Military Tales – Larry the Spider

I've been told by quite a few people that I need to start writing some
of the things that happened in my life down, that for some reason what
I would have to say about myself would make a good read. I think these
people are crazy, I've been there I doubt it is very interesting.
However, there are a couple of stories from when I was in the military
that entertained a few people. Let me note that names and locations
have been changed to protect the innocent, not so innocent or are
covered under a non-disclosure agreement I signed upon my discharge
from the Air Force.

Once upon a time in location undisclosed-Istan,
I was deployed during the summer with a group of GIs whose main purpose
in life was to introduce their boots to inanimate objects with hinges.
The temperature in undisclosed-Istan generally
stayed a balmy 120 degrees or more. There were generally very little to
do for entertainment, and let me tell you being the only female amongst
a small group of GIs (from a separate branch) demands that you come up
with entertainment quick else you become the entertainment. I don't
mean that in a bad way, like how the media will portray it, I mean that
these guys thoroughly enjoyed every attempt to embarrass the hell out
of me at every point. They used to play a game called "My ballsack is sweater than a …."
where well I doubt I have to describe it, but they come up with new
comparisons for this statement. It was quite…enlightening to say the
least. I never did very well at this game, not only did I lack a
ballsack but I lacked the appropriate imagination to come up with these
comparisons. There were two creatures that were of great abundance and
great annoyance around undisclosed-Istan, the Camel Spider and the desert Scorpion.

the Camel spider is not a creature to be taken lightly it is a huge
spider which is quite fond of your shadow and they jump. This is a
picture of a camel spider dragging a lizard it had killed off to eat
it. These guys were scary things to say the least and the biggest
worries you had was either getting bitten in your sleep rewarding
yourself with a giant pustule or finding one of these (or a scorpion)
in your boots at night while you sleep.

The question once came,
"Who would win in a fight?" Now granted for you bug lovers this story
turns a bit gruesome, I'm sorry I really am…actually no I'm not
terribly sorry I've been bitten by a camel spider and had to get
treated with antibiotics and such and I didn't do a thing to that
little guy. Anyhow the "Exo-Dome" was a "Thunderdome"
inspired "Two bugs enter one bug leaves" style gladiator fighting ring.
I had my pet prize who I found in my shoe, his name was Larry and I was
mortified by him. Nothing in this world gives me the creeps than
spiders okay maybe snakes. The most important fact is that I hate
spiders with a passion. So you must believe me that the boredom was so
great that I had to keep a pet spider named Larry, and affectionately
named such too. Larry for some reason was quite the formidable
opponent. Even the SAS guys eventually knew Larry by name. I did the
girly thing and put him in a very large tupperware container with holes
and fed him fresh meat every day, I decorated it with pretty flowers
and such. I doted upon Larry a great deal.

I grew to have this
love/hate dichotomy of a relationship with Larry. I even tried to take
him back to the states with me as a pet. This to say the least was not
one of my brightest ideas, he survived the trip but once I got caught
with him in my possession he was taken away from me, it was a sad day.

still to this day am terrified of spiders, camel spiders are still
amongst the most terrifying for me. I will never forget (nor will the
guys I was deployed with) the schoolgirl shriek I let out as I ran
through the sand waving my arms as Larry chased me down jumping at me
to either 'thank' me for all of my love or desiring to hide in my
shadow. My fear was quickly quelled when one of the GIs decided that it
was time to protect Airman Tia by squishing Larry.

In a moment
that I can only describe as pure hilarity (one of those you probably
had to be there to truly appreciate it moments) I threw my gloves on
which were inside of my pockets and ran over to catch Larry. I
whimpered and whined girlishly holding him as far from my body as
possible screaching, "Gimme the box gimme the damned box pleeeaaase!"

did not immediately give me the box and drew my terror out for as long
as they possibly could. If any of you guys read this ever, I still
think you are douchebags for that.


  1. Vera
    Jun 9, 2009

    OMG, that is frigging hillarious. I watched a guy I worked with scream like a girl and run only to be chased by a very fast camel spider. We were all laughing so hard we could barely stand. Then there was the time one was in my hair. I would wash my hair before bed, hang it over the side of the bed to dry and low and behold I woke up in the middle of the night with a spider in my hair trying to gather some for it’s nest (I like to laugh about that being one of my only “war stories”). That was not my smartest idea ever but I was trying to prevent dry rot from wetting my hair in the morning and having it up all day every day. I posted a story about a cheerleading USO show not that long ago that was my other “war story” I suppose if you count the time I smashed my thumb between two pallats after sandbag detail that could be a third war story, yeah I was a desk jockey :)

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