Too cold down here for them... I'm really quite fond of the huntsmen but I draw the line at wearing them.
Mel, I'm glad you escaped a fanging from the funnelweb.
So am I, because it was close
...okay, anyone with a spider phobia, just scroll past this post going "la la la Mel said everything ended up fine and that's all I need to know la la la," okay? Okay.
This was years ago, when I was around 20. I was staying with my parents for a few weeks, because Mum's workplace needed to hire someone short term to run a survey of their clients and she convinced them that I was the bees knees at this sort of thing.
The house was a bit old and the spare room I was staying in had a very
old free-standing wooden wardrobe with, in hindsight, lots of crevices and dark corners for Things to hide in.
I had a limited selection of spiffy work outfits, most of which took the form of 'pretty blouse and matching long skirt, both with buttons up the front'. So I took one out of the wardrobe and half-tossed it on the bed (still on its hanger) while I got all the underpinnings in place, including a short slip. I am very glad that I was wearing a slip.
Sat down on the bed, took the blouse off the hanger and put it on, ran my fingers down the collar to locate the first button and buttonhole -- hey wait a second, what is this thing on the collar that feels like a hairy peanut? -- took my hand away and glanced down to see what it was, and a large female funnelweb fell off the collar, landed on the slip, and sat there in attack pose going "Rar! Rar!" at the world.
For anyone who doesn't know: agitated funnelwebs do not run away. They rear up with their front legs off the ground and their (large, visible) fangs out, ready to bite anything that touches them. If they find a target, they tend to hang on and bite multiple times... and if I hadn't been wearing a slip, this one would have fallen straight down between my thighs and probably felt a little, er, constricted. Bites from female funnelwebs are a lot less dangerous than bites from males, but the upper inner thigh isn't a great place to get a bite from any
Anyway, I froze, which in hindsight was the best reaction to have at the time!
The funnelweb went "Rar!" a bit more, then calmed down and scuttled over to hide under a fold in the slip. I had a new bottle of perfume still in the box on the bedside table, thankfully within arm's length, so I reached over to get it, put the box down on my lap with the open top pointed towards the spider, and carefully pulled the slip fabric sideways until the fold unfolded. The spider saw the nice dark opening and ran into it, I closed it and carefully put it down... and then I jumped up, ripped off the blouse, and screamed for my mother.
We found a half-spun nest inside the sleeve of the blouse when we checked it for more creepy-crawlies, so it's a really good thing that I dropped it on the bed instead of putting it straight on!