Beware the Rides of March!


Tuesday tried to kill me on the drive in to work. It didn’t act alone, either. Daylight Savings Time set me up to be completely exhausted and sugar crashing, despite having eaten a normal breakfast. There doesn’t seem to be a clock reset for my gastrointestinal tract, so I just have to keep enforcing the new schedules until we settle on some sort of compromise.

It’s sort of like dealing with the kitten. I pour a glass of water for my pills, and Fischer jumps up on the counter to stick his nose in it. I move the glass to the other side of the crock pot that blocks his way. He jumps over the pot as I fiddle with the safety packaging on my sinus meds. I pick up the glass again and try to move it to the kitchen island. Now Bogart is entwined in my feet, and I’m stuck there with a glass of water in one hand, a half-exposed pair of capsules, and two cats staring at me.

I’m not sure whether my internal clock or I am the kitten in this comparison. That probably means it’s a terrible analogy, but I’m completely exhausted since the time change so it’s just going to have to do the job.

Anyway, Tuesday was trying to kill me.

This was one day before the latest big storm so the roads were clear, the snow was melting, and everything was various shades of drab. I was driving my Ion to work, as Wendi and I had separate plans for the evening.

You know how most accidents happen near home? It’s not just because that’s where you mostly are. A big part of it is that we tend to disengage — run on auto-pilot — when faced with the routine.

So there I was, wiped out and zoning out, driving down a dreary country road. My brain noticed that my eyes had picked up something out-of-place. Blearily, it checked out what seemed to be a patch of dirt that loped across my view. There was something familiar but misplaced…

Deer! I hit the brakes and slowed rapidly as three deer passed in front of me. Down to 20 mph, I barely missed the last one. I’ve never yet hit a deer, and I really don’t want to test my little coupe against one.

But Tuesday was just warming up.

Now I was awake and acutely aware of my surroundings. Too aware, as it turned out, because I then noticed movement in the car. On my steering wheel.

There was a spider on my steering wheel!

For those of you who are newer to Atomic Zombie land, spiders are my natural predator. They have mocked and pursued me since childhood. I don’t care how beneficial they are, the scheming little bastards are vile and filled with tiny, bitey loathing for humanity. And now one sat on my steering wheel, probably considering options for attack.

I withdrew my fingers as much as possible, until I barely had the tips on the wheel. Twist, turn, down the road I went, peering intently at the spider while searching for more deer. Every time the spider moved I flinched. Every time I turned the wheel to follow another curve, the spider moved.

Recipe for disaster: 1 spider, gently resting on the steering column; 1 arachnophobe at the wheel, pre-agitated; Send driver down winding roads at 55 mph for 10 minutes, then dodge potholes on city roads.

I can’t explain how I managed to reach the parking lot without crashing. Nor do I know where the spider landed when it fell off the wheel after a sharp turn. For hours I suspected that the infernal thing had hitched a ride on my jeans.

If it did land on me it must have abandoned its schemes. Maybe it saw all of the scabs from Fischer biting and scratching me and realized it just couldn’t compete with that level of determined attack.

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