Monday, August 25, 2008
and you wonder why i'm always on the edge
First, I'm looking back thru all my old posts, and I'm shocked....totally SHOCKED, that I never blogged about Fred.

No.. not Fred the Giant Spider (who we all figured out was really "Fredwina"), but FRED.

Fred is a giant centipede that made it into our house as a (gasp, splutter)... PET. Yup. And hey - giant spider, giant centipede, get used to it. We're in Texas and you know what they say about everything is bigger in Texas... (and right about now, my husband is nudging me to tell you about - ahem- other things that are bigger in Texas. Alas, I don't feel the need to stoke his ego right now, and it doesn't matter anyway so on with the story.

I never blogged about him! How could I have never blogged about him!? We've had him since mid-May. I know this because we tried to sell him at our garage sale but no one would buy him. Still.... damn. I can't believe I never blogged about him!

So, first - of course all you kids require PHOTOGRAPHIC evidence of how large this behemoth is. And please, don't go calling CNN about it, because no way do I want to be compared to the Sasquatch hunters that found Bigfoot and stuffed him in their freezer. Besides, this ain't no HOAX like those OTHER people did!

But lookee here:

He's not 11 inches long, he's closer to 8 inches, but he kept crawling up the ruler and wouldn't stop.

So proof? Ya'll believe me now about how big this son of a bitch is? OK!

We've had him since mid-May. Luckily, we know it's a boy centipede because we've not heard the pitter-patter of many feet from any unwanted offspring while he's been ours. His name will stay "Fred".

Fred lived in a terrarium in our pantry. He came to our house because Ashton and her friend came inside one rainy afternoon and told us there was "some centipede-looking thing" on our front porch. Turns out...he's a centipede. Fred was almost dead. Gripped in the throes of death because the Terminex guy had just come, my husband took pity on him and brought him inside. He then proceeded to nurse him back to health. Let me repeat that. "He nursed him back to health!". The kids thought Fred was the bomb, and became our newest pet. He had an awesome "EWWWW!" factor. But eventually, the cats clued in to our newest creepy crawly addition and took to watching Fred like minature crack-whores waiting for the rock to be passed to them. They also took to batting at the cage and I became afraid they would knock the terrarium over thus releasing the insect from hell.

Strangely enough, they DID knock the cage over, but that was about 2 weeks ago. Luckily - the cage fell over on it's top, trapping Fred under 2 inches of dirt of which he managed to dig out. Of course - the close call freaked me out and I began DEMANDING the release of Fred into the wild. My husband agreed and thereupon began "forgetting" everyday to complete the ONE TASK I had imposed upon him. Hate him sometimes.

And that brings us to Friday.

Friday, my husband & I left the house on a rare grown-ups night out. We had a perfectly enjoyable night of sushi & saki. Then we went home. My husband was first to notice that something was amiss.

"'re not going to believe this hunny, but I think Fred is out."

At this point, I found myself standing on the dining room table, calmly asking "WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE'S OUT!?"

"Ummm....someone jacked with the cage and the top is loose and he's gone." "WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE'S GONE?! FIND HIM!" "Well it's kinda hard you know! He doesn't actually respond when you whistle!"

Oh for gawds sake. So we were never able to determine who released him, but Ethan was looking a mite guilty when the kids were queried the next morning. I did my best to install guilt in them by telling them that they MUST look at their shoes before they put them on in the mornings, and they MUST check in their beds before going to sleep at night (because I lost an entire night of sleep just knowing that THING was going to crawl on me). If mama can't sleep at night...ain't NO ONE gonna sleep at night!

By Sunday, Fred had still not been located, but the kids were on edge. Never reaching into crannies without hitting the sides of their toyboxes first, and ever so carefully shaking their shoes out before putting them on. On Sunday night, we came to the conclusion that the cats must have had a late night snack, due to the fact that Olivia was sporting a suspicious looking boo-boo on one fuzzy paw.

We began to sleep easier. The kids had their first day back to school, and we were having a nice kid-friendly dinner of hot dogs & fries and talking about their day. All the kids were at the table, and I was standing at the island in our kitchen asking them about their favorite part of school when Fred made an appearance.

I noticed him first. I think my immediate reaction was to suck in the longest breath of air while simultaneously going 'HUNH! HUNH! HUNH!' and trying to point. Running along the baseboards about 2 feet away from Ashton was Fred. She looked at me blankly while trying to figure out the charade I was pulling "What!?" she asked quizzically, "HUNH HUNH HUNH HUUUUUUUNHHH!!!! IT'S FREEEEEEEED!" I managed to wheeze out while successfully indicating his location.


Poor Ashy. Her little head whipped to the right and she immediately spotted him. She unleashed a volley of screams that are STILL reverberating in my head, and managed to vault from a sitting position all the way to the living room in one bound.

Ethan, who suddenly became spring-loaded via his butt, popped up onto the kitchen table, bounded onto the island, sprung into the dining room and vanished up the stairs while wailing like a runaway locomotive.

Avery was strapped into her booster seat but STILL managed to climb over her chair (with the booster clamped to her ass) and over my husband while sobbing hysterically.

My husband was in the middle of the chaos yelling 'COOOOOL IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!' over all the screaming. (mine included)

None of us cooled it.

He managed to find a jar and capture the wayward critter. It's ever so ugly. But by God! I've never been so happy to see it in all my life! Now it's gone daddy gone. I had my man lug it out a good quarter mile away and release it to the wild where it can eat a stray cat or two.

And my kids? They are sleeping easily in beds that they didn't have to whap before settling down for the night.

I cannot believe that I have not blogged about Fred before now......
posted by Norman at 7:05 PM | Permalink |


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