Badger and I had a really good laugh this morning. My male staff was out on the deck cleaning up bird poop and the nightly ration of possum wee when we heard a high pitch yelp coming from the bathroom. It went sort of like this. "Eeeeeeeeearrrrrgggghhh!" This was followed by "Peter, Peter, come and help. Quick!" Being ouside on the deck my male staff didn't hear this plaintive appeal, and was so wrapped up in the enjoyable task of scraping up animal excrement that he remained blythly unaware of the drama being played out in the bathroom. Either that or he'd rather shovel shit than be in the same bathroom as a naked human female. Either way, when he came in to wash his hands he received the "Where the hell were you when I needed you?" routine. Apparently there had been a six inch long centipede on her towel, and it fell unseen to the floor as she dried herself. She then trod on it. Feeling something under her foot she looked down to see the back end of the centipede wiggling about, struggling to escape - as you would if you had something that weighs ten thousand times more than you do resting on you. It was at that point that she yelped, leapt four feet in the air and called for help.
When my male staff finally came in to wash his hands, my female staff said, "Where were you? Didn't you hear me calling for help? I wanted you to help me catch a bloody great centipede." Because it was still early and my male staff isn't too sharp in the morning, (Or the afternoon, or evening for that matter.) he said "Of course I heard you. I just chose to ignore you." This was probably the wrong thing to say in hindsight. My female staff has never been a great fan of sarcasm. The death stare she gave my male staff would have put Badger - the death stare king - to shame. She'd just finished explaining what had happened (with surprisingly few expletives) when a movement on the tiled bathroom floor caught my male staff's beady eye.
"Is that the centipede in question?" He asked, pointing to the creature which was twelve inches from my female staff's bare foot and approaching fast. This time the sound she made was more of an "Aieeeeeee!" Fearing that he was about to be attacked, my male staff retreated to fetch the two litre icecream tub that they normally use for catching large spiders. Gingerly my male staff ushered the creature into the tub. Gingerly, because a bite from one of these things can be very painful and even put a human in hospital.
My staff have a "no kill" policy whenever possible as far as captured wildlife goes. So on this occasion my male staff took the centipede in his icecream tub out to the now poop and pee free deck. "Did the nasty lady frighten you?" He crooned to the creature. "Never mind, you're safe now. I'll put you in the garden." With this he opened the lid and tipped the centipede into the garden below the deck. It had barely landed on the lawn when Thomas the tame kookaburra swooped down from his favourite perch in the paperbark tree and gobbled the wringling animal in a matter of seconds. "Bad bird!" Scolded my male staff, but Thomas just laughed. So the whole rescue proved to be a waste of time and my male staff got a death stare for nothing.
Still on the subject of creepy-crawlies, what a bizarre soap opera the Australian Labor Party has become. In 2007 Australians finally realised that John Howard had become an embarassment and dumped him in favour of Kevin Rudd. In 2010 the Labor Party caucus finally realised that Kevin Rudd had become an embarassment and replaced him with Julia Gillard. Now in 2012 Kevin Rudd has decided that Julia Gillard is an embarassment and is going after the job that she snatched from under his nose in 2010. Of course the only winner in all this is going to be Liberal opposition leader Tony Abbott whose colleagues have obviously bound and gagged him and locked him in a broom cupboard to keep him quiet. The Liberals don't have to say anything. All they have to do is sit back and watch the Labor government destroy itself. They last thing they want is for Tony "Look at me. I can put both feet in my mouth at once" Abbott stomping around the press gallery at Parliament House yelling "Stop the Boats." and "Climate change is a load of crap." Oh boy! I think our next Prime Minister is going to be very embarrassing, if they ever let him out of the broom cupboard.
None of my feet have ever trodden on a centipede.