I stand corrected, and in costume

On Sunday morning, my dad was welcomed in his capacity as CEO of the plastic insulation project that my captain and I were stapling to my old screen porch.
My dad is very good at many things, including it would seem, catching my misuse of the English language when he read last week’s column.
“It’s not a gander of geese, it’s a gaggle,” he said, standing there.
My captain piped up in concurrence: “A gander is a male goose, as in what’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” officially outnumbering my bid to protest.
And then, while working a pair of pliers, while standing on a ladder and pulling out all the staples I’d left in the wood last spring after I ripped off the plastic, my captain spilled out of most of the “Goosey Goosey Gander” nursery rhyme.
Surprised by this recitation and raising my eyebrow to meet that of Dr. Spock, I thought to myself, “Hmmm, my captain is wise in sweet form and a man of mystery.”
Not to mention that he’s all for finishing the project at hand.
“Check” went the pencil to the list in my head.
So later that day, when my captain departed for his neck of the woods and his own household projects earmarked for completion, I swallowed back the urge to ask the big question.
But then, just as he drove out of the driveway, I waved my arms and shouted, “Wait! Could you come back? I have spiders in the basement!”
Alas, I was too late as my voice fell unheard and wayside in the distance.
I pouted for five minutes and then channelled “Yosemite Sam,” ate some chocolate, grew some nerve, put on my big girl pants, and got suited up for the dreaded trip downstairs to clean and to face my arch-enemy.
With a fear of spiders dropping by the handfuls from the basement ceiling, I figured a solid unit of headgear wouldn’t hurt. I rummaged in the tea towel drawer and found an old triangle of cloth, wrapped it around my head, and tucked in my ear lobes.
I then donned my leather work gloves, a pair of safety goggles, stuck my feet in some old gum rubbers, and unscrewed the broom handle to use as a weapon—good for whacking inanimate objects from a distance that may be home to unwanted horribles.
As I descended the staircase to the basement, I chanted about all the really good things that I was going to do to de-stress when this chore was all over—hot shower, more chocolate, and Frank Sinatra music.
Through sweat and toil, I tackled dust bunnies and spiders, including the biggest and meanest-looking ones that jumped out of their webbed traps when I doused them with the “evil spray can of death.”
They could be heard hitting the basement floor—and for the ones that tried to make a run for it, escape was futile. The broom handle came in handy.
“Millie” the cat was stretched out snoozing at the top of the stairs when I clamoured up from the basement, sweaty and out of breath.
She took one look at me, and with bulging eyes of terror, jumped straight to the ceiling and around the top of the wall before escaping like a shot through a crack in the porch door.
Then I glanced in the mirror. Lord have mercy. It was a stroke of luck that my captain didn’t return to my doorstep that day to retrieve his coffee cup.
I looked like I stepped out of an apocalyptic horror movie, not to mention the cloth on my head—having been part of a sieving device for making tomato sauce was stained and made me look as if I was bleeding to death.
Guess what I’m wearing for Hallowe’en?

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