I'll start with some disappointment. Due to the secret government work I've been assigned I will not be able to deliver the next installment of Pub Crawl Massacre until mid May. But its OK cos i writ this down for your arousment. And its sunny.
A tale of spiders.....
Some people are scarred of them. This is generally thought to be irrational in Britain because all our spiders are harmless. Yet some of our native spiders are wearing disguises. The ancestors of these special spiders were born in the misty waters of Lake Genesis a few days after the dawn of time. At about the time Neighbours would be on today. No! The evening episode not the lunch time one. Yes, I know this is irrelevant but it's these little details that suck you in. Sucker.
Anyhow they masquerade in frail little bodies day after day keeping up a pretence of living off flies by spinning webs and sometimes even eating the flies. They grow empty, bitter and weak off such a putrid diet. They lust for red meat and blood. They are perfectly capable of devouring a full grown man in as little as three minutes. These special spiders have learned amazing feats of stealth and subtlety that have been past from generation to generation. Therefore few people ever realise that the 'irrational' fear of spiders has some justification.
Very rarely does anyone ever escape from a murderous British house spider when it feels the lust for man-flesh. Victims generally die and therefore never get to tell anyone that they saw this innocuous looking arachnid swell up, spit venom then chow down on a lovely, juicy shoulder of man.
When spiders choose to show their true form they never do it if two or more people are present in the same place. If they did that their secret would be out. No. They attack only when one is alone. Only when the spider is sure they are alone with the victim does the transformation take place. First the legs begin to elongate, normally a few inches or so in a matter of seconds. If you ever see a spider with disproportionately long legs run. Run like the wind and don't look behind you.
Then the body starts to swell too, bigger and bigger until at last it reaches the size of a clenched fist. Fangs form. Quickly. More quickly than scientists think bone can be formed. Razor sharp fangs like sharks teeth appear within a couple of minutes of the body swelling. These teeth are amazingly efficient in design. They posses the ability to tear flesh from bone with almost no effort. Behind these rows of incisors the venom glands materialise. Finally hairs sprout forth from the body and the legs. The hairs turn from black to yellow once the spider is fully developed into the ravenous, murderous predator.
The enlarged British house spider in it's special carnivorous phase is still not all that big. Full grown their bodies can be as small as a tennis ball but legend has it that the very biggest ones have bodies the size of a football. Either way a well timed stamp with a good walking boot produces spider soup.
There are several good reasons why nearly all people who are unfortunate enough to witness the transformation still manage to get themselves eaten. Speed and surprise are the main two. Spiders are fast. Enlarged hungry spiders are faster. Try running from one and you will almost certainly fail. They have eight legs, you have just two. Do the math.
Surprise certainly helps the special spiders. Having walked the Earth for a considerable number of years amongst lots of harmless spiders an average adult victim will not be expecting a spider to swell up right under their nose. They will also not expect them to then proceed to eat them. This definitely is most unexpected behaviour and "I'm surprised" is often the last thought of a person who sees the spurt of venom issuing from the deadly spider.
Disbelief, the denial of the fact that this could possibly be happening, delays your reactions and hampers any chance of escape. Initial surprise is often coupled with a sheer blind panic (this normally happens to people who are afraid of the everyday harmless spiders) and the victim becomes routed to the spot, too afraid to shout or cry. They get covered in venom with ease. Alternatively surprise can be accompanied with a curious fascination. This normally happens with those who do not suffer arachnophobia. These people get involuntarily drawn towards their own doom. Afterall, watching a spider transformation is a fascinating, if deadly process. A prospective zoologist type will actually put their face right next to the abnormally large, ney incredibly large spider, just to get a better look at the legs turning yellow. Yellow hair is always their final observation.
The main reason people are no match for these unusual creatures is the nature of the venom itself. It produces instant paralysis coupled with a powerful amnesia. Once the green sticky liquid touches your skin, no matter how small the amount, you will not remember a thing. You will be unable to warn your brother, your lover or your mother that peril is at hand. They could be spinning a web in the cupboard under the stairs of someone near and dear to you.
One thing at least we can be grateful for is that in the enlarged state spiders do not have (or at least ever seem to have used) a functioning web. I can only imagine how many more victims there would be if they could spin webs. However a quick reflection on this point and I realise that enormous spiders webs everywhere would certainly alert people that something was amiss. After all with sensible precautions (protective clothing and heavy boots for example) man is quite capable of exterminating them all. Lack of web is probably another factor that has contributed to their secret survival.
Also I believe the fact they hunt alone, not in packs* enables their continued secrecy and therefore survival. You see to complete their life cycle they must change back to their original form. Only once they've fed on the flesh of man and then changed back to appear small and harmless can they breed and reproduce.
The morph back into their smaller size usually takes place within an hour or so of feeding on a human, sometimes slightly quicker or sometimes times slightly slower. However spiders must remain hidden from people at all times once they have enlarged. This is why pack hunting is not a viable option. A simple premise; it is harder to remain hidden when there are more things to hide. A group of enlarged spiders covered with bright yellow hairs, blood dripping from their collective jaws would surely get a glance or two. One spider on the other hand, the lone warrior in the dead of night, one spider can get away with it. Spiders can climb walls and fit through gaps by folding their legs. Almost any hiding place imaginable is accessible to a clever spider in the prime of their youth.
Remember. You will always be alone with a spider when suddenly it turns on you. But there will only be one to contend with. Consider this an educational public service bulletin to give you due warning. Be on a state of heightened alert. Don't run. Be prepared to dodge venom, then be prepared to stamp.
*I think 'pack' would be the correct term to use for a bunch of deranged, salivating, man eating spiders on the rampage.