you know? So I just call him a crackpot and leave it at that. His predictions made a lot of people uneasy, though, and I can’t really blame them… I think we all felt about the rapture much the same way we feel about getting an STD test: you know that your results are negative, but you still get a little nervous waiting for the phone call.

Some people weren’t so sure their test results were negative, though, and sold off their lives, devoting vast personal fortunes to spreading the word. When May 21 came and went, these people were justifiably miffed. So Harold did what any red-blooded, partially mummified American vampire would do: he “refined” his estimate and pushed it back a few months to October.

The uneventful passing of October hit Harold a bit hard. I kind of felt bad for him, actually, and considered baking him a “Sorry the World Didn’t End” Bundt cake, but then realized that I didn’t actually care all that much, nor do I know how to make a Bundt cake.

Harold Camping isn’t the only one getting caught up in the whole end-times thing, though, and a good deal of it is related to the fact that, a few years ago – around 35 BC – the Mayans made a calendar. They probably made their calendar for the same reasons that we do: to remember when to plant and harvest crops, celebrate anniversaries and holy days, and for noting when Doink the Clown will be signing autographs at the local high school. Except they made their calendar to last: lacking things like Wal-Mart – and paper – there was nowhere to buy a new calendar at the end of the year, so they just devised one really, really long calendar, probably out of rocks or clay or human skulls or something, and decided that was going to have to suffice for the foreseeable future.

And it did suffice, at least for the Mayans’ foreseeable future; the calendar is just now ending and I don’t see anybody still using it. I don’t see any Mayans at all, actually, and I think the only people still paying attention to the calendar are those trying to make a buck selling books and docu-dramas about the end of the world.

See, this extraordinarily long calendar, which began in August of 3114 BC, ends on December 21 of 2012… and that seems reasonable enough, considering that we now have computers and solar calculators and, you know, paper. The Mayans must’ve figured that, by now, we’d have the capability to mass-produce some new calendars with puppies on them, and they could all stop scrambling for places to chisel down their kids’ birthdays and doctor visits.

The Mayans didn’t believe that the end of their calendar marked the end of the world, though – in much the same way that the end of OUR calendars doesn’t mark the end of the world – and that’s something that everyone seems to be missing. The Mayans just looked at it as the end of a cycle, or an age, kind of like how we see the changing of the millennium. Once it was over, another one started, and away we go all over again.

This is where guys like Kalki Bhagavan come in. Again, for those of you who are unaware (as I was four minutes ago), Kalki Bhagavan is an Indian spiritual guru and some fifteen million people seem to think that he’s the tenth incarnation of Vishnu, the supreme god of Hinduism. Aside from recognizing the gloriousness of his beard, I don’t know enough about Kalki to call him either a crackpot or a fraud, so I’m not going to do either. What he’s done, though, is push 2012 as the deadline for human enlightenment to take place. According to Kalki and his group, the degenerate age of humanity (or Kali Yuga, for those interested in making my spell check convulse) is supposed to end, er, about now.

I like this interpretation a lot more than the doomsday prophecies because at least invisible planet Nibiru isn’t crashing through our heads, nor are aliens probing through our butts. I’m not ascending nude to heaven, suffering on earth, cowering in a bunker, or trying to analyze the dispersion of lettuce shreds on my McChicken sandwich for clues as to what to do. Instead, we just get a shiny new age of humanity to contend with. And it’s cool, because whatever this new, enlightened age brings, Rick Santorum’s got the porn aspect covered.

I hate saying his name, and I feel a little dirty just bringing him up because I don’t like to get into politics. Nothing makes me want the world to end more than politics, and there must be some serious end-time prophecy majumbo coming true if Rick Santorum is actually being considered by anyone with any kind of self-awareness for the presidency. If Harold Camping is a crackpot, then Rick Santorum’s entire earthenware cook set is completely pulverized.

Rick Santorum doesn’t like the idea of people having sex for reasons other than “the way things are supposed to be”, which, I suppose, means for the purpose of procreation, because he made that comment whilst discussing the evils of birth control. He particularly doesn’t like it when people do those sorts of things in the “sexual realm”, which I imagine is sort of like another dimension in the infinite multiverse, except populated with lots of sweaty dongs.

