by Jeanne Hambleton © 2007
I did warn you – WSYSIWYG – what you see is what you get. This time I hope I am getting to the bottom of this matter, if you will excuse the pun. Yes, you have guessed it, this is a lavatorial story.
I am inclined to be a bit frivolous as I not entirely convinced this story is true but in these days, we fibromites, just cannot afford to take chances especially as we are probably the ones who ‘sit down on the job’. If you know this story is true, please tell me. Before you start laughing at me and taking the Mickey, I am acting in good faith and following information from a friend.
This came to me from someone in the States and would you believe this was headed, Because there isn’t already enough to worry about…….
Three women in North Florida turned up at hospitals over a 5-day period, all with the same symptoms. Fever, chills, and vomiting, followed by muscular collapse, paralysis, and finally, death. There were no outward signs of trauma. Autopsy results showed toxicity in the blood.
These women did not know each other, and seemed to have nothing in common. It was discovered, however, that they had all visited the same restaurant (Olive Garden) within days of their deaths. The health department descended on the restaurant, shutting it down. The food, water, and air conditioning were all inspected and tested, to no avail.
The big break came when a waitress at the restaurant was rushed to the hospital with similar symptoms. She told doctors that she had been on vacation, and had only went to the restaurant to pick up her check. She did not eat or drink while she was there, but had used the restroom.
That is when one toxicologist, remembering an article he had read, drove out to the restaurant, went into the restroom, and lifted the toilet seat. Under the seat, out of normal view, was a small spider. The spider was captured and brought back to the lab, where it was determined to be the Two-Striped Telamonia (Telamonia dimidiata), so named because of its reddened flesh color. This spider’s venom is extremely toxic, but can take several days to take effect. They live in cold, dark, damp climates, and toilet rims provide just the right atmosphere.
Several days later a lawyer from Jacksonville showed up at a hospital emergency room. Before his death, he told the doctor, that he had been away on business, had taken a flight from Indonesia, changing planes in Singapore, before returning home. He did not visit (Olive Garden), while there. He did, as did all of the other victims, have what was determined to be a puncture wound, on his right buttock.
Investigators discovered that the flight he was on had originated in India. The Civilian Aeronautics Board (CAB) ordered an immediate inspection of the toilets of all flights from India and discovered the Two-Striped Telamonia (Telamonia dimidiata) spider’s nests on 4 different planes!
It is now believed that these spiders can be anywhere in the country. So please, before you use a public toilet, lift the seat to check for spiders. It can save your life! And please pass this on to everyone you care about.
I should add “anywhere in the country” means the States. However planes in India do fly to the UK and other countries. These little devils could be catching planes to just about anywhere by now.
THIRTY MINUTES LATER
I decided to check this story on the Internet but that was in hindsight. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! Yes someone has been pulling my chain! But it was all very plausible!
This truth or fiction website told me Beware of Deadly Spiders Hiding Under Toilet Seats-Fiction!
It seems there are two fictitious versions in existence. These refer to an alleged story in the Journal of the United Medical Association. One version claims the spider originates from South American and was seen in a restaurant toilet in Blare airport, Chicago. The second version has spiders in a restaurant in North Florida all of them arriving aboard airplanes from India.
The website points out
· The “Blare” airport does not exist in Chicago.
· Neither does the “Journal of the United Medical Association.”
· “Arachnius gluteus” is fictitious and may be a guise for “butt spider.”
· The “Civil Aeronautics Board” closed down 1984.
· And reports of these spiders and toilet seats in Florida or Illinois could not be found.
And it is not even April 1st? I even received a photograph of the little devil. How gullible can you be? But at least now we know we can sit on toilet seats without the fear of a venomous spider biting our butt. That is not say you will not catch something almost as sinister – but at least you should not be bitten by the butt spider.
No I do not want to be the butt of your jokes, thanks.
Take care and still be careful. Jeanne