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  1.  (10259.1)
    I can't come up with any animal stories, definitely not any to rival these great ones.

    and @governmentspy, I really need to hang out with you sometime--you're one of the most interesting cats I've ever heard of. I'm in Dallas now but I grew up in H-town and visit often. That is, if you don't die from whatever horrible calamity that regularly befalls your life first.
  2.  (10259.2)
    Thanks, Lamp, anytime you're in town look me up! Though I am not nearly as exciting as I used to be. I fear I'm getting old.

    (I started typing this out almost 2 hours ago, but was interupted by some inmate who wanted to fight his cellmate. He now has no cellmate, he now resides in the SHU (Special Housing Unit, aka "The Hole")
    [...And it was a pity you didn't spend a little longer cutting it down to size. Cos then it wouldn't have to be deleted, and I wouldn't feel like an asshole.

    Folks: everyone's had enough warnings by now. There's a wordcount for a reason.

    Next time it's the Urethral Maggots. -- Si]


    I was 21, and recently allowed to work the perimeter of the prison. I had an orderly to go outside and lower the flag at the end of the day. The orderly was a nice guy. I'll call him V; he was kinda responsible for training me. He had been at the prison since it opened, and worked in the craft shop. He made leather goods and sold them via catalog. I heard he was in for murder; he drunkenly found his girlfriend cheating, and slit their throats. Otherwise, he was a pretty nice guy.

    We chit-chatted outside and V’s lowering the flag. I'm on the other side of the pole, and I see a hole in the flagpole, and out of it come a bunch of brown recluse spiders. I'm new to Texas and terrified of these things since I first heard about them. They were crawling towards V's hands.
    For some reason, in my terror, I could not say "Hey, they’re spiders by your hands." No, I couldn't even manage to say "bugs!" I think I said something like "Move!" or "Stop!" V looked at me confused, but kept lowering the flag. I pointed and yelled gibberish, but couldn't be coherent.

    Out of desperation, I drew my .357 and pointed it at V, and just yelled at him. He backed away, pretty freaked out .
    Finally, I explained myself, and pointed at the spiders, and put my gun away. V got out bug spray kept nearby, and lowered the flag. He thanked me for trying to warn him; I apologized for pulling my gun out on him. I explained that I froze, and couldn't think of anything else to do.

    To this day, that’s the only time I ever drew my weapon.
  3.  (10259.3)
    I hate you people and your creepy crawlies...... *shutter*... does the hebby-jebby dance.

    Mine involves a horse. I took lessons in horse ridding until i turned 16, we had horses that were kept at a boarding barn, I was rather fond of them actually- they hated my sister none of them wanted her near them for some reason. The parents went bankrupt trying to keep/breed them- not the rich quick scheme folks...

    the summer I turned 16 i went to my grandfathers "farm", I really wanted to ride Leo his big stallion (i've taken lessons on a stallion so i think i'm ready to ride the big boy) My grandfather said sure I can ride him but if he miss behaves just give him a smack on the head. I find this odd- i knew about horses but well- at the time being a very naive 16 year old not what they like to get up to in the summer months. I'm Ridding leo around fine for a little bit (dogging the huge piles of what ever in the pen- my granfather was a hourder of epic proportions) The mare comes out of her pen and whinnies at Leo- he bolts for her, I pull hard on the reins, causing him to realize the pesky human on my back is not attractive. He starts to buck, I would have won the rodeo for how long i stayed on Screaming for my grandfather, was launched from him eventually (hitting the ground hard enough to cause skid marks and knock me out) the neighbor comes over and picks me and shakes me up at which i start screaming again in pain. Grandfather adopts a "oh just walk it off" While i was having trouble figuring out why my legs were being odd about supporting my weight. I did not find out till years later that my lower back was oh so very out of line- bit it's ok It got fixed later when a sofa fell on my head..... Haven't been on a horse since (am in my 30's)
    • CommentTimeOct 7th 2011
    OK this one was told to me by a friend as one of those friend of a friend stories so may well be an urban legend but I'd not heard it before and it freaked me right out.
    This guy has a snake, big one, constrictor and for whatever reason had always let it roam free in his house.
    One morning he wakes to find his snake stretched out straight alongside his bed. He thought it odd, as normally it would be curled up somewhere.
    After this happened three mornings in a row, worried that something might be wrong with his snake he calls up his snake expert friend and described what had been happening.
    His friend tells him to start building a proper cage for his house snake because his precious pet was measuring him up to see if it was long enough to eat him.

    made me shudder!
  4.  (10259.5)
    I was on North West Island in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland in 1988, sitting on a "long drop" pit toilet. Over the top of the door came the biggest spider I had (and to this day have ever) seen. It was about 15cm across and covered in salt-and-pepper hair. I think it was probably an Eastern Tarantula or whistling spider (Phlogius crassipes) of the kind that later invaded the town of Bowen, which is visible on the map above if you zoom out. At the time I was told it was a "rain spider" but that's a generic term for any large spider that comes indoors in inclement weather.

