I can vividly remember 'making' a deal with one spider (hereon known as 'the thing'). The scene? My first bedroom on the station. I was going to bed and was about to turn off my lamp when something caught my eye - on the wall opposite me, above my dressing table. I looked up and - holy heck, it was huge - ABSOLUTELY MAMMOTH. It was moving around a bit - not that it needed to to catch my eye - it's size was enough to cause nightmares - actually just being a spider - any spider would have been enough to make me vacate the room completely, no contest. They would win on sight. But this night I must have been incredibly brave, or stupid, or tired - or - something, possibly a mix of the whole lot. Instead of very quietly edging out of bed and the room (trying not to disturb it with my movement - I mean, hell these things could leap tall buildings in a single leap - I'm sure of it) for some reason which will always remain a mystery to me I found myself 'bargaining' with the thing. I told it that I would not get someone to remove it as long as it stayed away from me - yea right. In fact I think my reason was simply the fear that it could leap tall buildings - or at least across my room and land on me - if I dared to try to move. There was just too much space between that door and me and I really could not take that chance. That there were three times that much space between the thing and me was irrelevant. And with that deal firmly (no hand shaking - no thanks) in place I very stupidly turned off my bed light and went to sleep. Not quite sure how I slept with the knowledge that I was still in the same room as the thing. All I can think is that in this deal making bit I must have successfully brainwashed myself enough to be able to relax - or I am incredibly stupid. Well, something worked because next thing I knew it was next morning, sun was up and - wow - lo and behold - there was no sign of the thing. YES. So, feeling very happy and proud of myself (not really occurring to me to try to find the thing) I bounced up, dressed and started making my bed - which was against a wall so I had to move it out in order to make it. Now I think anyone and everyone else in the world would pretty well have guessed what happened next - but not me - oh no. I was patting myself too much on the back for my bargaining powers. I had almost finished making the bed - and it still hadn't occurred to me to try to find the thing - when I suddenly looked down - and - no prizes for guessing - there it was. With the bed pulled away from it it was stretching out a couple of its hideous legs trying to find something to grab on to. I must have been brushing it every time I went around to make the bed - how I hadn't seen it is absolutely beyond me - I mean it was just tooooo big and waay too ugly to miss - surely? Another blood curdling scream. Sheer terror had me rooted to the spot this time - I could not move - not a muscle. When my legs finally did decide to move of their own accord there was no stopping them - they took off - straight into the closed door. I cannot remember any pain whatsoever - all I could think was that the thing was somewhere behind me, either leaping tall building or at least through the air - or just hiding. Damn thing had not kept its part of the deal and for that it would pay - provided I could find it again. We did - eventually. And many will be pleased to know that whoever my saviour was picked it up with dust pan and broom and took it out into the garden - and put it down, just in time for a nearby bird to swoop and grab it.
But wait - there's more - stay tuned -