Last night I got home from a night out with friends, looking forward to resting my head on my pillow in my bed as one does when it is night time and one wants to fall asleep.
But it was not to be. Gareth and I met up in the bathroom for a spot of teeth cleaning. Here, he told me the news that was to devastate my evening.
‘Oh,’ he says, with meaning. ‘I’ve got something to tell you.’
Thoughts flashed through my mind – what have I done wrong? Am I getting sued? Did the police call? Is someone I love ill? Have I been recorded slagging someone off? The usual.
‘I was in the bedroom earlier,’ he continues. ‘I knelt down to pick something up off the floor (a rarity, Gareth.) and there, under the bed, was the biggest spider I’ve ever seen in my life.’
It’s okay, I think to myself. This story is going to finish with Gareth finding a pint glass and a bit of card and setting the spider free outside. (not that I care for the spider’s welfare, I just don’t want him in my bed.)
‘We stared each other out for a bit,’ Gareth carried on. Oh god. This story isn’t going to end well is it?
‘I couldn’t go and get anything to put him in, because he’d have run away. He knew I knew that. I knew he knew I knew that. So we carried on staring at each other for a while.’
Then what, man, then what? I can feel him on me!
‘Then I grabbed my shoe and I was going to whack him with it, but I realised he’d have just clung on. He was that big. I’m talking tarantula size. My shoe would have just stubbed his toe.’
Oh god. He’s still there, isn’t he Gareth? We have a tarantula in our bed.
‘So I ran to get the hoover. He was still there when I got back, but as I poked the nozzle at him, he just walked off.’
A tarantula, so strong he didn’t get sucked up the vacuum nozzle, is under our bed.
‘What are we going to do?’ Gareth asked. ‘Shall we call pest control? Or the Natural History Museum?’
Well, first things first. We’re not sleeping in there.
That’s right people. A spider is under our bed, so we slept in the sitting room. I don’t know about Gareth, but I dreamed about that little bastard arachnid all night. Wandering out of the bedroom, down the hall, up the stairs and on to my face.
I’m not sure when we’ll start sleeping in the bedroom again. I don’t know how long he can live under our bed for. Surely there’s not much to eat there?
In the meantime, Gareth’s parents are coming to stay this weekend and we’re going to courageously and selflessly let them have our bedroom. I know, I know, we’re far too kind to them – we’ll take the sofas. It’s fine, really.
So then Gareth finished his little bedtime story, just in case I was going to have any trouble sleeping in my bed ever again.
‘He had such a big belly. Maybe it was actually a female.’ And then, plonking his toothbrush down on the sink and wandering out of the bathroom without considering that the consequences of his next sentence would be that we'd have to move house: ‘I reckon she was pregnant.’