A country mouse goes to the city

I’m not difficult to wake in the morning. In fact, I know my faculties slam into high gear even before my eyes open.
Therefore, Mother Nature (should you be reading this), my day doesn’t need a further jump-start from a big, ugly spider staring at me from the bathtub when I sit down on the “loo.”
What’s with spiders and bathtubs anyway? And how, for the love of Pete, do they get in there?
According to “Spider Myths” on the Internet, and despite what all the scary movies would have us believe, spiders can’t swim through the water trap in the plumbing and up into the tub. What a relief.
But that leads me to worry that the big, hairy arachnids crawl from someplace else in the house and into the tub, like, say, from inside the toilet paper roll or across my pillow as I’m sleeping.
Needless to say, a trip to Winnipeg over the weekend provided me with a welcome reprieve from thinking about the eight-legged, fanged menace at 2 a.m.
Instead, I spent the four-hour road trip summoning up a plan to avoid the one-way street I’d had an accident on the last time I was in the city—and to not get lost on my way in and out of the big metropolis like I did last year.
However, that mindset didn’t help me forget the look of utter abandonment on the face of “Dot” when we took her to the kennel for the weekend. And as if being locked up—period—wasn’t bad enough, I’d decided to have her incarcerated in the same cell as her playful tormentor, “Cash.”
I was sure to be scratched off both dogs’ “best friend” list for 48 hours.
Meanwhile, despite my best efforts, my trip in the city came with at least one monkey wrench. For starters, I missed the exit ramp from the Trans-Canada onto the Perimeter Highway.
I hurled expletives at my big green truck for its lack of a global positioning system, screamed at the looming city of Winnipeg “I don’t like you!” and merged (a driving stunt I detest) with eastbound traffic to make another go of it.
Thankfully, the rest of the incoming journey was fast, furious, and plotted, using stand-in GPS model Daughter #3.
And to avoid further wrongdoing this time around, I planned a route from our hotel to the mall that didn’t require me to drive the one-way system at all. Granted, the detour took us 25 more minutes to get to the shopping network, but it still made me feel better.
The only time it appeared to be a stupid idea was Saturday morning after drinking a pot of coffee and forgetting to use the hotel “loo” (no spiders included).
Though zipping through traffic with a full bladder did trim a few minutes off our travel time, I wasted more than my share in the mall bathroom when I realized the toilet flushed when I stood up.
I spent vital bra-shopping time standing up and sitting down again. That was more exciting than finding a D-cup on sale.
I know what you’re thinking—I don’t get out much—and you’re right. Case in point was finding another bathroom in the shopping centre where, when you wave at the toilet paper, it rolls out automatically.
That’s two new inventions I might have to put on the “loo to do” list for Pete when he decides to build his larger-than-life outhouse.
I managed to and from the hotel the rest of the weekend without incident, save a narrow miss of a deer hopping through downtown traffic, and a “shake your head” moment when I decided it was okay to drive through a red light.
Lady luck must have been working overtime.
Thankfully, this country mouse is back in the sheltered life of the farmhouse, no worse for city-wear other than a smaller pocketbook. The dogs, too, came away unscathed by their kennel confinement and put me back at the top of the list as soon as they saw their blanket at the foot of my bed.
But no sooner did I have the keys in the door was I right back in the loo, after drinking too much water on the long trip home. There, I came face to face with my nemesis poised to jump from the inside of the tub after an undisturbed weekend of crawl space.
No matter what the Internet says, I think spiders can plug their nose and swim underwater in this Mickey Mouse plumbing.
But I’ll take them any day over city driving.

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