Meet Sara. Sara is from the UK, has just recently moved to Melbourne and is crashing at my place for a few weeks. Sara hates spiders.
Don’t get me wrong, I hate them just as much as the next arachnophobe. It’s not so much the actual spider, as it is their sneakiness. They go all Osama Bin Laden on your ass. “Oooh, ooh I’m over here!” “Ooops, hehehe, no I’m not, now I’m here” “Betcha can’t find me… hehehe one minute I’m over there, next I’m over here…TO EAT YOUR FACE OFF.” Then next minute before you know it- M.I.A. Waiting to resurface when you least expect it. The similarities are astounding.
So what I can gather with my limited knowledge and 5 minute conversation with Sara, our spiders shit all over UK’s. We have ‘Huntsman” because they will hunt you down and disembowel you (Joking! Sorry, Tourism Australia.) All last summer we had ‘Rat Spider”, an extremely large spider who liked to eat small children and hang out at our front door. Last I heard, Rat Spider went to Hawaii as winter was approaching. I’m hopeful he finds a nice hula-girl, takes up surfing and never returns to our house.
But you know what UK has? Get ready for this. Garden Spiders. Do they weed and fertilise your garden for you at an alarming speed? Do they mulch and plough with such vigour, it’s terrifying? Do they attack the roses in the night with aphids? Please.
Alis: Yeah, this spider was as big as my hand. Wait, maybe my head. **Enthusiastically demonstrates largeness of Huntsman**
Sara: **Makes incomprehensible sounds that only dogs can hear**
Alis: Relax. I’m 80% sure they don’t like cold weather so you probably won’t see any whilst your here. Same as snakes.
Alis: Oh yeah, we have 7 out of the world’s top ten deadliest snakes. Don’t worry I’ve never seen one here. Oh except for that one I saw swimming in the river, did you know snakes could swim? Me neither. Anyway, there’s usually some red-blooded male around that’s more than willing to cut its head off with a shovel.
Sara: Right. Well that’s good to know… Holy shitballs! What the hell was that?!
Alis: Oh that’s just a possum, they’re kind of cute right?
Sara: Aww, it has such cute eyes, and it’s fur looks so cuddly…
Alis: Mmm, word of warning. Don’t try to pat the possum, it will gouge your eyes out. And don’t freak out when you’re sleeping, they’ll bang all over the roof but just ignore it. Another thing. Be careful of koalas. Those fuckers look cute, but they’re feisty little balls of fur. Nearly killed my last dog, true story.
Sara: Killer koalas? *white as a sheet, starts grasping for a paperbag to breath into*
Alis: Oh my, I’m sorry sweetie. I didn’t mean to freak you out. Seriously it’s not that bad. The worst animals are up north anyway. Goanna’s, now they scare the shit out of me. They’re pretty much blind and quite often clamber up human’s legs thinking they are a tree. I do not want a metre long lizard with giant claws attached to me, no siree.
Sara: What? Are these blind lizards here? *glances behind her in terror*
Alis: Nah, up in Northern QLD. We went on a roadtrip up there, and I had to carry a frypan every time I went to pee in the bushes. No-one likes a goanna-bitten, you-know-what.
Sara: Well now, I can see your concerns. *mentally and unwillingly envisioning a goanna-bitten you-know-what* How was your roadtrip by the way? No accidents in the Wicked Van?
Alis: It was amazing. No accidents that I can recall… Oh wait. There was one incident with a large kangaroo. God I hate those fuckers. They wait on the side of the road, and then POW! 2 metres high of pure muscle and fur jumps out in front of your car. If you hit one of those puppies, your cars pretty much written off. There’s an urban legend that they kick through your windscreen and box the hell out of you. Evil. Fuckers.
Sara: I quite liked the TV show Skippy the Kangaroo. Until now.
Alis: Doesn’t UK have any scary creatures?
Sara: Not really. Garden spiders freak me out. And foxes and badgers. But that’s about it.
Alis: Ooooh, like Wind in the Willows? I bloody loved that book.
Sara: Errr, yeh kinda.
Alis: Did you know a Dingo once stole a baby here?