I say number one because I know there are others but lastnight I was reminded of this one. Prison Break came back on lastnight and if you couldn’t tell by my episode guide at the top I’m a huge fan. I absolutely LOVE the show but unlike almost any other show (or movie for that matter) I get so wrapped up in what I’m watching I react physically. That is to say I just about have a heart attack each week from my own actual stress worrying that Michael won’t…well I don’t know what because of course everything will work out in the end, it always does. Regardless, my favorite scene was last season when he and T-bag had a fight in the jungles of Panama. I was so tense I actually crushed the Jamba Juice cup I was holding. Lucky for me it was empty. So what does this have to do with spiders?
Well I can only think of one other time, where I was so engrossed in what I was watching, that I was unaware of what I was doing until commercial break. It was summer of 2002 (I remember because I had just sent in my papers to serve a mission and had expressed an interest in serving somewhere in Central America. This comes into play later) and I was working at the University doing landscape. It was the afternoon and I had just come home from work, no one else was home yet (thank goodness). So I was flipping through the channels trying to find something to pass the time and stumbled across the discovery channel. They were showing some program that had to do with spiders. Let me interject here that I hate spiders but at the same time, am strangely fascinated by them. Go figure.
So I started watching because really how bad could it be? I mean it wasn’t like they were actually in front of me, just on TV. The narrator is going on and on about this specific type of triantula blah blah, but then comes the part for a reinactment. The camera angles itself as though it’s the spider hiding in a bunch of bananas in the trees. Then we see a local farmer walking through the plantation. At this point I’m getting a little nervous for the man because I can see this is not going to go well for him. I sit up a little in my chair and I can feel my palms getting a little sweaty and I’m starting to feel anxious. The narrator is talking about the man and how he works in the fields to support his family or something like that all the while, the camera is still acting like the spider watching the man walking closer. I’m getting more anxious and start to shake my head a little and start rubbing my fingers against my palms and I’m afraid to blink.
Then the man stops walking and looks like he’s a little bit of a distance from the spider. I find myself whispering to him telling him to stay there and not move any closer. Then I’m aware of the narrator saying that this particular triantula can jump up to 30 feet and just as this new information is starting to register, the camera zooms in on the farmer as though the spider has just jumped and attacked. At this point, I jump and suck in air and give an audible gasp. My heart is racing and my eyes are wide like saucers.
The man notices the spider starting to run up his shirt and begins to swat at it but the spider is apparently too fast. I too am swatting at my chest yelling quite audibly, “Get it off. Get it off. GET IT OFF!!” But then the spider bites the famer in the neck and slumps to the ground against a tree. I too sit back in the chair, my breathing is pretty heavy as my heart is going a million miles an hour. Then the narrator says that the man’s breathing starts to labor and slow down b/c the spider’s bite is poisonous. Wouldn’t you know that my breathing started to slow down and I too felt like I was trying to gasp for air. Then the narrator says that within a few seconds or min. the man dies. The famer at this point stops breathing and his head rolls to the side.
The narrator continues giving some facts about this particular triantula and after what felt like forever but was really only seconds, I realized that I had stopped breathing as well. As I snapped out of it and inhaled deeply, the program went to commercial and the announcer said, “We will return to our program of poisonous triantulas of Central America after this.” WHAT?? Did he just say of Central America? Did I not just request to go down there to do missionary work? Holy crap. Now I had an entirely new concern that I had not previously thought of. At this point I quickly changed the channel and I’m not sure I’ve ever watched the Discovery Channel since.