Today, I unwittingly set the stage for a zombie attack unlike any that has ever been seen in movie theatres.
Let me explain.
I was raised Buddhist, and I’ve been a practicing Buddhist throughout most of my adult life. All of that came to an end when I moved to France. This is because Buddhists are not supposed to Kill Any Living Thing, and I’ve been killing all kinds of living things since I moved here.
We have rodents of various sorts in our house. And we have flies and other winged bugs. We also have ants and spiders. This might make it sound like I suck, but believe me, I keep a clean house. It’s just that we live in the wilderness, so it’s hard to prevent the critter invasion. It’s just a part of life here.
Of these, the spiders are the worst. They’re large and active and there are a lot of them. I mean, there are hoards of them. For some reason, they’re all up on the ceiling; they build highways for themselves that you can admire when you look up. And I do look up. I look up because I know the spiders are there, and I need to keep an eye on their activities at all times.
Getting rid of them has been an adventure in itself. You can’t escort spiders out when they’re on the ceiling. I mean, you can’t get up on a ladder with a piece of thin cardboard and a cup and slide the cardboard carefully under the spider with the cup on top and cover him and carry him outside to set him free. Okay, so you can… but you can’t. When there are 15 spiders on the ceiling and there’s one ladder and one you with your one measly set of upper body muscles with no upper body muscle reserve to take over when the first set of muscles start to burn from doing stuff repetitively over your head and your neck starts to ache, it just doesn’t work. So I had to think of a different way of getting rid of the spiders. Killing them was the only answer.
My killing instrument of choice is the vacuum cleaner. It’s the easiest. I’m sure there’s a special place in hell for me (Buddhists do believe in a kind of hell, in a complicated, philosophical way). I must have murdered hundreds of spiders by now, and I hate to think about the last moments of their little spidery lives, violently pulled into a pitch-black canister where they frantically try to escape and eventually suffocate to death.
Today, though, something happened that exponentially increased the horror. Today’s batch of spiders got cremated alive inside the vacuum cleaner bag.
It was an accident. It’s December, and we live in the Alpes, where it’s very cold. Like most people around here, we rely on a wood stove to heat up our little house. The fire requires maintenance throughout the day, which Callaghan the Husband provides. Nothing much has ever happened until this morning when Callaghan took the vacuum hose from me to suck up the ash and cinder that had just fallen out of the stove when he opened it up. You see? It was the overlapping circumstance of him tending to the fire at the same time that I was vacuuming spiders. You can probably guess where this is going… he accidentally vacuumed up some hot ember and set the vacuum cleaner on fire, and we didn’t even realize it until we smelled something burning and looked over to see smoke pouring out of the canister.
Callaghan hastily took the vacuum cleaner outside (meaning, he took two long strides to the door – that’s how small our house is) and opened the canister out on the terrace. He placed the bag on the freezing wet terrace floor, poured water on it and came in. Half an hour later, the bag was still smoking, so he broke the ice that covered the top of a full pail of water and submerged the vacuum bag.
Now, we have a bag of spider ashes frozen into a block of ice after the bodies had burned for 30 minutes. I’m saddened by the idea that the spiders met their end in this horrific way, sucked up and burned alive. Their only crime was that they were in the wrong place.
I would say that on the bright side, we know for sure that these particular spiders aren’t coming back, but the possibility exists that the ashes will gather themselves into zombie spiders and break free from their icy prison to get revenge, because they will certainly be angry with us for torching them. And who knows how an angry (and hungry, since zombies are hungry by definition) hoard of zombie spiders will launch its attack? Hell, who knows how French zombie spiders will behave? Is my French even good enough for me to reason with them?
I don’t want to find out. I guess we’ll continue adding to our emergency supply of water, since stocking up on water pretty much covers your ass in any sort of situation. Beyond that, I don’t know.