Monday, October 20, 2008

Spiders on the Trail

Image of a large spider suspended over your humble scribe's headDear Gentle Reader,


...commanded my wife with enough of a dry smile buried in the command to make me very uneasy.

I did.

"Look up" she suggested.

I did.

This was what I saw.

A spider.

A big 'un.

Right above our heads.  

Well, above my head.

OK, that doesn't impress you?  We were hiking on Lantau Island, just beside Hong Kong, and I was terrified.

How about a closer look...

image of a big spider looking at the back side of it.
This is a spider to be avoided, not run into.

Or loitered under.

You see those fangs in the front of that spider? ... 

Those teeth are the same length of the first digit of my pinkie/little finger.

That body is the length of my hand.

Those legs are freakishly long, as you can see.

This beast could wrap its legs around your head, grab onto your opposite ears, and slowly slurp out your brain, like an Egyptian mortuary attendant in pharonic times. 

(Well, they (the Egyptians) used a spoony hooky thing to liberate brains from skulls prior to mummification. Who is to say that no slurping or slurping noises resulted?  Hmm?  Alright then. Back to the narrative.)

Still not convinced as to the fearsome dangerousness of these brutish beasts of the bamboo wilds?

The truth is out there, or rather up there....

Image of a very large spider outstretched in its web about 3 feet, or 1 meter, in front of a telephone pole to give a sense of perspective to gauge its size
Now, I grant you, this shot is not the greatest, but that telephone pole is about 3 feet, or 1 meter, behind the spider in this shot.

The focusing is messed up because of the branches in the foreground.

This spider's web is not between those branches.  
Note the size of this tiny girl compared to the telephone pole behind her...

This spider's web had support lines running at least 15 feet, or 5 meters, and the main web of this killer looked like a Cassini oval with its major axis having a diameter of about 4 and half feet or 1 and a half meters and its minor axis having a diameter of about 3 feet or 1 meter.

I could not get closer because there were intervening spider webs, and accompanying spiders, all over the place. And I am not, despite popular belief, fecklessly reckless.

Here is the underside of a much smaller spider...

Image of the brightly coloured underside of a smaller spider

Those colours, fearsome yellow, blood red, pitch black, and ghost white mean "stay away" in nature.

Those are warning signs.

They warn, "Come closer, and I will convert your faith into reality".

These spiders can give you a personal introduction to Charon

I have it on good authority that the children of these spiders run a profitable side-business lending out the necessary coins, and dabbling in currency exchange, for those going to meet Charon.

There might have been more to this walk, but it was all burned out of me by my startled fright of these spiders.

I have had experiences with these spiders of the apocalypse before, but that story deserves its own post.

What really had me amazed though, was that we did this walk with a friend who was visiting from Switzerland.  

OK that fact that she was Swiss did not amaze me. Nationality is not that surprising.

But, this lovely Swiss belle, Fab, was utterly unconcerned by these spiders.

I mean, I knew that Swiss banks fear nothing. (Well, they used to fear nothing. Certainly not court judgments from other nations asking them to divulge funds or bank account details, but I think they now fear credit default swaps and securitized sub-prime mortgages, but who doesn't fear those beasties? See my article here on the damages those beasties can cause.)  

But that the Swiss were this unconcerned with death-dealing spiders of the apocalypse, spiders that can remove your head with one casual swipe of a forepaw, (spiders that have paws!) well, this was news to me.

Your humble scribe was humbled.  

He allowed your Heroine to walk first. 

He, generously, allowed Fab to take the lead.

And once again, we thwarted death, since this blog is reaching you, though death stalked us from above at every turn.

Chris, Regina, and Pommes


jjdebenedictis said...

It was waiting for one of you to open your wallet so it could read your driver's license. That way, it can swing by later and polish you off in the privacy of your own home.

I mean, c'mon. Something that big has a brain. It's not gonna devour you in public.

Tifighter said...

A friend of mine in Zurich has a business that works with UBS. Since UBS has figured out he is not in the mortgage business, they have been really kissing his behind lately, offering anything he wants. Sort of funny...

Junosmom said...

In general, I don't mind spiders, but then our spiders are much tamer - well except for the black widow, and she's tiny by comparison.

Sepiru Chris said...

Dear OxyJen,

Your comment didn't help my feeling of security... :)

Dear Tifighter,

That was the way it was a few months ago. (Better that I respond later than never). Recently UBS has been making nice with the IRS in the USA... not good for Switzerland...

Dear Junosmom,

Black widows are cute, I am OK with them. I just am very careful in outhouses and never sit down.

For people not familiar with Black widows, they like dark, wet environments.

Black widow venom rarely kills men, only infants, but if you get bit in sensitive area... and tell no one... and it gets infected...

...Well, just don't dawdle, and don't dangle, men, when in the outhouse... *involuntary shiver*