I spent last evening hosting the semi-weekly cub scout den meeting in my garage. It was my turn to host, and I had volunteered to get my young charges through the requirements for the Handyman Badge. After all, as Red Green says, “If women don’t find you handsome, at least they should find you handy.”

We had some fairly simple tasks before us. Some basic bike repair, opening up a light fixture, tire inflation, and such. The boys were attentive, and they tackled each task with competence and tolerance. But mostly they seemed to be going through the motions without trying to really understand why they were doing what they were doing. They certainly lacked any visible enthusiasm.

But apparently that was my fault. I had chosen the wrong tasks. Mine were boring. But there were better ideas brewing… one scout had wandered away from the group with a socket wrench in hand and was trying to trap a dime-sized spider with it. Like an idiot, I went over and asked what he was doing. It turns out that trapping the spider was important, because if he didn’t then he wouldn’t be able to take the spider to the bench and crush it in the vice. Silly me. Upon hearing the plan, the rest of the herd then took to the task of spider catching with energy that would not be seen again until snack time.

My son, simplified the process by simply grabbing spidy with his hands, dangling him by a leg or two, and lowering him into the jaws of death. Then everyone jabbered about how cool the squished guts were and isn’t it neat that the legs still wiggle afterwards. And off they go after more spiders.

In aggregate, 2 bikes were serviced, 1 light bulb was changed, and 27 spiders died. I’m sure if they remember just one thing from last night, it will be the popping sound arachnids make under extreme pressure. The rest is probably a little fuzzy.

And to the future girlfriends and wives of Doug, Matt, Justin, and Alex I wish you many spider-free days. But words of warning: Never ever touch their bench vices. Oh, and you’ll need to change your own lightbulbs.

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