I just hung out with a spider and a Good Samaritan.
Sometimes people need to get your attention. The art of getting a stranger’s attention can be life or death. In this story, it was not.
I was the stranger and the man who risked it all was just behind me waiting for the same flight I was on. The real danger for him was that I was goin to flip out if he tapped me shoulder and then sit next to him on the flight for an awkward 4 hours. He needed to tap my shoulder though. He needed to tell me about the spider hanging from the ceiling just above my head.
After the initial shock of being tapped on the shoulder and quietly told about my would-be arachnid attacker, I gently touched the assailant with a stir stick. (The spider. Not the guy) He stirred. He turned around and climbed upward to the ceiling and waited for another chump to sit in the same seat with no good samaritan to thwart his attempt to catch a ride to who knows where.
I did not freak out and I did not sit next to the friendly hero on the plane, but I did think about that spider for some time. Was he really able to find unsuspecting insects and things to eat in the clean and sterile Savannah airport or was he just on a layover? Maybe he was traveling the world on the passengers of Delta air. Maybe he was on a longer than usual layover as people in Savannah are so polite that they tell each other about spiders trying to secretly hitchhike on strangers. Perhaps the layover was too long so he was not trying to catch a ride at all. Perhaps he was trying to eat ME. We may underestimate the resourcefulness of a world traveled spider. Maybe they have found a way to slowly eat us as we wait for our planes.
I don’t know enough about modern spiders to assess whether or not I was witnessing some new evolution of the man-eating, globe trotting super spider, but I do know that remaining calm is the key. Imagine if I had been tapped on the shoulder and then freaked out at the sight of what at first glance would look just like a giant tropical killer 3 inches from my face but to the casual observer would look like nothing. They would watch as my seemingly horrendous overreaction to a tap on the shoulder would send me running in circles and swatting at my own head. Security would be alerted and my new spider and I would be lead into a locked room and patted down for hours. They would call our families and have us undergo cognitive testing, which no one can pass no matter how lucid. Then we would be assessed by professional bahviorists and doctors and ultimately committed.
Moral; stay calm or you may end up sharing a rubber room and a straight jacket with a really smart spider… Sleep tight.