yesterday's post about my love for the creepy-crawlies in my former abode...
I know that some people keep tarantulas as pets. And they even have some at the Butterfly Gardens and the zoo that they let people carefully hold and look at. My kids have all held Rosie the Tarantula at the Butterfly Gardens and think that it's really cool.
Not me. Ick. I do NOT like spiders. And the bigger they are, the more I do NOT like them. Ewww... I get the shudders just thinking about them. Luckily, I've never had to deal with one too up-close and personal. I've seen them crawling on a wall or walking across the sand, but they were always far enough away that I could just walk (run!) away (as fast as possible).
A friend of mine was not so lucky...
He was a Marine and was out on a training exercise in the desert. When it came time for sleep, they didn't need sissy things like tents. They were Marines! They just tossed some sleeping bags on the ground and called it a night. The sleeping bags were mummy-style. So if you put your arms inside and pulled the top up around your head, the only part of you exposed to the chilly desert night was your face.
So there he is sleeping, just his face out of the bag. He woke up because something was tickling him. When he opened his eyes, he couldn't figure out what he was seeing at first... but as the remnants of sleep cleared, he realized that he was looking at a tarantula. Which was standing ON HIS FACE. On his face!!
Holy crap. It was on his face. He couldn't brush it away, because his hands were trapped inside his sleeping bag and in the panic of the moment he couldn't seem to figure out how to get them loose. He couldn't shout for someone else to brush it away, because the spider was standing partially over his mouth.
All he could think to do is to try to shake it off. While fully encased in a mummy bag. He re-enacted his attempts for us later. Picture a REALLY spastic version of a breakdancing move... kind of like the worm, but on his back. Shaking frantically back and forth and up and down. And that spider just hung in there.
After several long minutes, the spider finally walked across his face and dropped onto the sand. His mouth finally free, my buddy let loose with what I am assured was a pretty impressive string of profanity as he finally managed to rip his arms free and tear his way out of the sleeping bag.
Standing there shaking with adrenaline from the experience, he suddenly realized that everyone around him was watching him and snickering or outright laughing. Turns out that - good friends that they were - they had watched the spider climb onto the sleeping bag in the first place. Continued to quietly observe as it walked closer and closer to his head. Started to wake their neighbors and place bets as to whether it would step onto his face and how he would react if it did.
But according to reports, not once did any of them consider either sweeping the spider off their sleeping friend or waking him up to let him know it was there. After all, what would be the fun in that?