He also wants to crack down on porn, and that would be pretty devastating to the porn industry because 89% of it is made right here in the United States. He calls our culture’s acceptance of porn a “pandemic of harm”, though I prefer to think of it as a “porndemic of porn” because that’s much more fun to say. And lord knows that, when you’re a dorky looking potential presidential candidate faced with climate change, nuclear arms proliferation, domestic and foreign terrorism, and a broken economy, the thing that really matters is making sure people keep their tidy brown slacks appropriately zipped.

Here’s a thought: did you know that the porn industry in the United States makes something like 14 billion dollars a year? Worldwide, it’s closer to 100 billion, but 14 billion ain’t nothing to sneeze at, particularly when the United States is like 15 trillion dollars in debt. I bet that, if the government just turned its attention towards making porn instead of trying to regulate it out of existence, we could cancel out that debt in only like a thousand years! Plus, we’d be way too busy to spend inordinate sums of money on stuff like fighting wars. It could totally redefine our society, and maybe that’s what this new age of enlightenment should be about: making porn instead of war. And hey, at least if the world does end, we’ll all be having too much fun to take a lot of notice.

I kind of doubt Rick Santorum would be cool with that, and if there is a new world order coming, I’m not sure I really like his version of it, where we’ll all be nestled with our homogeneous, though absolutely heterogamous, family units, enjoying wholesome fun and appropriately zipped tidy brown slacks, without even so much as an obscene Scrabble game in sight. Honestly, I’ll take Harold Camping’s version of the end of the world over that any day. At least Harold Camping had people being flung around the skies nude.

One can only imagine the glorious, glorious porn that could be produced en route to heaven.



This is the biggest damn shame about upgrading to OSX 10.7.

  • Current Music
    The Beatles: You Like Me Too Much

Bringin' the Heat

Note: This was written back in 2000 and, though I can't say things have changed much since then, I can report that -- thankfully -- Pro Beach Hockey was cancelled immediately after the 2000 season. Wikipedia states that it was canned because ESPN didn't like the ratings, but I like to think that it was because of the number of times I used to make fun of it in my columns.

Bringin' the Heat
May, 2000

Spring has been in the air now for close to a month (I know this primarily because I'm violently allergic to it) and summer looms menacingly around the corner. Old Mister Sun is starting to wake up, and he's staring down at us with his beady little eyes and his two scoops of raisins, ready to get it on.

We all look forward to summer, some of us more than others. It doesn't mean quite as much to me as it used to: when you're young, you know, you anticipate summer like it's almost a religious experience. Summer meant that school was out, you could finally sleep in and go to parties, lay out in the sun and drink hard alcohol from the bottle until parts of you were forcibly expelled through other parts of you. These days, though, in my decrepitude, all it really means to me is that I may have made a mistake when I didn't get my car's air conditioning recharged, and that the NHL season is over so I'm stuck watching Pro Beach Hockey.

There are, though, certain things that I do look forward to with the inevitable coming of summer… and I'm not at all certain that they're good things. Most of them concern some interesting, and entirely questionable, personal lifestyle choices made by various members of our society and most of them are also very definitely funny. Also, it gives me something to write about.

Well, that is, if this summer goes down anything like the last one.

A prime example of the type of questionable lifestyle choice I'm talking about occurred last summer. In case any of you don't remember it, for a few weeks last year we had a massive heat wave inside the toxic bubble that covers most of New Jersey, and for a few days the temperature climbed well into the triple-digit mark and power started going out thanks to the drain of a million non-Energy Star-compliant air conditioners.

Right in the full brunt of this lead-melting stretch of Venusian-esque heat, when the sun was brightest in the sky and you could cook a hearty homestyle breakfast on the sidewalk, thirty or forty people from around the state decided to get together. Not at the local pool, an air conditioned terrace or even the Venera 14 landing site. No, these people gathered on the middle of a stretch of scorching blacktop to have, of all things, a RACE.




IN the heat!

What were these people thinking, you might ask. I know I did, and it so happens that, to this day, I keep a quote from one of the runners highlighted on the community rant board. It was a quote given to a newspaper reporter that asked them what they were thinking, and was supposed to answer the question of "why?":

"Because we know we can do it."

… er, wait, what?

