Sippican Cottage



A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

OK, Off To The Store. You Need A Cobweb Rake

I give up. What’s that big, steel girder doing there? It ain’t holding up the house, that’s fer sure

Alrighty then, we’re going to fix the basement. We’ve got the nerve, we’ve got multiple hundreds of dollars at our disposal. We’ve got a teenage boy, or we will when he wakes up. And of course, we have our cobweb rake.

How’s that? You don’t have a cobweb rake? By gad, what sort of toolset have you accumulated? What about a Johnson bar? Howza ’bout a board stretcher? Any left-handed paint paddles lying about? Sounds like you don’t have any sort of good stuff hanging around. But above all, you’re going to need that cobweb rake. You better get a good one. Don’t go cheapskate here. You can use one of those cheap table saws made of lead and plastic by the Chinese low bidder, the ones that sound like a hive of bees and a pound of washers being agitated in a clothes dryer, they’ll do fine. But you need a real, good cobweb rake. Don’t skimp.

I suppose you’ll go to Home Depot, or if you’re a Unitarian-Universalist, maybe you can afford to go to Lowe’s, I don’t know, but when you go to the cobweb rake aisle, don’t just settle for the first one that the cobweb rake salesman tries to palm off on you. I’m in Maine, so I needed the Charlotte’s Web Deluxe Extra-Premium High-Strength Ergonomic Cobweb Rake. If you live in most of the rest of the lower 48, outside of Maine, maybe you can get by with a lesser model without all the features. If you live in Florida or Hawaii, there’s nothing left for you but prayer. Santeria prayers work best on the bugs you’ve got. But none of them can compare with Maine spiders.

What’s that you say? The clerk at Home Depot didn’t think he could find a cobweb rake? You know he’s lying. Guys like him hoard important stuff like that in the back and ease it out the loading dock door to select friends and assorted palm greasers. Go back there again, and lay a double sawbuck across that guy’s palm, and see if you don’t end up out by the dumpster, waiting for your special delivery. It’s not right, I know, but it’s how the world works.

Of course, I’ve owned my own cobweb rake since the early eighties. I’ve put it away every fall, after a generous soaking of tonsil polish, of course, to keep us both withy in the joints. I remember the first time I used it. We were installing hot and cold running potato chips in some rich guy’s house, and I drew the short straw and had to make my way through his root cellar alone. I’ve never forgotten that afternoon — if that’s what it was. It was dark down there — and I was proud that even though I’d just gotten the schematics for the apparatus, I put the hot pipe on the left on the first try.

Say what? The Lowe’s lady didn’t know what a cobweb rake was, either? Well, you can show her a picture of mine:

Remember to buy all your cobweb rakes through my Amazon Portal, I get a commission

Of course, that’s the lightweight one I use for the easy stuff. I’ve got a metal one, too, for under the stairs, where the albino spiders go heavy on the silk. The stuff’s structural, I tells ya.

11 Responses

  1. Didn't know I was a Unitarian-Univeralist! Home Depot came to town before Lowe's. Haven't spent a lot of time in HD since, but after lowe's arrived, there was an obvious difference of 'lighting and somebody to at least try to help, some attempt to have logical store layout.'
    Not so at HD, but I hear they have tried to step up in the last 5 years.

  2. Spiders? Did somebody say spiders?

    Yeah, prayer's about the only thing that works. Also, they aren't the only things that make webs. Ants do, too, when they're feeling amorous. Which down here is about every two or three weeks.

    I may have to get me one of them there cobweb rakes, next time I'm down at the Home Depot. It may just give the spiders a tickle, but at least I can pretend I'm doing something effective…

  3. Having said that, though, most of the spiders here prefer the trees. Your Maine spiders may not be as big, but by the looks of it they must spin their weight in silk every five minutes. Yeesh!

  4. We're twelve years into a 96 year-old farm house remuddle. I finally had to break down and get a diesel-powered cobweb rake (Menard's has 'em).

  5. I think you made a mistake. Where I come from a Johnson Bar is a real tool. Used to pry up heavy things and drag them somewhere else. Also, as I recall, the ratcheted levers on tractors, steam engines, hay rakes etc. of my day were called Johnson Bars.

  6. Hey, Barkeep! I'll have what the Big Guy is havin'! I see it's The Good Stuff.

    Personally, I prefers me a flamethrower for spiders–they hate havin' the hairs singed off their legs, but they do run faster away that way. I do spray a little water around first. Just in case. Ya never know. Could be a good idea.

  7. Phshaw! A cobweb rake?!?

    The first plumber we sent under the house came back up with a copperhead snake that he'd stabbed to death with a large screwdriver.

    "Lots 'o dem under der. Ain't going back."

    Second plumber came back with reports that he'd beat a copperhead to death with a pipe wrench. "Ya gotta git somebody to clear out all dat stuff and kill de snakes afore I'm going back."

    Third plumber says "I done tawked to …., an' I don' wan' none."

    So I convinced a young fellow with vastly more balls than brains to venture down with lights, a .22 handgun, a big stick, heavy gloves and a clear facemask used when grinding metal. He came back victorious, and said something that chilled my wife to the core.

    "Ah wooden stick my han' inta a cabnet wifou looken reel careful lak furst."

    Bless his heart. We love it here, and we aren't moving, but there are tradeoffs no matter where you live.

  8. As to the point, the point is sharp as a couch cushion now. Get on with it, before you forget why all that lumber down there.

  9. Down here by the border we use Chihuahua dogs (yappers we calls 'em) for spiders 'n' snakes. Wretched representatives of canines they may be, but they are abundant and expendable. If you work it right you don't have to end up feeding them.

    Jim Stafford sings about this

    Um, where was I? Where were you for that matter? I only got a 1Gb memory stick so I use a small font when copying your saga for prosperity.

  10. Cobweb rake? Hah, never heerd of such. Here we need spider rakes – the real thing. Ya go downa stairs and find oh nine 4" diameter spiders on the stair wall, well you gonna need sumpthin with teeth – some folks go with the plastic crap from china but to my way of thinkin theys too wide for inside th house, an when you go to dispatchin the stuck critters with a propane torch or gas fire rag well that plastic will just melt and acatch on far. Sos we be partial to the real metal tooth rakes kinda like a leaf rake, but for spiders you see. And them metal rake teeth – the spider one of course – good for when you lock keys in the car or your hous lock won't open. So overall you can;t go wrong with that so longs you don't git from malwart or some such.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thanks for commenting! Everyone's first comment is held for moderation.