And Then It Tried to KILL ME… Close Encounters With Australian Wildlife

Australians like to joke about being a heartbeat away from death at all times because frankly, it’s true. We live in a continent that is basically a glorified army barracks for a crack team of ecological weapons that we have whimsically labelled “wildlife” and lovingly depicted on our coat of arms.

Well, we got the “wild” part of that moniker right, but instead of “life” we should have substituted DEATH because most of our native fauna are fierce af killing machines that want us dead, because evolution has gifted them with the attributes of a master assassin in the form of stings, barbs, teeth, fangs and spikes.

Everywhere you go Down Under there’s some animal that wants to fuck you up.

Crocodiles, sharks, snakes, spiders, box jellyfish, stingrays, blue-ringed octopii.

Bull ants, blue bottles, paralysis ticks, stone fish, boxing kangaroos, cassowaries.

And don’t even get me started on magpies.

Even our fucking SNAILS can kill you.

Don’t believe me? Let me set the scene….

*human walks along beach*

“Oh wow, look at this pretty cone shell I found”.

*cone snail emerges*

*fires poisonous darts*

“AAAAAARGH FUCK THIS FUCKING SHELL JUST ATTACKED ME!!!”

*human dies*

Think I’m joking? Cone snails are at NUMBER 11 on National Geographic’s list of the 30 most deadly animals in Australia. Just to put that in context, the great white shark is listed at number 17. It’s a pussy compared to the cone snail.

I mean, it’s totally hilarious that we’ve concocted a silly urban myth about killer koala bears in order to mess with tourists, because FUCK, do we really even need to make this shit up? Want to have a close encounter with some terrifying Australian wildlife? Just step outside your front door.

Or in my case, go downstairs into your laundry.

Apologies to friends who already know this story. Some of this may seem familiar and I apologise for that but to be fair, most of you couldn’t properly read my Facebook posts about this through your own tears of laughter or were too busy outdoing each other with stupid jokes, so you probably missed some of the finer details.

Like, the parts about me POSSIBLY ALMOST DYING.

See the sympathy I get?

FIRST. COMMENT.

Anyhoo, let’s back it up a bit… A few weeks ago I was ambushed by a snake in my own laundry at 10:30 on a Saturday night.

It was late on Saturday night (hahah yes 10:30 is late for a sad motherfucker like me) and I was just about to go to bed. I had a load of wet washing in the laundry so I grudgingly trudged downstairs to throw it in the dryer before retiring for the night. #YOLO #mumlife

So I was crouched down in front of the dryer as I emptied it into a clothes basket. Unbeknownst to me a snake had slithered out from underneath the hot water tank behind me as I was faffing about with the washing. The cheeky fucker was laying in wait for me to make a move. I, of course, was totally oblivious.

Having finished with the dryer, I stood up and turned sideways to pick up the basket of dry clothes, when I felt something hit my ankle. Looking down, I saw a small brown snake reared back to strike me in the S-pose, it’s jaws so wide apart that the fucking thing looked like it had two heads.

I stumbled backwards out the doorway, screaming my partner’s name like I was being murdered. He ignored me. So I screamed again: “THERE’S A FUCKING SNAKE DOWN HERE!!!” Totally unperturbed, he yelled back “It’s not a snake, it’s a lizard – I saw it down there before”. And I’m like “NO IT’S A SNAKE YOU DICKHEAD!! IT’S A FUCKING SNAKE! YOU NEED TO FUCKING GET DOWN HERE!!”

So he finally comes downstairs, with all the swaggering confidence of a man who was about to say “I told you so”. My adrenalin was off the charts by then but I’m pretty sure he said something stupid like “Oh, it’s a SNAKE!” – all surprised like – and I swear to god if I had a rake I would have fucking smacked him with it.

Captain Obvious redeemed himself by throwing a plastic tub over the offending reptile and we were lucky that our local snake catcher wasn’t balls-deep in Saturday-night Netflix and chill, so he answered our call and came straight over. I mean, that might sound like overkill but I was absolutely convinced that it was a baby brown and that it had scratched me with its fangs and that I was probaby dying. It had to go.