But… but if you know that you can do it, then why do you have to actually do it? Doesn't that seem kind of redundant, and sort of pointless? I mean, hey, look, I know I can jump out of an airborne Cessna without a parachute and tied to a Loony Toons anvil or a pack full of silverware or something, but I'm not going to actually do it. The knowledge that I can is plenty for me: anything else is superfluous, and I don't need a demonstration of my free-fall ability to otherwise convince myself of something that I already know that I can do.

I bet that one thing they also know they can do now is suffer from heat stroke.

On a different note, aside from the questionable lifestyle choices like the [dated] one above, with the slow churning of summer I also get to look forward to the return of a person who I like to call Crazy Lawnmower Man: the only guy on the face of the planet who, for some inexplicable reason, feels the urge to mow his lawn four times a week with the loudest, most elderly lawnmower in existence, and always when I have the windows open and am on the phone trying to have an important conversation.

The guy is a menace. Grass doesn't grow anywhere near as fast as he cuts the stuff, and to compensate he's taken to cutting other people's lawns, in a stop-and-go fashion: he stops when I close the windows and when I re-open them, the son of a bitch starts back up. For some reason, people don't seem to try to deter him from invading their yard with his wretched noise machine. He just doesn't quit: he even tried to mow my lawn, once, and not even baseballs lobbed at him from a second story window seemed to darken his mood.

He's not as bad as the chicken, though.

The chicken, you ask? Yes, the chicken: my avian wake-up call.

In the great wonder of biological diversity that is our planet, few creatures have achieved the level of pompous, loudmouthed arrogance that the male chicken has. The rooster is, and preferably will remain, the only bird in the known history of the universe that makes a blood-curdling, belching, Pavarotti-esque squawk at the same bloody time every frikkin' morning.

And my neighbors have one.

Actually, I'm of the belief that there have to be at least three roosters crowing in unison, possibly in harmony, and I believe they may have professional PA equipment: they live a few houses down and yet the decibel level in my bedroom each morning continues to rival what Sam Kinison would sound like were he alive and living inside your Eustachian tube.

That's a fun way to wake up.

My neighbors keep their, ehrm, roostershop quartet locked up in the basement during the winter because, I guess, roosters get cold or something. Maybe they spent the winter rehearsing. Either way, during the colder months, I never hear them. Come summer, though, the barnyard strikes back and the chickens take over with their clucking and yodeling and cocka-doodle-dooing…

What the hell am I look forward to summer for, anyway?!

The more I think about it, the more I realize that, Man, summer sucks! I can't sleep, thanks to my chicken friends; I can't communicate with anyone outside my house because of Crazy Lawnmower Man and his Crazy Lawnmower Noise; I can't even watch a reasonably entertaining game of hockey. What's summer good for, anyway?

I dunno, maybe it's not good for anything… but I've already got a nearly endless supply of eggs for cooking on the sidewalk and, by God, my lawn is immaculate.

I miss winter already.

Angry AJ


March, 1998

There used to be this spider that lived in my bathroom. I'm not entirely sure what kind of spider he was -- the best resemblance I could find was that of a Tasmanian Cave Spider though, for all I know, he could be anything -- but, regardless of what species, he was a pretty frikkin' big spider. I mean, if you were to measure the diameter of his legs whilst stretched -- assuming you could get close enough to him to get his legs stretched out in the first place -- you'd have a spider of at least four or five feet across.

The usual scenario would go like this: I would wake up in the morning and groggily stumble into the shower. During that shower, my spider friend would feel it necessary to descend from his web into the shower with me. I would, mid-lather, notice him hanging three or four inches in front of my face. I would also notice that I'm naked, and then I would scream like a four year old girl and jump out of the shower.

I don't like to kill things, no matter how awful and creepy they are. I'm the kind of guy that'll go to extreme measures to capture a rogue living room bumblebee for release outside. The first dozen or so times the spider appeared, then, I took no action aside from going back to bed and crying for a while. This is not, however, a routine that is particularly conducive to starting one's day on a positive note, so I eventually started building up the nerve to try to relocate him.

Early attempts involved attempting to grab him with a pair of needle-nosed pliers, which were, for some reason, in the bathroom. The unfortunate result of this failed attempt was the loss of one of his legs -- a loss that he did not seem to mind much, though it gave me the jibblies. Several more attempts were made, over the following days, that included the use of cups, bags, boxes and glue, none of which were successful.

