Monday, June 22, 2009

The Spider Was A Little Bigger Than The One Pictured Here (I Get Paid For Doing This, 6)

Most of the time, this "I Get Paid" segment focuses on just how easy my job is, but I don't want you to get the wrong idea. Sometimes my job is both difficult and life-threatening, as it was today.

I had to drive to Milwaukee for a court hearing, and I opted to use that drive to return some phone calls on the way.

So there I was, talking on the phone with a client about possible ways to address a property situation of his, and also cruising along the highway at 70 miles per hour, when I saw it...

A spider.

Dangling down right in front of me, above the steering wheel, legs a-flailing and fangs glistening with poison. (Note: I could not see the fangs, but they were there.)

And yet: My client was still on the phone and we were at a critical part of the conversation, a part of the conversation involving "easements."

What would you have done? Probably panicked and driven your car off the road into a rocky canyon that was there for specifically that purpose. But you are not me.

I did not panic. Instead, I kept giving advice to the client while I tried to prop the phone up by my ear so that I could free up a hand and grab some paper off my legal pad and squish the spider --

--which was inching ever lower towards me, probably ready to bite me and kill me instantaneously--

Only... I couldn't prop the phone up because it is, for some reason, rectangular and tiny. So instead, I switched the phone to my left hand and continued talking about easements and adverse possession, and then leaned forward--

-- putting my face even closer to the deadly spider that was only inches above my steering wheel now--

-- so that I could bravely steer with my elbow while my right hand grasped around for some paper from that aforementioned legal pad... which was not within my reach.

And then: The spider started crawling back up its web, trying to get away so that it could jump out later and bite my eye.

Thinking quickly, and still steering with my elbow, I fumbled in the interseat compartment and got a paper towel I'd luckily saved from this morning's pocket breakfast. As I discussed easements by prescription with my client, I leaned forward and squished the spider before it could get away behind the visor, and then calmly changed lanes and got the car headed towards the exit I needed.

Then, on the way home, I listened to music and held my arm out like an airplane wing.

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