I am at my parents again this week, so once again, I am reduced to
posting to blogger by email. Last time, I tried email posting, it took
3 days to appear on my web page, and looked rather strange. Hopefully
that won’t happen this time.

Thankfully, however, the monster spider that was over the drive way has
moved or died. I don’t care which, because I can pretend the spider
doesn’t exist if I can’t see it, whereas if I see it, I know it is there
and panic sets in. You see, spiders are malevolent. They plot. They
have too many eyes. They have way too many legs. They suck the insides
out of their prey. And they make webs for me to walk into, and plan how
to drop on to my bed in the middle of the night.

Writing this reminds me of the last First Aid course I did a few years
ago. It was run by the Red Cross, and the instructor was a firefighter.
We were covering how to treat snake and spider bites which,
incidentally, is already traumatic for the average arachnophobe, namely
me. But when he decided to illuminate us on the many devious tricks
spiders get up to, terror struck. Did you know that:

  • Spiders can hide in shoes and sleeping blankets. It was about 6
    months before I could put on a shoe without tapping it out thouroughly
    and inspecting the insides first.

  • Spiders can live in swimming pools in little pockets of air. I
    haven’t been in a suburban swimming pool since.

  • Funnel
    are attracted by noise and vibrations. Therefore if you are
    holding a loud party in a part of the country which has Funnel Webs, you
    may find yourself with a few uninvited guests.

  • When Funnel Webs turn up to parties, they tend to become frightened
    and beligerant. You don’t want a Funnel Web to get belligerant.

But what was the crowning fact in this list of terrifying facts? None
other than:

  • The fangs of a Funnel Web are long enough to penetrate boot
    leather. So not even wearing shoes will protect you from your
    belligerant party guests.

Shudder. Writing this has put me in panic mode, especially since I
decided that I had to bite the bullet and include a link to an
information page on Funnel Webs. I shouldn’t have let the page load the
images. Too many pictures of legs, eyes and fangs, so I’ll leave the
arachnid topic here.


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May 2002
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