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Here in Australia, a beastly battle rages. A plague of biblical proportions has beset our humble rural home in the last couple of months and we have been hard pressed to defend ourselves. I refer to the Huntsman spider. I am not going to include a picture here because they are less than attractive, but feel free to Wiki it later. I recommend that you do actually, so that you can fully appreciate the terror I feel whenever I (literally) stumble across these creepy crawlies. They are not your regular garden spider. They’re big. They’re hairy. And they’re organized.

We have been at a loss to handle this chaos here in our ramshackle abode. These critters seem to breed in the trees close by our house and then somehow manage to penetrate our residential fortress. Surface spray doesn’t stop them. Fly spray does little to subdue them. I have found that slamming containers, shoes, books and whatever else lays close to hand often does the job quite nicely. I’ve heard that towels are effective to a point, as long as you don’t mind feeling their bodies crunch beneath your hand. I’ve been a little reluctant to explore that option.

Statistics. Six found in my bedroom in a period of two weeks, including one that I found when returning to my room after my morning shower. Dealing with a giant Huntsman while still half asleep clad only in bare feet and a towel – is it any wonder that I’m not a morning person? Five found in the kitchen, including one that got stuck in the blind. That made a lovely squashed gift as I pulled it down one evening. One in the shower. Four found in the hall, two of which my brother kindly carried outside WITH HIS BARE HANDS. One found on the toilet wall, level with my head. Unfortunately I noticed it after I’d sat down, and not before.

Then there was this morning. The light in the bathroom isn’t right inside the door, it’s on the opposite wall. Stumbling in the dark to the sink, I turned the light on, washed my hands and then walked down the hall to get some clean towels. As I walked back towards the bathroom, crawling across is the floor was the mother of all Hunstman spiders. Aragog and those spiders that live in the Forbidden Forest near Hogwarts? Yeah, not a patch on this bastard. Pushing aside my panic, I grabbed a bucket from the laundry and slammed it down as hard as I could, hearing its body crunch beneath the plastic. (I’ll refrain from elaborating on the juices that may have splattered the floor). I’m sure if I was capable of lucid thought, I would’ve been dedicating my revenge to all the monsters that came before it, and praying that all its mates would have the sense to stay away.

Once I’d recovered, all the possibilities began to race through my mind. I could’ve stepped on it. It could’ve crawled up my unsuspecting leg. It could’ve climbed my toothbrush. Worse, it could’ve escaped and gone back to its tree and made millions of babies that would mutate and grow into big huge killer Huntsmans (Huntsmen?) that would hunt me down, seeking revenge for the death of their mate.

So if you don’t hear from me for a while, it’s not because I’m busy with school, or because I’m on holiday or because I’m experiencing some major life changing event. It’s because the buggers have finally got me. It’s been real, folks.

Totally unrelated mp3:

You Are The Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne