Monday, September 01, 2008

The Tongan Spider Incident

The spider known as "Bruce", first seen on my front verandah a fortnight ago

Anyone who knows me knows how I feel about spiders. It's no secret - they make me shudder. Not so much the ones that hang in their webs, or even poisonous spiders. Redbacks don't phase me, and neither do the large, spindly Golden Orb Weavers. No, my pet arachnid hate is HUNTSMANS. Not only are they large, but they roam around freely, ready to shock me at any second by emerging from behind a picture hanging on the wall, or sitting placidly on my towel - ergh!

So the irony of having come to Tonga, land of Large Free-Ranging Spiders (I tried to google Spiders of Tonga to get a name, but no joy), has not been lost on me. You know, the spiders here are so big, they make a noise as they walk across walls?

I discovered this on Friday night at about 2am, as I lay in bed reading. I could hear a sort of scrabbling sound that I thought may have been a mouse, however when I sat up to look I saw a Rather Large Spider walking across the back of my door, going 'clickclickclick' every time it's Rather Large and pointy feet landed on the surface of my door!
So now I started to panic. It's 2am, I'm arachnophobic, and there's a ginormous spider on the back of my only means of escape. Oh yes, and for some reason I'd decided to lock my door that night, so there was no hope of rescue from without. Oh WONDERFUL!
I phoned my partner in Australia, whose suggestions were not very helpful - that is, he suggested I might approach and try to effect a capture of sorts - as if! I watched (and listened to)it as it wondered around the doorway of my room, and then headed to my cupboard, where it spread itself out and seemed to settle down.
I'm sure this was Bruce - note the missing eighth leg!
This was good - it meant I could make a dash for the door, which I did, unlocking and flinging it open. However, it didn't solve the issue of the spider. I do not believe 'out of sight, out of mind' for a second when it comes to spiders. It would only be a matter of time until it snuck into my musli bar box, or wandered into my wardbrobe and retired onto an item of clothing.
Which brought me to the next problem. The spider was now safely ensconced in a cupboard, making it a) impossible to shoo away with a broom, and b) impractical to spray without contaminating the food on the top shelf (there's no room in my kitchen cupboard, ok?!)
I realised that I was going to need assistance. So I went and woke up Sophie, who, to her eternal credit, didn't order me out of her room immediately and slam the door in my face, but humoured me by getting up to see what my problem was. Though it turns out Soph wasn't prepared to effect a capture either, so we sat on my bed and watched the spider together.
It was at this moment that my txt msg about this noisy spider reached A-Lee, and she offered to come and rescue me. Believe it or not, she was still up and about at 2:30am, and was happy to leave The Billfish nightclub where she'd been happily dancing away, in order to come and save me, her rather pathetic arachnophobic friend. This Night of Terror was fast becoming more a Comedy of Errors!
So A-Lee and a young Englishman named Barney came around, and the Rather Large Spider led A-Lee on rather a merry chase around my cupboard, through the wardrobe, and then across the wall...

where it was finally captured, much to my relief! It was then released across the road into the cemetary. Hopefully it's not a homing spider, as I do not know how much more of this my heart can take. It has been suggested that I call this the Tongan Spider Crisis, however I prefer the more sedate Tongan Spider INCIDENT. A Crisis would surely involve more than ONE spider...

Luckily I'll be moving in with A-Lee, my Hero and Saviour, next weekend, so I'll have a Live-In Spider Catcher should anything untoward like this occur in the future!

1 comment:

Dash said...


Secondly, I loved that post! "Try to effect a capture of sorts!"

Good writing Isa...