Location: marengo, il, United States

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

a fear of eight legs

most american spiders are harmless creatures.

we (as compared to our brothers and sisters down in australia, for example) only have two that we have to contend with, which are considered only slightly dangerous by the experts; the black widow spider and our small brown recluse.

both are said to be non-life threatening.

oh, and then there is the tarantula, a scary-looking hairy thing that still gives me the creeps, even as an adult.

they (hollywood, california) made horror movies about a particular one during the 1950s, which involved atomic radiation gone wild, and the resulting gigantic spider, who terrorized the state of new mexico, killed and devoured lots of cattle, plus a few people along the way.

that monstrous beast scared the heebie-jeebies out of me when i was young. i recall being afraid to walk home from the theater after dark that night.

but man, i loved it a lot, only craving for more of the same.

once, a few years ago, a visiting friend of mine and her daughter (who came to us all the way from adelaide, in the state of south australia) stopped by and stayed with my family and me for several days. we had a blast, mostly. we stayed up all night and talked and talked, and slept very little. she even brought me some vegemite to sample, and i tried it but gagged. and naturally, we offered her some of our peanut butter, which she hated as well.

now at the time, we lived in an old farm house that had an ancient basement below. i invited my friend down the steps to view the old logs which had been used as floor joists; they still had the bark on them, and were very unusual, and i thought, most remarkable for this day and age. i always showed it off to visitors.

but half-way down the stairs she spotted a lone spider web, and immediately reversed her course, squealing loudly with fright.

what was her deal, i wondered?

now how was i to know that she grew up around dangerous red back spiders and funnel web spiders, which kill many people down-under? all i knew about at the time were kangaroos and the funny-looking duck-billed platypus, and of course, that ever-huggable koala bear.

nice place, australia. i would still like to go there myself someday.

but she has never let me forget about that event, even now, and has just recently gone on to marry an american fellow by the name of patrick. and then she moved into his home out in the midwest prairie, in the state of iowa.

her new husband has his own basement that he must be proud of, and i now hear that she refuses to ever set foot down those frightful steps.

surely there are giant spiders living there. we all know that.


Anonymous Shirl said...

Hahahaha! Good memory there mate! Except for two things. (1) there was definitely more than one spiderweb, and (2) It's Nebraska, not Iowa where we live (been here 7 months and proud to say I have yet to go down those frightful steps).

4:17 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Glad to see you writing again, Dad. Funny, I never knew Shirl was afraid of spiders. I am as well, even though most are harmless here in the states. But there's nothing like waking up and getting dressed, only to find a wolf-spider in your boot. shivers

7:03 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home