To recap: It’s raining spiders. I’m a grown man with a beautiful wife, two kids, a financial planner for some reason, hotel rewards cards, stove-cleaning solution and a Honda, and I am not ashamed to say that the idea of spiders raining down from the sky makes me want to crawl into a kangaroo pouch or hide under a kookaburra or whatever the hell you do to escape raining death in Australia.
I fear only two things in this world: heights and spiders. Well, also whales, a little, because they’re huge. I know everyone’s all like, “But they’re harmless filter feeders who live on krill and plankton and sing beautiful gargle-songs to each other and occasionally save the Starship Enterprise.” Yeah, well, that’s what the international lobbying conglomerate Big Whale wants you to believe. What if they’re actually eating dolphins and cows and old pirates? You just don’t know about whales, is what I’m saying.
I hate spiders. I hate things about spiders. I have studiously avoided Arachnophobia for 25 years, and most other John Goodman movies, just to be safe. Even now, I regard little bits of insect trivia in my son’s books—“The average human will, in a year, while he is sleeping, consume 3,500 spiders”—not as endearing tidbits but evidence of mankind’s failure as a species, as we’re people who can invent spray-on butter and cloud computing and complete microwaveable cheeseburgers but can’t fix insects crawling into our mouths at night. Seriously, if there are any scientists reading this who are working on literally anything else at all, stop what you’re doing and handle this before I end up sleep-eating a tarantula.
Anyway, look at this picture of Australia because, of course, this is happening in Australia—it’s like the Florida of that side of the planet, only with fewer drive-through pharmacies and more baseball-glove-sized scorpions. That is not snow, people, those are webs. God, it’s like a Golden Corral for spiders, only it’s made 100 percent of trapped bugs and airborne Australia dust and detritus, so it’s obviously much healthier.
Oh, and now I live with an 11-year-old who believes that animal rights extend to insects with pincers, who has literally shaken his head at me for killing spiders who are in my house, preferring I’d escort them out the door with the sort of VIP treatment that would probably embarrass the Dalai Lama (who, I have it on good authority, in the same situation would smash the spiders Tibets. Please tell me someone out there liked that one.)
Scientists say the spiders may be engaging in a migration technique called ballooning, in which they climb to the top of a tree and release a thin strand of silk to catch the wind for a little arachnid wind-surfing. I think I speak for the human world when I say: I don’t care if they’re escaping biker gangs in Waco, Texas, that shit is terrifying and I hope Australia has flamethrowers.
True story: I once dreamed about a spider crawling on my neck, dreamed about slapping it away and woke up with a freshly expired spider carcass on my hand. To recap again: If you ever have a dream where you think there’s a spider crawling on your neck, you wake up and check that right out.