Harry was the name my kids gave to the tarantula I brought home for them one day. How my kids eventually turned out may be attributed to the fact they had a father who brought home a tarantula for them one day instead of, say, a puppy, but I had an excuse.The spider had been sent to me at my newspaper office as part of a movie promotion and my only options were to take it home or to hide in the desk drawer of my editor and wait for hilarity to ensue.
So I took it home and, despite an impressive volume of screaming by their mother, the kids made it their pet. There weren’t a lot things they could do with Harry. He was really lousy, for instance, at fetching a stick. But the kids did have some fun with him. Especially the middle son, who enjoyed taking Harry out of his cage and letting him creep up the arm of his baby brother in the presence of swooning little old ladies.
Harry eventually died and had to be buried. Or flushed. But it would dishonor his memory — and the memories of all previous pets — for me to take the Tarantula Challenge.
I’m just glad I never had a pet lobster.