Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Of eyeglasses and creepy, crawly things
It was going to be about the Twinkie I bought from Mayor Ted Gatsas for big bucks at the Santa Fund kickoff, but now there is confusion about the Hostess Company going under, so my Twinkie has lost its value. So I made it my Thanksgiving Day pie competition entry and finished dead last.
Instead, let us talk of creepy crawly things.
The lady of the house telephoned me at work the other night, genuine stress in her voice.
"There's a disgusting, live thing in the dining room!'' she said.
My first guess was Mike, the middle grandson. Mike cleans up nicely, but he can look a little intimidating at times, especially his hair.
But, no. She said this thing had six or more legs (Mike has but two), was black and had come to her attention as she unrolled a new rug for our new home.
Consulting with experts here at the paper, the guessing was that it was a bug in the rug and that it had crawled out to enjoy its new surroundings.
When I got home, I found the creature trapped beneath a large plastic cup, atop which the lady had balanced about 10 ton of weights.
I carefully removed all this stuff. The creature appeared to be a spider, a big one, with strange white dots on its legs and underside.
I didn't want to mess with it so after taking its picture, CSI-like, I flipped it back into its cup. It seemed sticky.
Online, there are many spider sites. By process of elimination, I decided that this was probably a Daring Jumping Spider. One online expert had dozens of pictures sent to him of every kind of spider imaginable. And to each inquiry, his reply was, "Yep, looks like a Daring Jumping Spider to me.''
I reported my findings to the lady of the house and assured her she could rest easy. Unless, of course, some of those black dots on her new rug were not part of the pattern but Daring Jumping Spider eggs.
But the next morning, the former little Missy came over to drop off Mike. She took one look at our Daring Jumping Spider, which seemed to have frozen solid after its night in the garage.
"That's the kids' fake spider from Halloween,'' she said.
Which explains why it was sticky (rubber will do that), and why this is a story about glasses.
The lady of the house is in need of new ones, as am I. But I had convinced her to wait until the new year, when either our group insurance or Obamacare will lower our out-of-pocket cost.
I have a hunch we won't be waiting any longer.
Write to Joe McQuaid at firstname.lastname@example.org.