    It was damn lucky I was already sitting on the dunny, let me tell you.

    @Greasemonkey - I was up at a friend's farm at Barrington Tops last summer, reading by an itty bitty booklight in the loungeroom after everyone was in bed. Turned on the lamp to find my glasses case and coming over the floor right at my bare feet was the same bloody giant centipede that bit you. For reference, the bastards bleed yellow when you whack 'em.

    Most of the snakes that we get up there can be taken care of with a long-handled shovel but my friend favours .22 rat shot for the browns - they're fast and bloody mean and will kill you stone dead for looking at them. They still don't freak me out as much as the centipedes though. I fucking hate centipedes.

    Now, I won't post the icky photos I could. Instead, have some fluffy. Some folk might remember the story of the stray cat I picked up a few weeks ago. Well this is Bolts now, in rude good health, relaxing in his favourite chair. He snores.

    Bolts the Cat, snoring.
  5.  (10259.6)
    @Kay - Barrington Tops has a huge abundance of creepy crawlies. I've camped and hiked all over the national park, and I've seen bigger ticks, leeches, centipedes and spiders there than anywhere else in Oz.
  6.  (10259.7)
    @Greasemonkey - yeah it really does, doesn't it. What's with the bazillions of water spiders living in paddocks? Also, I'll see if I can find the photo of the weird scorpion thing I found up there in April. In the meantime, here's a dusky antechinus in the grounds of the old CSIRO research station at Narara on the NSW Central Coast, mid September. He was roaming in the daytime which means he was almost certainly a male out trying to literally fuck himself to death. There are no males left by the end of September each year because they stop sleeping and eating, they just mate until they die. We get them in the house sometimes at Barrington, shooting along the ceiling cornices. Cute. Manic. Insectivorous. Marsupial. What's not to love?

    Dusky Antechinus, male, probably now deceased
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeOct 7th 2011 edited
    Okay, so we've had lots of spiders and snakes... now for something completely different!

    I'm about twelve years old, and me and my friends are playing around on the jungle gym in our backyard. We hear this odd humming sound, and we look up.

    And I swear to all the gods that ever were that Ride of the Valkyries started playing.

    BECAUSE, the biggest swarm of dragonflies I had every seen was rumbling, buzzing, thrumming, and zzzzaaarrstzzing (it's a real word, look it up) over our heads, maybe about twenty feet off the ground. They were moving in a solid formation, in a way that dragonflies typically do not. And they were all sizes and species, too, from the really quite pretty little blue ones to these big fuckers that looked like they could, if they worked together, probably carry off a Toyota Corolla for Purposes Of Their Own. The whole neighborhood comes out to see this, start snapping photos and calling the news.

    Then one of my dumbass friends decides to pretend its Pearl Harbor and goes at them with his anti-aircraft gun, or as we sane children liked to call it, his Super Soaker.

    We got buzzed by about a dozen big dragonflies before the idiot stopped shooting at them. I didn't think dragonflies ate manflesh, but I also didn't think they organized mass migrations stretching from one horizon to the other.

    Turns out it's not unusual for dragonflies to do this, but it IS unusual for them to do it very far from the coasts surrounding the Indian Ocean. Never seen anything like it before in my life, and have never seen it since, but if I ever do again, I'm gonna make sure to drop-kick any kid with a squirt gun in their hands.
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2011
    So I'm out climbing with my dad in Joshua Tree national park in California. Lovely place, full of boulder piles the size of large hills. We're heading back to the car, which is at this point about a mile away. We decide to go over one such boulder pile, rather than around it, as it seems faster and, laden with gear though we are, we are feeling spry. About halfway up, we find a tunnel running straight through the thing. I investigate, hoping to have found a wildlife-free shortcut.

    I hear some buzzing, and look ahead about ten feet in the tunnel to see a beehive. No big deal, back out of the tunnel.

    Problem is, the bees follow me. I jog away from the entrance, testing a theory.

