In an effort to lighten this blog up a bit, I asked my friends for some funny post ideas. One of my oldest bros came through with, “write about that time you nearly died because of the spider”.
Because nothing’s funnier than close shaves with death.
I’m afraid of spiders in the same way the world is slightly bowed at the edges. I also live in Australia because the universe has a sick sense of humour. To that end, I grew up surrounded on all sides by these fuckers:
That’s a huntsman. They’re non-poisonous but make up for it by growing to the size of dinner plates and routinely piss-bolting up walls at eye-height. Because god is cruel and merciless.
I can’t remember a day in my life that I wasn’t terrified of the bastards so naturally, I have many hilarious stories of close encounters from my youth.
The story I tell today took place when I was about eleven, dragging my hogwarts-letter-less ass around a plant nursery with my mother who takes the term “green thumb” as a personal challenge. As we’re loading her newest darlings into the car, I spot a huntsman on the pot of one of the leafy palms and vault away from it, pointing like a damn bloodhound because even at that stage of my childhood I knew you don’t take your eyes off the monster lest it suddenly appear up your butt.
My mother diligently asks the nursery staff for bug spray and I watch as she wages a small battle with this spider, one which the spider appears to lose but we don’t know for sure of course because my life is a horror movie and between one blink and the next the fucker has ghosted.
I flat out REFUSE to get into the car with this plant because I’m eleven goddamn years old and I’m too young to die. My mother patiently explains that she’s all but drowned this poor palm in bug spray and that if the spider is still somewhere in its vicinity, it’s most certainly dead.
I grudgingly believe her, because I’m a child and have not yet learned how cold and heartless the universe is.
So we all pile into the car, a couple of the more fragile plants buckled into the front seat which leaves me and The Palm of Death in the back. This is fine, I think. At least I can level an unblinking stare at the thing and ensure I don’t end up with a huntsman burying a machete in my back.
Here’s the thing about that car though: only one of the back doors opened. So in the end it was easier to have me skooch across the back seat against the stuck door and buckle the damn spider palm in on the side easiest for mum to get to.
So here I am, trapped in the backseat of this freaking car having a staring contest with a plant while my mother navigates us toward the highway when it happens.
A leg appears over the side of the pot. Just one, thrusting toward the sky like the beginning of every shitty zombie movie ever made.
I freeze solid.
A second leg appears, and at this point I’m seeing shit in slow motion because I’m terrified. I watch numbly as the legs hook over the edge of the pot and a soil-covered arachnid nightmare is dragged into the light. And man, this spider looks pissed. We came into his home and fucked his shit up and we were now on the business end of a grizzled, undead revenge thriller.
I lose my shit, with ever increasing volume:
Mum. Mum. MUM. MUM. MUM!!!
By the time I’ve hit 22pt I’ve taken matters into my own hands. Abandoning the door handle wholesale, I go for the window, rolling it down at top speed and hoisting myself out.
Of the moving car.
To this day, I don’t think my mother’s recovered from the shock. Lucky for me, we hadn’t actually made it onto the highway yet and my mum’s actually pretty cool in the face of adversity. She brings the car to a safe stop as I hang by my knees like a war boy from the back window, screaming about zombie spiders.
And that, my friends, is how I almost revenge-murdered by a huntsman.