Part 7

The time had come for the battle between the gargantuan spiders and our rights to evict our sitting tenants. As much as I wanted a boat that was spider free to work on, and eventually live on, I found it hard to muster up the courage to confront the beasts. I knew that being an independent woman I should be able to remove the spiders from the bathroom without the need for a death to occur, but secretly I was hoping the opening of the bathroom door would reveal that the tenants had left in our absence.

‘Have they gone?’ I asked with a chirpy voice that I hoped would mask the fear inside.

‘Nope, they’re still here but I’ll get them out when it’s necessary’ Simon said.

'When it’s necessary' - this confused me, it had been necessary to remove the beasts from the moment Simon had informed me of their existence, surely the time was now? Simon however passed me the power screwdriver and suggested I start removing some screws.

I thought about this for a minute, he couldn’t possibly want me to enter the room with the tenants in, so he must believe I could remove more screws from the remaining wood outside. Slowly I started to take the screws out from the outer walls keeping the bathroom door firmly closed and praying that the wall would not collapse and leave me open to the mercy of the tenants. After awhile I really could not find anymore screws so I contemplated the situation of what to do next and decided confronting the issue was best.

‘Simon I’ve taken out all the screws from outside’ I said cheerily.

‘Excellent work’ he replied, ‘I suspect there are some inside the bathroom that’s why the walls haven’t come down’

He could not possibly be suggesting that I went into the bathroom and shared the room with the tenants whilst removing screws, my fear of spiders as irrational as it is, has been around for along time. Once when I was teenager my Dad was away for the night, oldest brother staying at his girlfriends and I found a spider in my bedroom. It was huge and no glass could fit over the top to cage the monster. I rang my youngest brother and told him my predicament and asked for help, he told me to get real and ignore it. It was midnight and I had woken him up; I abandoned the upstairs of the house to the spider and slept on a very uncomfortable MFI sofa instead. The fear has never really subsided and this was going to be a problem.

Simon watched my face drain to a rather unattractive shade of puce, and then asked if I wanted the spiders removed? Hallelujah the penny had finally dropped and the tenants were out. I went and stood as far away as I could from the place of residency and then to my surprise Simon got a container. Normally when Simon removes spiders he just picks them up with his bare hands, and I watch in awe and admiration at my hero. Now I looked quizzically as he returned with the container, hoping he wasn’t going to give them names and make them resident boat pets.

‘They’re big’ he said simply.

I felt the bile rise in my throat, if Simon couldn’t pick them up they must be world record breaking spiders and I decided to close my eyes till the moment was over. I heard movement around the boat, door open and close and footsteps up and down the stairs.

‘You can open your eyes’

I did and then Simon threw something towards me as he laughed the laugh of a serial maniac, I screamed and he laughed louder, I ducked and jumped out of the way and thought I was going to cry, but fought the urge trying till the end to be an independent lady.

I then realized Simons laughter was not maniac laughter but gentle fun laughter and turned to him slowly, ‘you...........’, he thought he was funny. In his eyes they were still just spiders and I realized I would always need Simon for monster removal and started to join in the laughter.