The first time I moved out of home I woke up in the middle of the night to find a huntsman on my doona. I called my parents. I hadn’t moved very far from them so they turned up first thing in the morning with a can of Raid and a vacuum cleaner ( my mum said it was for the spider but I think she was keen to give the place a good clean).
I’ve hardened up since then. I showered with a huntsman for over a week in my new house and I say annoying things like, “They’re beautiful and they eat the flies.”
I flat out refused to go anywhere near the river when we moved here for fear of crocodiles but now I say annoying things like, “It’s so much better for you than a chlorinated pool.”
Black house spiders can make you sick so I kill them with my bare hands. My husband says I am finally living up to my nickname, The Marrickville Mauler.
Showering with arachnids, or squashing them with my fist gives me a sense of being at one with nature. It took me a while but I feel like I have finally made peace with the countryside.
At least I did until yesterday, when I was taking out the recycling and I found a funnel-web at the bottom of the wheelie bin. I didn’t have any Raid because spiders are beautiful blah blah but I did have some Aerogard, because flies and mosquitoes are bullshit. I sprayed the entire can onto the spider and then I jumped up and down on it as it tried to bury itself in the grass. Then it occurred to me that my gumboots, which I had put on in a panic, had been outside for months and were probably crawling with funnel-webs, so I took them off screaming and threw them towards the street and ran back into the house and locked the door.
I Googled funnel-webs because I was under the impression they were a NSW thing. One of my fondest memories growing up is of my mother killing one with a shovel in the backyard in Sydney. It turns out that we have them here too, but they are not deadly. But like crocodiles, spiders can walk, so what is stopping them from crossing the border?
Scorpions. How many of you are aware that they exist in Victoria? I thought they were unique to Mexico. But a friend who lives over the (croc infested) river was stung by one in her bed! She thought she had been electrocuted by her phone, but when she turned her bedside lamp on she found a scorpion on her pillow. I would have called 000, but she calmly Googled ‘scorpion in Australia’, put antiseptic cream on the affected area, wrapped it in an ice pack and went back to bed.
Living in the country is sick and wrong.