I am reading a book about Australia this week. And so I thought I’d share with you some scattered memories of when I was in Australia. Which is now over ten years ago. Oh, old age.
Australia is home to some of the world’s most dangerous creatures. Snakes. Spiders. Etc. Etc. Mostly the people on my trip were not well versed in recognizing these creatures. So we were substantially afraid of everything of the bug and snake variety—which is actually not a terrible strategy.
One particular day, while a bus that I was not on was driving through the long stretches of uninhabited outback, some of the ladies—as we ladies are wont to do—had to use the facilities. The facilities, in the middle of the outback, usually meaning either A. a bush about three miles off the road or B. a shanty that’s about to fall down on your head.
In this case, the option was a shanty.
And I must mention that it was nighttime.
So, it is nighttime and there’s a shanty. And one girl is using said shanty to do her business, as it were. While another girl holds a flashlight over her shoulder so that the first girl can see what she’s about.
The twist in this whole story is that at the top right corner of the shanty, half hidden in shadow, is a devious little spider, sitting perfectly still and looking perfectly devious. And did I mention that the spider was devious?
The first girl kept her eyes glued to the spider and the second girl promptly dropped the flashlight. Screeching ensued until the flashlight was picked back up. At which point said Devious Spider had disappeared.
In the panic that ensued the first girl jumped up from the shanty seat, knocked the other girl off balance and ran a good 20 feet away from the shanty with her pants around her ankles.
She was not about to be a victim of one of the Australian Outback’s terrors.
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