Monday, July 28, 2014
Kamagong Journals Part Nine: Killer Spider!
For the most part, bathrooms in the Philippines are stripped down versions of the one here in the States. Many of them contain only a toilet and a sink. They are fully tiled with a drain in the floor and if you shower, you do so with a tabo or dipper which you use to poor water over you. As the country becomes more affluent, houses are starting to install at least one actual shower in the house but these are plumbed up to inline heaters with lots of dials, switches and scary looking electrical plugs plugged into sockets right in the shower with you. All this is leading me away from my main point which is that most bathrooms are very tiny compared to those here in the States.
The one where the above picture is taken was about three feet wide by about five feet deep. In order for me to use it, I had to open the door, squeeze between it and the sink and get turned around in front of the toilet so that I can get the door shut again. On this particular trip early in the morning when I was still waking early due to jet lag, I closed the door and sat down to do some business when I looked over by the hinge side of the door and saw this guy.
To give you some scale, I later measured the tiles and they are 10" tall. This guy was every bit the size of my hand. The first instance I saw him, my heart leaped in my chest and possibly skipped a beat. I hate spiders and I figured word had gotten out and someone had placed it there to scare me. They had done a good job I thought but as I sat there keeping an eye on the thing just to be sure, I saw it mandibles moving near its mouth. Suddenly muscles in my body all tensed up and I knew taking care of business would no longer be possible. I carefully, every so slowly, eased my camera out of my pocket to snap the only picture seen above thinking it might be a good blog post on the biggest spider I have ever seen out of captivity and then started to ease up my drawers to prepare for a careful exit.
Just as I got ready to reach for the door handle, the darn thing started skittering around the door at 90 miles per hour coming to rest on the gosh darn door handle. My heart may have reached somewhere around 3000 rpm and a little yip of fright might have escaped my mouth or I might have manly shooed the spider away and walked away. I'm guessing you all know which way was true.
As I stood there debating what I was going to do at three in the morning trapped in a claustrophobicly small bathroom while everyone else was sleeping by a killer spider looking to kill me with one venomous bit and use my body to hose millions of spider eggs. We eyed each other for awhile and I finally came to the conclusion that one of us was going to die and I slowly started reaching down to grab my Teva sandal to smack the spider with or die trying. My hand had just made it somewhere south of my knee when the spider made a break for it.
Now in a three by feet feet wide bathroom, making a break for it has limited options. In this case, the spider leaped over to the wall above the sink and dashed along the wall mere inches from my shoulder. This time I definitely screamed as I lunged for the door. It takes me a full 30 seconds to maneuver my large frame in around the door and sink so that I can get it back closed. Somehow with the killer spider now lunging for me, I was able to leap towards the door, in mid air open the door, clear the sink, fly across the threshold and slam the door behind me, all in about .05 seconds. Somehow the door slamming or my screams of terror weren't loud enough to wake up the house but my heart beats nearly did.
Later when every one woke up, I warned them of the killer spider on the loose in the bathroom and of course was laughed at. Then about three hours later I hear my wife screaming like she was being murdered in the same bathroom and like me, she came flying out the door at record speed. After that, my brother-in-law, who evidently is immune to killer spiders, trapped it in a very large plastic container with a tight lid and he spend the rest of his days on the balcony as a show and tell object. It took me a few days before I was able to use that bathroom or again and even then, I checked every corner of every bathroom for sibling spiders seeking revenge for their brother before I ever put one foot across the threshold.