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Entry date: 3-1-2023 - What a difference (and Mary) - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

I am sitting here thinking about where I was at last year on March 1. I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel of my first year teaching a classroom of my own. Spring break was looming and things were looking pretty good. There are different challenges, but things are still looking pretty good. I'm thankful for that.

I wrote about The Damned last year on this day. Funny, they have been on my mind of late, too. I'm hoping that they will come to Phoenix this year as they are playing Punk Rock Bowling again. The thought crossed my mind for about a second to go again, but as much as I love them, The Damned are not worth the $500 it would cost to go to Vegas and see them. I have bigger fish to fry with a looming drive across the country.

Happy March 1st, though, to all of you. We are doing Twins day at school. I am not going to be a twin. Maybe I should go as my own Evil Twin?

More of Mary now....


The week was going smoothly for Mary and Spring was beginning to realize itself. Beautiful mornings and early evenings, but still a slight chill here and there. Flowers were beginning to bloom and the citrus trees in Mary's backyard were waking up. Life, as she liked to say to students visiting her office, was good if you just let it be what it needs to be.

After PD on Wednesday, Mary decided to do a little work in her flower beds. It had been an easy session and the teachers were all glad to be out of the gymnasium a bit early. Mary thought about her own days in the classroom and how the professional development days could be such a waste of time. Now that she was on the other side of things, she understood how important the opportunity to learn and bond with your peers actually was.

The day before, she had noticed there were a few weeds, though, sprouting up around her sunflowers, so she thought she would use the extra daylight to get rid of them. After changing into some gardening duds, Mary went out into the backyard and noticed the phantom fan was again cooling off an empty porch.

"Motherfucker! Give it a rest!" She barked at the moving blades.

She turned her attention to the flower bed. While she was fussing with the weeds, she happened to find what looked like a spider's egg sack attached to one of the river rocks that separated the garden bed from the outside wall of her home. This made her forget about the fan for a bit.

Mary was not a fan of spiders at all. If there was any 'bug' that really got her heart going, it was a spider. She could handle the occasional sewer roach she would find in and around her house in the summer time. She also didn't mind a worm or even a moth, but spiders got under her skin quickly.

She took out her cell phone and said, "Hey Siri."

"Mmhmm?" Siri responded in the quaint midwestern accent she had chosen.

"What do black widow egg sacks look like?"

A picture and link to a website quickly appeared on her screen and her suspicions were confirmed. A black widow had to be close by and her babies were getting ready to pop. Mary scrolled though webpage she had opened on her phone and found the best way to remove an egg sack.

Luckily she had some insecticide that was also good for arachnids, so she got up to head to the shed to grab it. While she was in the shed, she also grabbed an old pair of barbecue tongs she had once used to pick up a dead bird in her yard with a few years back. Mary thought it could be useful for picking up the egg sack, too.

When Mary came back with the spray can and the tongs, a funny thought jumped into her head. Before pulling the proverbial trigger, she decided to say something.

"I sacrifice you little shits to the fan God. All hail the fan God."

Saying this out loud made her giggle at the absurd notion of these words, but there was something else there, too. A curiosity, maybe, or was it hope? She pulled the trigger back and doused the egg sack in the poison.

The website had suggested waiting about 15 minutes before removing the egg sack and disposing of it, so she thought she would get back to her weeding, but first, she would try the remote control and see if she could turn the fan off.

When Mary got to the remote and aimed it at the fan, nothing happened. It continued to spin and she continued to be frustrated. She stomped back to the flower bed and pulled a few weeds to work out her frustration.

After about twenty minutes, she decided to dispose of the egg sack. She took the tongs and carefully removed the sack from the side of the river rock. She wanted to make sure the spiders were dead, so she lightly placed the egg sack on one of the pavers that led from her porch to the flower bed.

Mary raised her gardening boot and stepped down hard on the sack to crush it and anything inside of it. She was looking at the phantom fan as she did this and to her astonishment, it began to slow down. The remote was still on the table near the door where she had left it twenty minutes before.

"Fan God?" Mary asked. "Did you do that?"


See you tomorrow.

Aliens have been here for a long time.

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