Here’s my new neighbour. He moved in during the summer and was living in my air conditioner although I didn’t know it. He told me his name is Spindler and so far he seems to be quite friendly. I first noticed him outside the bedroom window one morning when I pulled up the blind. He was waving at me and offering me a cup of coffee.
“Hello neighbour”, he shouted through the window pane. Noticing my shocked appearance it was then that he explained how he came to be on my window screen.
“We were here all summer.”
“We?” I replied hesitantly, fearing an influx of spiders.
“Yep, me and my boy camped out in that nice big box you stuck out your window.”
Still leery about an invasion I said “Ummm … just the two of you?”
“Yes sir, just me and Webster,”
“Yes, my son.” he stated proudly. “We were there all summer then one day we went to get Webster some new shoes for school and when we came back our cottage had been taken.”
So when I removed the air conditioner I didn’t see them because they had gone shopping. Now I was getting the picture. Trying to be neighbourly and get a grip on things at once, I mentioned that it must be a significant expense to buy new shoes for a spider, given the number of legs and all. Spindler explained that they only buy one pair at a time and rotate them, much like car tires.
Not wanting to pry, I ask about Webster’s mother.
“That’s very sad,” Spindler said. “She was killed. It was in the newspaper.”
“I must have missed that obituary.” I replied.
“No no, she was in the newspaper, she got swatted by a sports section.”
“But you know something mister, it’s not fair. In the spider world all the attention is given to the widows, Black Widow this and Black Widow that. We poor widowers don’t get diddly!”
I was starting to warm up to this guy. He was clearly a bright, well-spoken addition to the neighbourhood. When I mentioned this he said that should not come as a surprise, spiders have a long history of intelligence, from Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza, to modern day public and media relations professionals.
“Public Relations?”, I asked.
“Certainly, we’re naturals when it comes to putting a spin on things,” boasted Spindler.