I was going through posts on my Australia blog today, and I came across one that I wrote after being there for a week. I was cracking up reading it, because I seriously was SO FREAKED OUT by the animal “situation” they have in Australia. I thought you guys may like it.
(Dated September 3, 2010)
Last night my father-in-law yells, “hey Hed, there’s a gecko in the bathroom, come look at it!” I slowly walk in and he points to the window. “See it, it’s just right there!” and I go, “huh? Where?” and get closer until I see this tiny little lizard camouflaged into the background. I yell for J to get my camera, and laugh like a mad scientist at the size of this animal. His body must be comprised of 92% lungs. Their call is LOUD. When I went to bed last night and heard their mating cry, I mocked them as I fell fast asleep.
I got a comment from a friend who lives in Brisbane that read, “Geckos? Nah they're cute. It's the redback spiders you need to be wary of.” Huh? Didn’t Steve Irwin teach us that all scary deadly Aussie animals live in the Outback? I don’t live in the Outback! So, of course, I Wiki “Redback spider”, and am happy to see that it’s just a sister to the ever-present Black Widow spider in California. No harm, no foul. I reply, “oh! we have those! I’m not TOO worried about those little guys :)”, to which he replies, “Ah yeah the funnel webs will get ya too. Literally... They move really fast so don't go near a nest if you see one :)” DAMN IT!!! WHAT THE HELL IS A FUNNEL WEB SPIDER?!!?! I go back on Wiki and look up “Funnel-web spider”. Wiki reads, “Funnel-webs are one of the three most dangerous spiders in the world and are regarded by some to be the most dangerous.” Oh, Jesus. Now I’m looking under the toilet seat when I pee, turning on the light to walk down a hall, wearing shoes in the house, lifting up the pillows before I go to bed…now one irrational gecko fear is conquered, I have to now be afraid of SPIDERS??
If I ever see one of these I’m going to poop myself.
Casually I ask my mum about snakes. I remember last summer Jasper, the Jack Russell Terrier, got bit by a snake and was near death. She tells me, “ah, you only see brown snakes in the summertime, and you kind of just know when they’re about”. You do? You have a snake sixth sense? I don’t think I have that. Is it learned? Can you teach me BEFORE SUMMER??? But alas, “Brown Snake” isn’t deadly or dangerous sounding, right? I think of “Kill Bill” and their Deadly Viper Assassination Squad: Black Mamba, Sidewinder, Cottonmouth, etc. No one was named “Brown Snake”. That would sound gay. (Poor Mr. Pink in “Reservoir Dogs”, but that’s another movie altogether.) For my own knowledge, I Wiki “Brown Snake”. BAD IDEA. The second sentence states, “It is one of the world's deadliest snakes. This, combined with a native habitat which includes the well-populated east coast of Australia, has resulted in fatalities.” DAMN IT!!! Does it make a warning sound like a Rattlesnake? No! Will they strike only when in danger? No! Do they live far away from farms and houses? NO!!! WHAT THE HELL, MAN! Now I can’t walk outside, I’m keeping all the doors and windows shut, taping my pants to my leg so nothing can slither in as I sleep! (No, not really. But I might.)
The only decent ending to this story is that I live nowhere near water. Crocodiles and alligators and jellyfish and stingrays, UP YOURS!!!