    "No need to run, they're just bees," says Dad.

    "Yeah but around here there are killer bees." As I say the words "killer bees", Dad gets stung.

    Neither of us have ever run a mile that fast before or since. We stopped occasionally to see if they were still coming. Sure enough, every time we paused, a car-sized black cloud would be there behind us, buzzing toward us. And we'd bolt again. By halfway, we stopped checking.

    When we got to the car and checked again, a single remaining bee buzzed up to us.

    That bee did not survive.
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2011
    Sort of a different animal story:

    My brother is two and a half years my senior and has, for most of his life, been at least a foot taller. As of now, we've settled on him being just about 10 inches taller, and I am QUITE tall for my gender.

    However, my whole life my brother has been Indiana-Jones-levels of terrified of snakes. Doesn't matter how big he is and how small and harmless the snake is, he lets out teenage girl screams around them.

    For a brother who's as big as he is in comparison to how the size of his sisters, he's always been relatively nice. He didn't do any unnecessary bullying, though there were quite a few deadarms given in his time, but he would occasionally do big-brother-bullying that we (being me and my younger but not much littler sister) could fight against. I didn't think this was tremendously fair when I was 8 or 10, and I was often looking for interesting ways to get back at him for the un-fightable deadarms.

    One summer, a family of garter snakes was living on our terrace, underneath a stone step. This included at least one adult snake and a few baby snakes. One day during that summer, my dad watered the garden on the terrace. This watering effort managed to drown two baby snakes. As the baby snakes were drowned, they didn't really look much different from live snakes. This was quickly grasped by my 9-year-old mind, and I drafted my sister into grabbing two empty jars—the kind we kept fireflies in—and putting some grass and twigs. We carefully arranged the dead snakes into these jars in the most lifelike positions as humanly possible. We then put these jars, WITHOUT ANY LIDS, on my brother's pillow and waited.

    The scream was pretty epic. He was no more than 12 at the time, so it was that gloriously embarrassing "my voice has broken but not totally settled yet" type of scream.

    We had a family friend visiting, so we never really got punished. Only lectured.

    To this day, I can't decide whether to feel like an asshole or a genius.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2011

    To this day, I can't decide whether to feel like an asshole or a genius.

    I chose option C.
  7.  (10259.12)
    [Kaboom. Here is a thing for everyone to contemplate:




  8.  (10259.13)
    I chose option C.
    Genhole. Or possibly Assius.
  9.  (10259.14)
    @government spy :(
    • CommentTimeOct 15th 2011 edited
    Ugh, spiders. I have just now found a spider in a place between the wall and my desk that I cleared of spiders two days ago. I have similarly found another one under my bed. I would also like to note that my greatest fear is having a spider nestle away in some corner of my room and lay eggs, then having those eggs hatch. Imagine hundreds of tiny little spiders bursting forth from a corner of your room and then also probably eating your face off. There are tons of place in my dorm room that that could happen from. Tomorrow I am going out and buying fourteen thousand cans of Raid.

    Anyway, when I was a kid I once saw a spider behind my bed posts. It was the kind of bedpost that was a bunch of individual posts holding up a bar, of sorts. I stabbed in between the posts to kill the spider, but it got away. It was about time for me to bed, but I could not sleep knowing a spider was wandering about my room of it's own accord (this is also a problem that is happening right now). Eventually the creature emerged again on the ceiling. Spotting it, I grabbed a magazine and swatted at it. It fell. I looked around, but it disappeared again. It showed up on the ceiling once more. I swatted at it again. It looked slightly squashed, and I thought it was dead. I grabbed a tissue and plucked it from the ceiling. It was not dead. It leaped out of my hands. I freaked straight the fuck out and ran to get my mom. My mom looked around in her nightgown, bending down around the trash to see if it was there and giving me an awful, terrible flash of her nethers that is hideously engraved into my corneas forever, before giving up. It is all that spiders fault and I crushed it with so much glee when it popped up behind my bedpost again.

    Now it is time for me to freak out and try to suck up spiders with a dirt devil and probably really piss off the guy in the room next to me in the process because it is 5am and dirt devils are loud.

    Edit: I killed three spiders and I am proud.
  10.  (10259.16)
    Sheesh, I didn't realize I was being so bad on the word count, I apologize. I look back, and realize I must have missed one was almost 200 words over, and the other was 400 over. I guess I was totally clueless how to use the wordcount thingie on my computer.

    I got the dog story down to 350, hope that's more acceptable.

