Every morning, when I step outside my camper, I hold my breath wondering what I will find in the bathhouse. Will the showers be clean? Will they be private? Will I have the luxury of hot water? Will they cost me money? Some places donít even have showers so Iíve learned to be grateful for any kind of shower.
I usually shower with some kind of critter. Iíve just gotten used to it. The most frightening was the tiny mouse. Iím not sure which of us was scared more but I chased him (or her) out. The most annoying are the mosquitoes. Sometimes, I stumble in the shower, half-asleep, only to be swarmed by giant mosquitoes who have been waiting all night for a feast. Unfortunately, there isnít anything I can do about mosquitoes except shower quickly and submerge as much of my body under the usually thin stream as possible. My approach to the tiny organisms that grow mold is to wear water shoes and do my best not to touch the shower curtain. Ants, I usually ignore. I do not tolerate roaches or spiders. If I can reach them, they die and are disposed of before I step in the shower. I wouldnít tolerate wasps either if I had a choice but I donít want to make them mad.
My most recent communal shower experience was with Daddy Longlegs. If you donít know what a Daddy Longlegs is, your childhood was incomplete. There are actually two types of critters called Daddy Longlegs. One is a spider and one isnít but they both look like spiders to me. They both have eight very long legs and are harmless to humans. An urban myth floats around that the Daddy Longlegs that is actually a spider is deadly but itís fangs are too small to bite humans. According to my sources, there is no proof to that rumor. At any rate, since I spent many hours of my childhood playing with Daddy Longlegs, I didnít really mind sharing my shower.
There was a problem, however. It was a very small shower stall and there were many Daddy Longlegs Ė nine to be exact. These particular Daddy Longlegs were of the spider variety. Uneasily, I remembered the urban myth and wondered if they were more dangerous if they teamed up. As I stepped into the shower and counted my showermates, I struggled with what to do.
While Iím not afraid of these creatures, I have to admit that the sheer number of them was daunting. Also, I didnít want to hurt them and I couldnít remember how they reacted to water. I briefly considered catching them and releasing them outside but some of them were higher than I could reach. Besides, I havenít held them in years and it was way too early in the morning to psyche myself for such an experience. I really needed the shower so I decided weíd share and Iíd be careful.
It was the quickest shower Iíve ever taken. I was astounded at the amount of affection I had for my childhood playmates. I fretted the entire time, afraid I would hurt one of them or the water would send them down the drain. I gasped as a splash washed two of them from the wall. Did they go down the drain? I stepped out of the shower, counted, and breathed a sigh of relief. All nine Daddy Longlegs survived and I was clean.
Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to
www.pocketfullofchange.org or call Cheryle Touchton at 904-614-3585.
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