Thursday, November 8, 2012

What Has 8 Legs and Protects Daughters?

As a first time father to a new baby girl, I am already hatching a plan to ward off would be suitors when I finally allow Annabelle to date 30 or so years from now.

Sure, my first inclination was to immediately drive out to my nearest Big 5 Sporting Goods store and purchase that tried and true symbol of fatherly protection - the 12 gauge shotgun -which has undoubtedly served it's purpose for countless teeth gritting dad's over literally hundreds of years.

But then I also thought of Lukas & Annabelle and what having a gun in the house would actually mean, and I knew that this just wouldn't do. (Yes, in the scenario I just laid out one would assume Lukas would be 35 and still living at home, but just roll with it okay? Need I remind you that I'm the father of an newborn?)

So, of course I next thought of Spiders.  My internal conversation was something like  "Spiders!! Brilliant.  Yes, that would be perfect. Spiders!!"

Allow me to explain.  Back when I was starting High School I had a sister who was 2 years older than me and beginning to date.  In fact, I still have her but she is well past the dating age now, being happily married for 27 years.  But back then she would bring a her potential boyfriends home to hang out and meet our parents.

And notably our Dad.

We grew up on the family dairy farm, which my father and brother still operate today, and actually owned a couple of shotguns at the time.  But did my dad ever try to intimidate these boys with a gun?  Nope.  He used spiders.  Yes, spiders!  You see, the farm has a signature old red barn with high ceilings built by my great grandfather back in 1922.

The Iconic Family Farm Barn

The ceilings are the floorboards of the hay loft above, and in the rafters of that ceiling the spiders have been spinning webs since the beginning of time itself. That would be 1922 for purposes of this story.

It was in that old red barn that my dad would send these boys, armed with a pair of goggles, a broom, and instructions to clean out the layers of ancient cobwebs.  This was surely the nastiest job ever invented, and few survived more than a few minutes at it before deciding it was time to go home.  Brilliant!

Not the actual inside of the barn, but you get the picture.
Photo credit

Now, I don't suppose I would drive any of Annabelle's potential suitors an hour and a half south to the farm when the time comes, but....I am thinking that if I gather enough large spiders, release them into my garage, then lock the door for a couple of decades, I just may have a pretty decent deterrent for any punk who thinks he is good enough to date my little girl. Ha!

With that said, there will be no more smashing in my house.  We will henceforth always use the cup trick to cover, catch, and release our eight legged friends into the garage.

Sure enough the boys will come in a few years.  But when they do this dad will be ready for them, complete with a pair of goggles and a trusty broom.


daniel said...

It would deter me - I'm arachnophobic

Hey Monkey Butt said...

Spiders are evil! WE gotta take care of our girls though! ;)

WILLIAM said...

Spiders would keep me away

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorite stories that grandpa tells :) He still thinks it is hilarious. Good thinking to keep up the tradition Uncle Jimmie!


Gary said...

Great idea!

I'm the father of two little girls (2 1/2 and 8 months) and have also been considering getting my gun skills on. So this spider concept is creative for sure though I think I would be more scared of spiders than the boys coming for my daughters.

Not to mention my wife would probably go buy the gun to shoot the spiders and me if I tried it! :)

Fun post, thanks.

Juli said...

I'm the only girl in this house. And sadly, I have to kill all the spiders. AND I'M ALLERGIC.


Got any other hints to keep the boys away. Seriously, I could use a nap...

James (SeattleDad) said...

@daniel - I'm not! Thankfully, too since I am on spider patrol often around here.

@Hey - Yes, we do. I was once a teenager and that gives me special insight.

@William - That's the reaction I am looking for.

@Kelsi - It will be a part of the family lore, for eons to come. Thanks for stopping by.

@Gary - I would normally stomp, or squish them, but I have been taught the gentler method of catch and release by Mrs. LIAYF of all people. She likes spiders.

@Juli - Surely someone else is game enough to do spider duty at your house. Oh, I don't know....make the girls super tough. That can intimidate the boys.