So the snake catcher turned up all kitted out for a killer and could barely conceal his laughter (let alone his plumber’s crack – talk about lethal) as he chased what turned out to be a Golden Crowned Snake around my laundry. So instead of “dying” I was forced to downgrade my diagnosis to “never doing laundry again”.

I wikipedia’d my attacker after the reptile man left and apparently these little guys strike first with a “mock bite”, which is what I felt at my ankle. All bluff, no venom. Thank fuck it wasn’t a baby brown otherwise this rather anti-climactic story could have had a far more dramatic outcome.

The cruelest joke nature plays on us is that all snakes pretty much look the same when you’re in a state of panic, so the ones that WON’T kill you look exactly like the ones that WILL. To the layman’s eye every brown-coloured snake looks like an Eastern Brown, the second most deadly snake in the world – so you can forgive me for shitting my pants.

But you know what I really love about this country?

Only in Australia is the threat of wildlife attack so ever-present that you will get ZERO SYMPATHY after being ambushed by a venomous snake in your own home. Not only that, your asshole friends will piss their pants laughing, because the reptile that tried to kill you wasn’t quite big or scary enough to actually kill you.

I mean, this is a country where you are expected to grab a cold beer and chill when the world’s second most deadly snake bites you. That’s some stoic shit.

‘Straya.

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29 thoughts on “And Then It Tried to KILL ME… Close Encounters With Australian Wildlife

  1. Oh man that poor fucker was allergic to the anti-venom! Imagine that!!

    Anyway, back to you lol You know the fact that thing lunged at you…FREAKY…I don’t know how you didn’t wet yourself. Or have a carb fuelled alcohol binge.

  2. I’m sure it was just as dangerous as the others, it could have strangled you in your sleep after all. Didn’t know about those snails though, think I might be lucky to be alive.

  3. Okay you have my sympathies, dear friend, that is some scary shit! I have never heard of Golden Crowned Snake before. We used to have Red Bellied Black Snakes and sometimes Tiger Snakes in the backyard growing up (we lived in the bush, where forest was behind us), but when the snakes got bad in the vegie patch, my Dad and uncle would just napalm the backyard! Problem solved.

  4. First the laundry and now the beach! Aren’t we Australians safe anywhere?! Thanks for the heads up on the pesky snails – my shell collecting days are most definitely over. I can’t help but wonder though, what did the snake catcher do with your laundry invader?!

  5. I am not joking when I say I would have either a. moved or b. burnt the house down, such is my fear and loathing of the horrible creatures.

  6. I am surprised I have survived 53 years living in this country!! You have my sympathy over the snake in the laundry episode. I’m so un-Australian! I’d have FREAKED!

  7. I remember this! I would have fainted in fright – that would have completely done me in. That first comment though is gold (although completely insensitive to your situation at the time!)

  8. OMG! I would have died. I would have died of shock or peed my pants or something. I would have frozen with terror. You’re super brave. Thank God it wasn’t a killer bloody snake. As for cone snails, WTF? I’ve never even heard of them!

  9. Ah Straya. Got to love it. We (wo)man up when it comes to deadly animals and cancel school when there’s too much rain (although that’s probably just Brissie).

  10. Not only will your asshole friends will piss their pants laughing, but your asshole blog-reading fans will because you write some funny goddamned shit. So, your fault really.

  11. I think Laundry strikes from you are a MUST!!! That is so bloody scary!!!!! Although ts firkin hillarious as Aussies we just pull the piss. Charming lot aren’t we?!! I found my first baby snake in the museum I give tours in – just about died. Told my boss my concern – she laughed and said don’t be such a baby. When it’s a huge snake that kills let me know?!! WTF!!! Sending hugs from your traumatic night – fuck washing on a Saturday night aye!!! #teamIBOT

  12. I’m sorry, I couldn’t stop laughing at your post. But I would have been petrified if it happened to me. I worked in a roof with three snakes in it. We never got a job done so quick in all our life!!

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