Journey through space to the Planet Fabulous, where the Ruler of the Universe will see you shortly.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Glitter For Brains' World Tour! Part V

I was sold on the trip to Oz thanks to the tales of the deadly Redback spider. As a nation, Australia is such a barren, inhospitable place that all creatures there are either weirdly so cute so you wouldn't dream of harming it (c.f. quokkas), or poisonous beyond comprehension (c.f. Holly Valance). So while I was planning which fabulous hat to take with me, I was informed that there were indeed poisonous snakes and spiders out there, but you had simply ages to get to the hospital to get yourself drained should they bite. The dear Wife quoted the Redback as an example: should you get bitten, you get a leisurely ten hours to get to your local GP for the anti-venom. Why that's dinner and a movie before just popping along to the local All Saints Hospital (presumably presided over by Sisters Appleton and Appleton) for a little injection to sort yourself out.

All well and good. But it was while I was languishing on the grass in Sydney's glorious park did the Wife mention the Funnel-Web spider. Now this hairy beastie tends to hide in the grass and, if you get too near, they're going to sink their fangs into you. Forget ten hours – you get ten minutes to get an antidote until an untimely, painful death - or, to put it into perspective, a burger and a trailer.

Now, nature and I don’t really mix, what with me being an earth sign and all. My aunt was the same – well, not exactly. She had more a fear of the floor, really. Never got out of bed after the age of twenty-seven. She’d call me over to sit by her, and ask me to peer over the edge to see “whether it was still there...” I’d say yes, and she’d pull her bed jacket around her that little bit tighter.

I asked her why once, and she looked over her copy of the Puzzler sagely: “It’s not the fall that kills you, but the ground at the bottom” like this would explain it all.

But. Spiders. Even the Wife didn’t dare tell me about the White-Tail spider until I was over there: this one doesn’t really have an antidote, and just makes you very, very sick for around two years. Fairs be, you’re thinking – why don’t you just avoid their habitat? Well, yes, you would, until you discover they like hiding clothes, and linen. You’re more likely to find this spider down the end of your bed than in the potting shed. I mean, I’m sure you agree that’s not just malicious, that’s taking the piss.

Surely they don’t need that poison to kill flies, do they? I mean, something that can fell a cow to exterminate a couple of flies for dinner smacks somewhat of overkill. So, in the interests of human-arachnid relations, I propose an amnesty where they give all their excess deadly toxins in they don’t really need – a sort of Good Fly-Day Agreement.

Or we could just squash the bastards, I suppose.

Lord – when did I become a US Repulican?

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