By ALANA HOUSE
Phobias are weird things. I have a friend who goes totally spare if she sees a balloon, which seems an odd thing to frighten a 45-year-old woman. But each to their own freak outs.
Me, I’m scared of spiders.
So I had to take a few deep breaths when I went to the DVD launch of Epic recently at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden. One of the activities that had been organised to get a mob of international journalists excited about the movie was the chance to meet a lovely bloke called Ken the Bug Guy.
Ken wrangles insects for a living (next time you’re in the market for a pet creepy crawly, he’s your man, check out his website here). That’s my idea of hell – especially the tarantulas.
I am not only scared of spiders, I am PETRIFIED of them. And Australia is full of scary ones – we have some of the most venemous types in the world.
The knowledge, for example, that funnel web spiders can fall into swimming pools and survive for up to 24 hours by trapping air bubbles on hairs around their abdomen haunts me.
Watching Ken wrangle an enormous tarantula in a plastic box made me nauseous just looking at it. But then I thought, you know I should face my fears and stop being so scared of spiders.
He offered to put the hairy thing on my hand … but I wasn’t quite prepared to face my fears quite that thoroughly. So I settled for holding the plastic container.
And almost dropped it when the big-as-a-saucer thing decided to try and push the top off. Because it looked like this …
Jaysus, Joseph and Mary! That is SO not my idea of a cuddly pet.
Then he convinced me to hold some other giant scary insect. I’ve blanked out what it was called, but it looked like this.