Friday, 3 December 2010

things that bug you

i've been meaning to comment on the different types of pests i've encountered on my journeys in south-east asia, europe and australia. then i realised that it makes up a pretty long post, even for my standards. but, worry not, i have no intention of boring you with arachnid anecdotes and rodent re-hashes. instead, here are some choice comments on my take of aussie insects compared to more home-grown ones:

1. size does matter

double entendres aside, you should see the size of these things. especially the black ones. ahem. but really, people, i kid you not. in fact, the inspiration for this post comes from me getting into the shower one morning and finding a huge-ass black spider on the window. by the way, the window is located in the showering area, just opposite the showerhead. that basically puts me cowering near the faucet and showerhead, trying to perform some semblance of washing while keeping both eyes on the spider happily basking in the warm water vapour, about an arm's length away from my head. and my potential death. needless to say, stepping out of the shower, i didn't feel much clean.

i think my options were either stepping outside without having used my soap (which sits on the windowsill) or dying a horrible poison-induced death related to some sort of haemolytic anaphylaxis. i think i made the right choice.

getting bitten by this spider will probably not give you spider-powers. you're free to hallucinate that you're a superhero while the toxins slowly digest your innards into a slushy pulp, perfect for the spider's dinner.

2. attitude

ok, you're probably thinking, 'wait, what?'. just bear with me a bit. though the insects down under probably won't be all 'what chu lookin' at?', they will still be up in your grill. the flies and mosquitoes, i've noticed, are a good example, and if you ever find yourself in australia during the summer, you'll know what i mean. the annoying sons of bitches guns know no fear (or sense of personal space). in fact, aussie flies are so notoriously annoying at buzzing in your face, the term 'australian salute' is given to that futile act of trying to keep them at bay. it's okay, though - after a while it becomes second nature and you don't even notice yourself doing it. the mozzies are just as annoying, which brings us to the next point...

3. diseases

well, i am supposed to be an infectious disease student, so it's only natural that i spread my propaganda here. it's pretty logical that the different insects back home spread different diseases, so i'll give you the lowdown:

- no real chance of you getting malaria in australia (yay)
- dengue is pretty much eveerywhere (oh well)
- there's a couple of viruses you may never even have heard of outside the locality. ross river virus, barmah forest virus, and some wacky bat lyssavirus (yeah, yeah, bats aren't insects. still). they're all out there to get you. oh, random fact: the lyssavirus is pretty much rabies, but the australian government won't acknowledge that because they need to define them differently so that they can claim australia as rabies-free. whatever floats your boat, i guess.

they're only cute until they give you bat rabies. again, don't count on becoming batman.
- ticks are nasty things. they give you everything from lyme disease to babesiosis to (possibly) q fever. you don't get that nasty sh*t back home. unless your home is america, then you might want to consider rocky mountain spotted fever etc. anyway...

yeah this is getting boring. i just realised how much you could write on this because you could just find some obscure disease and do a checklist about it... so let's keep moving.

4. random batsh*t crazy stuff

ok if all this hasn't scared you off from ever visiting australia, rest assured that there's a jungle of creepy crawlies just jonesing to sink their fangs/stingers/spines/you-don't-want-to-know into your sorry @$$.

ever heard of the funnel web spider? top ten deadliest things in the world. they're actually a group of 30+ different spiders, but i don't think you'd be arguing about taxonomy when your life is slowly ebbing away and you start seeing that bright white light leading you to heaven (i'm assuming you've been a good boy/girl).

it's big. it's black. and you don't want it anywhere near you. (more double entendres)
not all that glitters is gold, not all that is going to r*pe your @$$ is going to be a spider (or insect). snakes, scorpions, platypuses and octopuses are all standing at the ready to turn your holiday in to the trip to hell you so rightly deserve (i'm assuming you've been a bad boy/girl).

i particularly like how pretty this one is. it makes me think 'ooo, how pretty. i'm going to touch the cutesy little octoplwwwooooooo (sound of you becoming a spactic-paralysed blob of goo).

well, i think that's enough for now. i can think of a few other points, but i think we all get the big picture now. what awesome killer creepers exist in your locality? ninja-assassin frogs? zombie kittens? cyborg tarantula jesus?

No comments: