It's a rare day indeed when one gets a phone call from a spider.
"Hi, Bub!" (I will always be "Bub" to a small coterie of affectionate animals who don't seem to know that the term they use isn't particularly affectionate in nature.)
"Hi, Webbie," I replied. For those breathless tones could be no one else.
I could hear the little black-and-orange spider vibrating on the other end of the line.
"It's been so long, Bub."
"C'mon, Webbie, your black-and-orange guys won the World Series just a couple of years ago."
The silky voice sounded slightly abashed. "I know. I shouldn't be greedy."
"Oh, go ahead, be greedy!" I laughed. "We're getting into that time of year where the days grow short and it's almost OK to be greedy."
I knew that the little spider had been waiting for something even more magical--a matchup in the World Series of the two teams who wore his colors. And Webster (that was the name on the package when we'd liberated him from the supermarket shelf way back in the fall of 1996) had been waiting for those two teams--the Giants and the Orioles--to get into the playoffs again for almost as long as we'd known each other.
"Go ahead, Webbie--dream big!" I counseled him.
"OK, Bub" was the reply. I could tell that he wasn't quite ready to do so...no one understood long odds better than he did. Things hadn't worked out back in 1997, and that tender heart had been dashed.
Let's all put aside our usual rooting interests and see if we can't find a way to engineer a World Series that will feature black and orange on the day when everyone will be awash in those colors.
It's the least we can do for a cute, kindly, sensitive, and long-suffering little spider, n'est-ce pas??