Drama: noun. any situation or series of events having vivid, emotional, conflicting, or striking interest or results.
For a while now Kelly and I have really been getting into watching Norwegian TV dramas (a genre also known as Nordic Noir). Series such as Wallander, and Borgen and The Bridge offer up some really well crafted and moody entertainment.
Last night after dinner we settled down in anticipation of watching the latest episode of: Nobel. Two of us and the dog all strategically snuggled ourselves amongst a pile of cushions on the couch, lights dimmed, steaming tea in hand.
Queue theme music. Showtime.
“Just a sec.” says Kelly. “I just need to pee.
I hold her tea whilst Kelly extracts herself from her pillow throne. Off she goes.
Only before she is even halfway gone……
“Holy shit, will you look at the size of this spider!”
Now I consider myself a battle hardened nurse (recently retired). 35 years working in the adrenalin soaked environs of an emergency department where a hundred varieties of drama extrude through your head and pound through your heart with irregular regularity.
Keeping your shit together (in the moment, at least), and responding decisively & effectively are mandatory attributes of an ED nurse.
But spiders are my kryptonite. Spiders are my rationality disrupter.
Spiders splay my shit in eight different hairy articulating directions, and freeze my decisiveness in eight tiny beady black lumps of reptilian-centred fear.
“Ian…its right up THERE!” Kelly repeats. “Are you even listening to me?”
Yup. It was right there all right. Two metres to my left and a bit above me.
On the wall.
A big one.
Family: Sparassidae. Class: Arachnidia. I totally appreciate that Huntsman spiders, although venomous, are not life threatening to man, and in fact are quite beneficial as they predate on insects, and other pests (In fact here is a video of a large huntsman spider dragging a mouse up a wall. You are welcome).
I have no desire to kill them unnecessarily.
I should have sucked it up, braced my sphincter, and gently encouraged the Huntsman to climb on to my palm, quietly walk it outside and release it into the night.
Thats what Bear Grylls would do. Thats what this little girl would do.
But like I said. Kryptonite.
Besides, Huntsman spiders have this grasp reflex that can make them clamp their spidery legs onto you making them difficult to dislodge. Or very occasionally they can deliver a painful bite. Or worse case scenario, they could shoot up under your arm, into your tee-shirt and then God knows where from there, causing instantaneous arachno-tachycardic cardiac arrest.
“Ian! Will you get down off that cabinet and come over here and give me a hand for cripes sakes?”
Im not sure where I went…. but Kelly had gone to the kitchen and retrieved some spider dispatching pesticide from somewhere under the sink. Or perhaps she had driven down to the local supermarket and brought it and driven back again. It’s difficult to say.
Kelly is also an ex-emergency department nurse. She knows how to get shit done in an emergency. I have no doubt she would not have hesitated to squish the spider with a shoe (probably one of mine) only its size would have resulted in a nasty smear of wall pizza to clean up afterwards.
Instead she was on scene with a five second spray of cholinesterase inhibiting nastiness from a large can that looked more like a fire extinguisher.
The Huntsman that had up until now been minding his own business with a zen like stillness suddenly became a flailing scamper of angry berserk.
Up the wall. Across the wall. And then it suddenly leapt out at me like some grey-black ninja throwing star.
I have absolutely no doubt that it was trying to get up my arm and into my tee-shirt. I felt the beginnings of cardiac arrest.
But it fell short. Landing on the carpet. And then it scurried under the couch.
Over the next hour we searched for it. Down on our hands and knees with a torch so we could peer underneath the couch. Kelly bravely looked down behind it.
There was no body. Nothing.
At one point Kelly thought she could see some legs hanging down. But I couldn’t see a thing from my binoculars.
One thing for sure, even though Juno was totally up for it, there was absolutely no way that Kelly or I were going to turn the lights back down, snuggle up and resume the Nordic Noir drama.
So I settled back into the only rational, reasonable alternative. I sat in the far end of the dining room with all the lights on, opened my laptop and put the couch up for sale on eBay.