The really big freaking spider or Sometimes I wish I wasn't a man.
"John, come and have a look at this", was the call as my girlfriend rushed out of the laundry. At first I thought her Jack Russell terrier had done a whopper on the floor and thought it VERY strange that she request my witnessing of the event.
No such luck, that would have been easy to deal with. There was a very large, hairy spider with orange striped hairy legs, large fangs and lots of beady little eyes above the door frame. When I am saying HUGE I mean huge about 10 inches in length from back legs to front legs and about six inches across. Biggest spider I've seen.
I looked in horror. I, as the male, was expected to do something about this problem. All the struggles of feminism, the suffragettes marches for equality and Germaine Greer's philosophising in the Female Eunuch was out the window. This was one BIG FREAKY SCARY spider and it obviously was a male problem.
A book on spiders was referenced and it was thought to be a badge spider, enough to give a painful bite and make anyone bitten by it quite ill.
I didn't want to kill the spider, besides, I wasn't sure if a can of insect spray was enough to take out this beast.
A broom was out of the question as it could easily scurry behind the clothes drier if I missed.
Picking it up with a large spade was one consideration but the spider looked as if it could have run really fast. Anyway......it could drop off and hide somewhere more difficult to retrieve in the house. Whacking it with a spade would have damaged the wall and killed the spider, again I didn't want to kill the spider.
So a solution was formulated. Get a glass or plastic see through bowl, slide a piece of stiff plastic underneath, transport the thing outside and then, RELEASE THE SPIDER.
I was then reminded by my S.O. that big spiders such as funnel webs can bite through leather boots and cardboard, (this was about twice the size of a funnel web) so a solution was made to slide something bigger underneath, once a piece of plastic was in place.
First a photo was taken as proof of the monster.
Then, I got the glass bowl and looked at the spider...... it was huge. I went to slam the bowl on top of it and chickened out. Paced for a bit across the carpet and had another closer look at the thing.
HUGE, HAIRY, SHARP BITY FANGS, OMIGOD YOU CAN SEE IT BREATHING!!!!!!!!!
It would scurry away if I missed and could get splattered on the wall if my aim was not true. My palms were sweating and the glass bowl was getting slippery in my hands. I asked fo a towel and wiped my hands. I gritted my teeth.
I then took aim and GOTCHA!
The spider did not know what hit it. It was now encased in a 1/2 inch thick bowl on the wall, I now had a layer of glass between my hand and a very pissed of spider. I could see its furry legs close up and had a good view of its underside. The fangs were large, about the size of half of one of my pinky fingernails. It was running around in the bowl, very fast, generally freaking out as it's onetime life of freedom was encased by it's new prison of good pyrex saladware.
I then slid a sheet of firm plastic under the bowl, making sure not to lift the bowl too far thus giving the spider an effective means of escape. Then a thicker book was slid under that, finishing off with a hardcover version of "Artists in Australia". The beast had been captured, now it was was to be released away from captivity to its life in the wild.
We went for a walk in the drizzling rain across to a bushy park and put down the bowl, making sure the spider was not clinging upside down on the book surface. I took a BIG jump back.
In the torchlight it appeared to struggle to get out of the bowl and eventually got out onto a long weed of some sort in the rain. It seemed to be a bit disorientated and pissed off, giving up it's relatively dry flat home of the laundry to this wet dark place in the bush. It no longer looked that big struggling on a long strand of stem in the rain.
I almost felt sorry for it.