Master Johnny is in Australia at the moment, so I dedicate this story to him.
Australia is full of insects. Big ones.
I heard a story the other day about a family travelling in their car, when, all of a sudden, a Huntsman spider suddenly appeared on the windscreen. The father, driving the car, was momentarily taken aback; his wife and two children, being arachnophobic (and Australian, an unfortunate combination) were terrified.
In an attempt to rid the vehicle of the Huntsman, dad accelerated. The Huntsman spider resolutely clung on to the glass somehow, tensing its long, hairy legs against the rushing 60mph winds buffeting its fat, grey body. As his family grew more agitated, dad increased his speed even more. Eventually, the spider slowly, reluctantly, slid up the windscreen onto the roof of the car, out of sight.
Upon arrival at their destination, dad turned off the engine and the family waited for a few seconds. There was the subtle skittering noise as the stowaway spider perambulated across the hot metal roof. Then silence.
After five minutes, with much pleading not to do so, dad decided it was time to take a look. Grasping the handle, he opened the door in one rapid movement, launched himself into a standing position slamming the door behind him in deference to his nervous charges, defiantly staring at the top of the car, expecting to be face to face with a rather dishevelled and irritated spider. But it was nowhere to be seen.
Not a week had passed before I heard of another incident of a Huntsman spider on a car windscreen. This time, there was only one occupant in the car, when, as with the family in our first tale, the Huntsman spider appeared right in front of him. Once more, our rather alarmed driver took the usual evasive action, by accelerating. The Huntsman, like its colleague before, stayed put.
However, this lone driver had more foresight than the father. Rather than drive faster so that the Huntsman would be blown off the car by the on rushing wind, he realised that by turning on the windscreen wipers, the determined arachnid would be swept away in one foul swoop.
With a screech, the dry rubber of the wiper blades, baked by the hot Australian sun, juddered across the toughened glass. Amazingly, the Huntsman spider didn’t move an inch.
Because it was on the inside of the windscreen…