Play It As It Lies

The desk sat against the far wall.  It was your standard issue college dorm desk; although, you wouldn’t recognize it given all the junk on and around it.  See the desk was a snapshot of the dorm room itself.  The bunk beds had blankets and sheets draped over like curtain doors for the purposes of “baking.”  There was garbage and books and papers and clothes strewn about.  It smelled of beer, ganj, pretzels, and peanut butter.  And the desk…it may have had a computer but with all the red solo cups filled with dip spit and booze and crystal light it was hard to tell.

Back in 2004-05, during our freshman year at JMU, a most unfortunate event occurred.  A couple of our friends were in a bit of hot water over some controlled substances found in their dorm room.  Enough trouble in fact that they were getting the boot for a semester.  It sucked for everyone.  But what happened had happened and there was nothing we could do.  So, toward the end of fall semester a handful of us were helping them clean their room…something, that I don’t believe had been done since move in.  And I’ll never forget it.

Luckily, and I still thank whatever being or karma or blind ass luck had dealt me these cards, I was on the other side of the room.  But, one of us picked up a standard looking red solo cup off the desk against the far wall, one of many such cups we had already thrown away.  This one was different though.  According to eye witnesses, the cup wasn’t empty, but whatever was in it was more solid than dip spit or booze, in fact the early hypothesis was that it was unused dip…it had that sort of texture.  When the attempt was made to empty the cup nothing came out.  Strange…

He started tapping the bottom of the cup like a ketchup bottle and what was inside started to give way.  Finally the contents fell out…

The wolf spider is literally found everywhere in the world...

The wolf spider is literally found everywhere in the world…

Yup.

It was massive, and hairy, and alive.   Now, I have what some may deem an irrational fear of spiders or arachnophobia.  Keep in mind, I’m not afraid of the common little guys or the ones with legs no wider than a strand of hair, but this fucker was like a spider I only saw on Steve Irwin shows and assumed couldn’t survive in a place like America.  I ran the fuck out of the room.

I don’t know who got it back in the cup or how, but in a sad turn of events a visiting meathead of a boyfriend of one of the girls in the dorm stomped the little guy.  This thing was the size of my fucking hand so when he squashed it, it was not pretty.  In any case, I may be terrified of the thing but I didn’t think it deserved to go like that. 

I was thinking about this story again yesterday when I heard the story of Daniela Holmqvist, a Swedish golfer.  While trying to qualify for the LPGA’s Australian Open, she was bitten by a redback widow spider (the redback is apparently the Australian equivalent to North America’s black widow spider, so yeah) 4 holes into her qualifying round.  She then proceeded to use a golf tee, a fucking golf tee, to digthe venom out of her ankle.   I’m going to repeat that.

She then proceeded to use a golf tee, a fucking golf tee, to dig the venom out of her ankle…

Ms. Holmqvist doing her thing on the course

Ms. Holmqvist doing her thing on the course

I ran away from a wolf spider in a dorm room before it got within 5 feet of me, this 25 year-old woman dug the venom out with essentially a stick and then finished the other 14 holes!  So not only is she a vastly superior golfer than me, but she’s significantly tougher as well.  Awesome!  Unfortunately, she did not qualify which isn’t exactly surprising.  Doesn’t take away the devastating blow this story gave my pride and manhood. 

The redback spider of Australia

The redback spider of Australia

Apparently the black widow and redback spiders are different species, but you wouldn’t know it by the picture.  According to Animal Planet, the redback is considered the 5th most venomous spider in the world.  It produces an alpha-latrotoxin that in humans basically causes the uncontrolled release of a number of neurotransmitters that raise blood pressure, increase heart rate, strain muscle tissue, and deform red blood cells.  While the bite is rarely fatal in adults, it raises body temperature resulting in “unusual sweating,” and causes extreme chest and abdominal pain, to go with the pain around the bite site. 

I would have been in the back of an ambulance crying like a baby or passed out.  This broad kept playing.  I feel like she should be given a spot in the Open on toughness alone.  When asked about what happened she thought it was the black widow but said, “A clear fluid came out, it wasn’t the prettiest thing I’ve ever done, but I had to get as much of it out of me as possible.  It still hurts; I don’t recommend getting bitten by a black widow.” 

Just one picture for your brains to absorb:

The redback with a snake...yeah a snake, in her web

The redback with a snake…yeah a snake, in her web

Yeah.  That’s a redback spider eating a fucking snake!  I’m equally humbled, in awe, and slightly turned on by what Ms. Holmqvist was able to do.  This fucker takes down snakes and she squeezed the venom out of her leg like popping a pimple.  Who am I kidding?  I love this girl.  She’s good looking, tough as nails, and likely on her way to making a handsome living as a pro golfer.  Plus, she can do all the spider killing.  Hey Daniela, call me!