It’s weekend, and Dorothy and myself are spending a few hours laying out leisurely in the sun whilst the children play and the baby sleeps. Dorothy is busy maintaining her social media. Myself, I’m just floating off in my thoughts, watching the clouds drift by. Every plane I see awakens a tickle of excitement. I remember my grandma would always point out that that plane (any plane) was on it’s way to some wonderful destination. What luxurious holidays and wonderful adventures to be lived in this world!
“Oh my goodness.” Dorothy sounds excited as she pushes her iPhone under my nose. “Remember this?”
I sigh as I am faced with an internet meme which does indeed seem too familiar. “Dorothy, darling, how could I forget?”
“That was just the worst day in my entire life.” Dorothy exagerates.
“How did that spider get in your car in the first place?” I wonder.
“Oh don’t you remember. I had to have my Mercedes serviced, so I took it in in the morning, and the garage gave me a replacement vehicle so I could get about. We picked it up just before we headed out to Brussels, to see clients.” Dorothy recounts.
“What kind of replacement car did you get?” I’m still trying to picture every detail in my mind’s eye.
“Not sure, it was either a Mercedes A class, or a B class. But one of those nice little cars anyway.” Dorothy fills in the missing gaps for me. “Remember our discovery when we got to Brussels?”
“Oh gosh yes!” I exclaim. “You opened the trunk to put our luggage away. We were going to host a party that evening and had bought our best dresses to change later on.”
“I’ve never seen a spider web like that before in my life!” Dorothy sounds horrified. “It was just like in a horror movie. A curtain of web spanning the entire trunk. It was so strange.”
“Yeah, a huge curtain of a web, but no damn spider to be seen. Lucky we thought better and didn’t leave our bags in the car after all.” I sigh with relief.
“Strange though isn’t it?” Dorothy goes on. “How we drove the same car to the party and still no spider.”
“No, not until we’d had enough alcohol and nicely on our way back home.” I remember with horror. “That’s when suddenly I saw this huge thing crawl out from it’s corner. It positioned itself neatly in the centre of that horrible web.”
“Oh yes, I remember that.” Dorothy shudders. “It was huge, as the cars behind us kept lighting it up in the night darkness. Huge, dark, scary horrid thing, just sitting there waiting to pounce.”
“We kept looking at it in the rear view mirror, remember.” I think back terrified. “And then the damn thing disappeard again. It crawled back up into it’s corner.”
“Yeah, a false manouver.” Dorothy sounds like she’s talking about some deliberate enemy now. “While in fact it was devising how it could creep up on us.”
“Oh don’t… I hate to think what could have happened that night.” And I remember us driving down the motorway, scared stiff of what had happened to that spider. When suddenly I saw it crawling down slowly by the passenger’s side of the car. I was driving and daren’t say a thing to Dorothy as the monster was near to her now. We had to get out of this car and quick.
So I swerved the car from the fast lane all the way over to the right and on to the hard shoulder. Then I jumped out of the car and just started screaming and jumping up and down in panik. “You were a real heroine that night, Dorothy.”
“Oh yes, I got that spider alright.” Dorothy nods. “Huge horrible thing. Black with white cream bits streaked through it. Huge thick legs for a spider. Took me several whacks with my fold-up umbrella to kill it off.”
“You know you’re my hero for saving us that night!” I look at Dorothy admiringly.
“Your heroine, you mean.” Dorothy corrects me.
“I hate to think we could have been killed in a car accident if there had been other drivers on the motorway that night.” I’m still amazed at our narrow escape.
“Or we could have been bitten by that thing.” Dorothy continues. “I looked it up, you know. The only spider who fits the description, the kind of web and it’s behaviour is a ‘false widow spider’. Can you imagine?”
“A nightmare.” I agree. “Are you sure it was a false widow spider?”
“Not really. It sure looked like it, all brown and creamy streaks. But this one was bigger than what they say on Wikipedia. And it sure was aggressive enough to come check us out.” Dorothy looks on in terror.
“Probably had a nest to defend.” I observe. “You know you should never come between any female and her young. Not even in humans.”
“I gave that garage salesman a good piece of my mind when I took the car back after the weekend. I got Fwa-Fwa to vacuum it first though.” Dorothy sounds proud of herself. “The garage never dared charge me for that car after my ranting on about their irresponsible behaviour for giving us a non-vacuumed car containing poisonous exotic animals.”
And that people, with shivers still running down my spine, is a true story.
What do you think? How would you have handled the spider and the web? And do you know of any spider that fits the description? Let me know in the comments below.