Out of desperation, one day I finally just shot him with the shower nozzle, hoping to knock him out of the way. Instead, though, he hit the tub and whirlpool'ed down the drain. Success, I thought! I'd finally gotten rid of him!

Until he came back the next day.

Eventually this became something of a game, finding new ways to try to get rid of him. One day I used the toilet brush to roll up his web, cotton candy style, and then flush him and his web down the toilet. Another time, I used a can of hair spray and a match to attempt a torching. I may have even, at one point, resorted to using bug spray.

Alas, it was all to no avail. No matter how many times he was killed, the sightings continued, like elderly Elvises (Elvi?) at shopping malls. In honor of this, and despite the fact that I question the sultriness of his hip gyrations, I named him Elvis.

One night I had just gotten home and was sitting at this very computer trying to do some kind of work, when I noticed something out of the corner of my eye, wandering across the keyboard. I was a rather bedraggled looking, seven-legged spider.


Before I could do anything, like emit a high-pitched scream, he had stumbled off the keyboard and was between the desk and the wall, where I couldn't get to him. Well, I figured, he can't stay there forever, and hopefully will just continue walking until he's in the open, and then I'll be able to get at him. I ran downstairs and got several utensils, a jar and a fly swatter, and when I came back I began the quest to find him. All for naught, though, as he was gone: I'd lost him.

Talk about paranoia. Talk about arachnophobia!

I sat crouched on my chair with a flyswatter in one hand, a flashlight in the other and several boxes and jars with which to confine him crammed around me, scanning the walls and floor for a spider I was certain would, at any moment, come screaming from the shadows dripping venom and hate. I was so paranoid I was actually looking inside my can of soda before I drank from it, as if a spider that was bigger than the can itself would somehow be able to nonchalantly wander into it and be waiting there for me. I couldn't just let it be: I knew, deep down, that if I left him alone, he'd come out when I least expected it. He'd come back to make life miserable.

After crouching awkwardly on my chair for fourteen or fifteen hours, I decided to finally give it a rest and try to get some sleep. I'd been looking for what felt like days and hadn't seen a thing. Deciding to make sure it actually was him, I checked the bathroom -- sure enough, he was not there. I returned, warily, to my bedroom, grabbed my flyswatter and flashlight, crossed them over my chest like I was some kind of exterminator pharaoh, and tried to drift off.

Sleep does not come easily when you've got Kumonga lurking in the shadows, though, and I found myself waking up randomly throughout the night in stark paranoia. I'd open my eyes, scan the room with the flashlight, and then try to get back to sleep. At 2AM, I again awoke, only this time there was something different.

Turning my flashlight on, I saw him. Hovering, Mission Impossible-style, on a web a mere three inches above my face loomed the giant, mildly singed, seven-legged spider. I stared at him for a moment and he stared back at me, the black of his eyes telling me that he was tired of being kicked around by some naked guy in the shower. It was payback time.

Frozen though I was, my hand slowly moved and reached for the flyswatter. I swung it blindly and nailed him: he flew off the swatter and against the wall, landing on the carpet. He wasn't dead, though he was a little discombobulated, staggering around drunkenly.

I got up and looked around. It was still dark in the room and I couldn't find any of the boxes or bottles. I couldn't just leave him alone, either. Stepping on him was out of the question -- I had no shoes on and he'd probably just grab my foot and throw me around if I tried -- so I opened the bedroom door and swung the flyswatter like a 9 iron, ejecting him from the room.

In my heroic swing, however, he sailed right across the hallway, back into the bathroom, and under the bathtub, which was one of those old-timey types with the feet. I warily shined my flashlight under the tub, but could see nothing clear except dust bunnies and wilted linoleum. I had to have taken him out, though -- nothing could survive a swatting like that. Elvis, ladies and gentlemen, had left the building.

Dateline, 9AM. Shower time. Happy that I'd rid myself of my gyrating, hunka-hunka blue suede spider once and for all, I gleefully hopped into the shower, cranking up the steam. After a few moments, mid-lather, I realized that, once again, there was a large, beat-up, mildly singled, seven-legged spider hanging three or four inches in front of me, and also that I was naked. I screamed like a four year old girl and jumped out of the shower. Grabbing the first thing I saw, an old magazine, and thwapped him out of the air. His lifeless body sailed quietly down the drain.

And I look forward to seeing him again tomorrow morning.