    I was living in Texas with my girlfriend, her mother, my daughter, and the ladies' cats. We tried to keep the cats indoors, but it proved to be impossible. The cats started living outdoors, which was fine, except for the packs of dogs that roamed the farmland.

    One of my girlfriend's mom's cats didn't come back, and we figured the dogs got 'em.

    I come home from work, and there's this stray dog. He was hurt, and I fixed him up. Well, he stuck around. One night there was a terrible thunderstorm, and we had the front door open, with the screen door closed. Red dog just sat in front of the screen, soaked and staring at us pathetically. I refused to let him in, but the girls and that dog wore me down. He became part of our family after that.

    I came home from work, and everyone’s running around; the cats everywhere, and a pack of dogs running through our property. One gets up on the front porch and corners a cat. Out of nowhere, Red shows up, jumps over the porch railing, gets between the cat and the other dog, and starts growling and barking. He chased all three of the dogs off, and we never saw them again.

    Red was the most loyal animal I ever owned; except I didn't own Red. I never put a collar on him, and I knew I could never leash him. One day there's a Sheriff waiting for me. He tells me that if I don't chain up the dog, or fence him in, that the county will pick him up, and he'll put him down. I tried to chain him up; he looked at me like I had just beaten him, so I unchained him and let him go. He ran off. Later he came back, and the Sheriff came by and warned me again.

    So I took Red, and put him in the car, and drove him a couple counties away. I let him loose on someone's farm, several miles away. I cried the whole way home.
    • CommentTimeOct 15th 2011 edited
    In the 4th grade, I had a dog named Casper. I loved that dog. So the dog doesnt really know how to behave, its all over the place, doesnt understand english, and REALLY didnt understand what we were yelling about, so we hired a trainer. She taught us about the choke chain*, as she called it, and would come about once a week to take our money and yell at our dog, any time the dog didnt listen, yank the leash, seemed simple enough.

    cut to halloween morning. I'm pumped. So I do what any child would have done in the 90's, I put on my rollerskates and took Casper for a walk and roll. I'm not a block down the street when Casper just starts losing his shit, and I pull the choke chain.

    I hear a grotesque sound, the sound of broken fleshy important things. My dog falls to the ground. I run over. Casper? CASPER?!?

    Hes wheezing, looks confused, I start roller blading as fast as I can back to my house to get my dad, he'll know what to do, he'll fix the problem...

    We walk over, I mean, he walks, I still have my blades on, and the first thing he says to me after feeling the dog is "Go back inside, take your fucking roller blades off, and wait for me."

    He walks over from the fleshy mound in the distance as I look from the window. He comes back carrying Casper, and puts him in the garage.
    Turns out the choke chain was put on backwards by the trainer. When it was supposed to release, it locked, and my dog choked to death.

    Ever since then, when dogs bark, I think they're yelling their hate at me.

    *I would've called it a Discipline Collar,
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2011
    As a hobby, some friends and I go off and do volunteer work at oddball conventions. The last few years we've been getting a lot of Furry contracts. They're fun to do - nice people, great constuming, and you rarely have to do much beyond sorting out the occasional drunk. We joke about how trainable they are, about how you can control the whole herd with an alpha male attitude and a rolled-up newspaper. This bit from last Saturday night is typical.

    I was scheduled to come on duty at midnight, and had been hanging around in the security station catching up on the previous shifts events. It was getting near midnight, so I headed off to the men's room to use the facilities and change into the convention security shirt. I was in the bathroom stall changing shirts when an attendee walked in, starting using the urinal, and lit up a cigarette.

    "This is a non-smoking hotel," said I, from inside the stall.

    "What are you going to do," said he, "report me to security?"

    I step out of the stall in my orange security shirt and said, "I am security." He stubbed out the cigarette; I started washing my hands. He finished up at the urinal and started to walk out. I said "You should wash your hands."

    He came back and washed his hands.

    And that, my friends, is what it's like working security at a furcon.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2011

    Which con security group do you do volunteer work with? I'm with FLARE in the Bay Area.
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2011
    @RenThing: *jaw drops*

    I've been doing con security for 30 years as part of the Dorsai Irregulars. I first heard of FLARE about 10 years back, but never encountered anybody from the group until last weekend, where Kev showed up at FurFright. We had a very pleasant hour or so chatting, and with luck he'll be doing some upcoming work with us.

    Five days later, here you are. Wild.

    If you want to drop me an email, my user name is what you see here and I work at the educational institution whose email domain begins 'umich'.