After I left school I took up employment with Ansett Airlines as a baggage handler at Tullamarine Airport.
This involved loading and unloading baggage and freight from aircraft from all around Australia.
During this time I will always remember several of the other baggage handlers warning me to be careful of aircraft that were carrying crates of fruit, particularly bananas because in the past baggage handlers had found snakes and other creepy critters that had stowaway in the freight.
During a late shift one night I jumped in the rear cargo hold of an aircraft that had flown from Queensland and started to unload the baggage and freight which was stacked from the floor to the roof.
As I removed the first layer of baggage from the top I saw something black and hairy moving along the top of the baggage then disappear out of my sight. I stood there frozen in my track wondering what to do. All of a sudden I saw it again, it was black and hairy and about 15 centimetres in length.
I thought it was one of those huge bird-eating spiders found in the tropical areas of Australia. It scampered along the top of the luggage and disappeared again. By now I had armed myself with a beauty case and readied myself for the return of this hairy beast.
Like clockwork it returned again, scampering along the top of the luggage. But this time I was ready and before it could disappear again I struck it as hard as I could with the beauty case. On doing so I heard an almighty scream.
I moved towards the wall of luggage and realised I wasn't in the rear cargo hold but the second last cargo hold. My bird-eating spider turned out to be the hair of a fellow baggage handler moving back and forth unloading baggage from the rear cargo hold.
This baggage handler was the right height so I could only see the top of his hairy head which appeared to be running across the top of the baggage.
To this day I have never heard my family laugh so loud and long when I told them what I had done that night.
Posted By Steve Francis on 27th June 2007
Updated : 29th September 2007 | Words : 369 | Views : 2504
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