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starring Dr. Hal !
May 12, 2017 10:00pm
Recovered from the Hypno-Kat's baleful effects (see Episode #27262, we were all set to enjoy a crowded but fun three hours plus, up in our snug Studio atop San Francisco's famed El Dorado Building. Visitors included Jett, Tracy Feldstein (and, later, Donald Bruce), Puzzling Evidence, the vivacious Spy Girlfriday and Barnacle Bill. Later, the ebullient Michael Peppe joined the crowd. Conversation and refreshments flowed freely. And we may as well admit that the latter included an array of... controlled substances, let us say. Well, it seemed OK to do, though Dr. H. Owll knew he was in for "the long haul," since some of these things, intense as they are, don't wear off for many hours. In truth, he felt on the cusp of queasiness, especially when Jett, an entomologist-arachnologist among other interests, began to produce specimen after specimen of various kinds of huge spider from his collection. The first group of these were instars, which is to say the molted hairy skins, with all anatomical details still present, of a number of large Lycosidae, or Wolf Spiders. Soon "Dr. Howll" was feeling unavoidable nauseous arachnophobia as these things were held in his face, one after the other, so he could see them properly... The party went on, more drinks were consumed, and the show continued. After Dr. H.'s viewing of super-venomous scorpions and the preserved remains of Huntsman Spiders, Jett next introduced the stars of his collection: the Egg Sac of a giant tropical bird-eating spider, then, abruptly, the spider herself, who seemed to be scrabbling furiously at the plastic container's walls while she watched us handle her eggs. Matters came to a head when a flailing Michael Peppe, ironically trying to demonstrate how he WOULDN'T knock the specimen case open, did just that with the bottom of the beer bottle he was waving. Shrieks and chaos ensued... perhaps it made "good radio" to listen to... The giant adult scrambled across the board, moving with incredible speed, seized the egg bundle with her chelicerae, and dropped to the floor to run out the studio door. It was difficult to move as fast, and by the time we had disentangled from headphones and microphone, we could just see Theraphosa blondei squeezing her 9-pound body behind the storage rack on the North side of the anteroom. No one was in any shape to try to get her out of there, what with the drugs and all. This giant is probably still there. Unlike the typical coloration of her species, brown to light-brown blondish bristles, this particular spider is dark brown, almost black-- the result of natural variation. The mouth parts and fang sheaths are, as usually noted, of a bright red color. These are aggressive spiders which WILL pursue and attack humans-- the venom is quite deadly, too. She may simply be planning to hatch her eggs, but it's also possible hunger may bring her out. So Radio Valencia now is more unique than ever as it houses the largest and most aggressive spider on Earth. Next week: we'll probably schedule a re-run and not personally come in.

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