I recall when I was about three years old; my father carrying me in his arms towards the big open mouth of Luna Park in Sydney. I cried my eyes out, refusing to go inside and be eaten by that huge monster with the big mouth. Once inside, I was fine; I realised the man wasn’t real and that it was just a huge construction over the entrance gate. Evidence of a child’s over-active imagination; however, my dislike for clowns continues to this day. You just have to think of John Wayne Gacy and you know exactly where I’m coming from!
There is, though, one incident in my life that left a lasting impression. My family used to have a caravan down the south coast of New South Wales, so we would go there quite often. One year, during the Christmas holidays, I brought down with me my bucket of slime. You know, that gooey liquid made from water and cornflour with some food colouring? Mine was of the bright green variety. My sister and I loved throwing it at each other. One night we were doing exactly that over a game of cards, when I felt a slight pressure upon the top of my head. I ignored it for a while – after all it was just some green slime in my hair. I eventually got sick of it and wiped it off my head and onto the table in front of us. There was no green slime – instead upon the table was a large huntsman spider. I don’t think we could move to the other side of the caravan fast enough. My dad had to kill it or get rid of it. I didn’t exactly care. I had it on my head and touched the darn thing!
On future visits down the coast, I grew overly-cautious of dark places and behind toilet doors. Whilst living in the Blue Mountains, huntsmen spiders would come indoors to escape the rain. I would run to the other side of the house waiting for my husband to get rid of them. My greatest fear was if one of them decided to appear in front of my face whilst driving; I had heard of people having accidents because of them. One hanging outside my rear-view window once was bad enough.
These days, I can’t stand the sight of spiders – especially the big hairy ones. I had to use someone else’s photo for this post and just looking at it gives me chills. I guess they can’t help the way they look and they’re great for the environment. Just as long as I don’t have to look at one, though, I think I’ll be happy.
What scared you when you were a kid? What are you afraid of now?
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