Random Tarantula experiences with strangers.

Smotzer

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Anyone have some nice or interesting, or just stories about experiences with conversations about tarantulas with strangers in public?

I had a nice one just now, I’m wearing a teeshirt that says “free hugs” with what looks like a cartoonish Pelinobius muticus on it. Well I’m flying back today and we go rerouted to a different airport due to bad weather and they let passengers deplane, when they were coming back a lady in her what looked to be 70’s said “hey love the shirt, I used to have pet tarantulas” to which I said “I still do” she then said hers last one died a few years ago or something after 15yrs. I said yeah they can live for a long time and as she was passing I said “hey well I’m glad to hear someone else gets it” she said “me too”.

I think we both felt heart warmed. Love it when strangers in the hobby collide in public, pretty swell! ☺

do you guys have any stories like this?
 

BoyFromLA

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Not in public, but I do get DM now and then, from random Instagram users, if I want to take over their collections. Sometimes for free, sometimes way cheaper than market price.
 

RezonantVoid

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Was out exploring a nearby national park and photographing some of the mygalomorph species around, when this kid around 7yrs or so walks past (with his family of course) and noticed my shirt covered in spider illustrations. He said he recognised the tarantulas because he watches them on youtube, and I shared a bunch of the day's photos with him and answered a seemingly endless stream of questions for about 20 minutes.

Heard afterwards from his parents that he's never normally so bold and never pays attention to anyone else like he did this day. Hoping the love of spiders may inspire this little dude to be future keeper of his own one day.
 
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LucN

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It's kind of a funny thing. Years ago, I was interviewed by a local newspaper when I did a presentation about Ts at a local youth club. I work as a cashier most of the time and many of my regular clientele know about my interest in Ts. Sometimes, specific clients will ask predictable questions and I answer them as politely as possible.

Here's an example :

Client : Hello, how are you today ?
Me : Awesome as usual. You ?
Client : Great. Say, do you still have those spiders ?
Me : Sure do !
Client : How long do they live ?
Me : Too many factors, but generally 5 to 30+ years for females.
Client : Incredible ! What do you feed them with ?
Me : Crickets or worms, depending on what's available.
Client : Keep up the great work !
Me : Will do ! Have a nice day !

Usually, it's those that get tossed around. Still kinda neat that some people still remember that article.
 

DomGom TheFather

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My parents taught me not to talk with strangers.
Spider people are trustworthy. Most of us haven't even been arrested. Lol
If you're gonna talk to new people, might as well be interesting.

I get a kick out of kids asking questions.
When my son or daughter have a friend over for the first time, they go home and tell their parents about bug dad. Some are even allowed to come back.
 
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The Spider House

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I used to do creepy crawly roadshows at schools, scouts etc and have also done a radio interview on the BBC.

I find that the children are much more fascinated than adults as the "learned" fear has yet to kick in with most of them.

The usual questions about feeding, lifespan etc always crop up. I have many tarantuka t shirts and phone covers so usually get some kind of reaction when I am out.

My user name is what all my neighbours refer to my house as. Many of the local kids will often come in and have a mooch round trying (unsuccessfully so far ha ha) to persuade their parents what a great pet a Tarantula would be.

Edit: forgot to add that when I tried to do a Tarantula education open day at work, the number of complaints and people refusing to come into the office was ridiculous. The very same people who kicked up the fuss, were the ones that would actually benefit form learning a thing or two!
 
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coolnweird

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I was in a local reptile/exotics shop a few months ago and a mom brought her little girl in to see the critters. She started looking at the tarantulas, but didn't know there was a giant Pampho in a different display who had just been fed a big meal. I got to show her an 8" purple spider devouring a mass of crickets, and she got to meet someone who actually keeps spiders as pets!
 

Smotzer

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Was out exploring a nearby national park and photographing some of the mygalomorph species around, when this kid around 7yrs or so walks past (with his family of course) and noticed my shirt covered in spider illustrations. He said he recognised the tarantulas because he watches them youtube, and I shared a bunch of the days photos with him and answered a seemingly endless stream of questions for about 20 minutes.

Heard afterwards from his parents that he's never normally so bold and never pays attention to anyone else like he did this day. Hoping the love of spiders may inspire this little dude to be future keeper of his own one day.
Glad to hear this! That sounds like an awesome experience, you may have inspired him to pick up his interest and Learn more and maybe keep too!’ Sounds awesome!
 

RezonantVoid

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I should also mention tossing around the phrase "oh yea those are so fun to keep, I should get a couple more" when news alerts during funnelweb season are playing in cafes gets some interesting conversations going :p
 

Arachnophobphile

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Anyone have some nice or interesting, or just stories about experiences with conversations about tarantulas with strangers in public?

I had a nice one just now, I’m wearing a teeshirt that says “free hugs” with what looks like a cartoonish Pelinobius muticus on it. Well I’m flying back today and we go rerouted to a different airport due to bad weather and they let passengers deplane, when they were coming back a lady in her what looked to be 70’s said “hey love the shirt, I used to have pet tarantulas” to which I said “I still do” she then said hers last one died a few years ago or something after 15yrs. I said yeah they can live for a long time and as she was passing I said “hey well I’m glad to hear someone else gets it” she said “me too”.

I think we both felt heart warmed. Love it when strangers in the hobby collide in public, pretty swell! ☺

do you guys have any stories like this?
I have only had a few times where I ran into someone who shares the same interest in tarantulas and that has always been in an exotic pet store.

When I first got into tarantulas after buying my first one the excitement and awe was overwhelming. As excited as I was I made the mistake of sharing my interest with co-workers.

Switching to a new job I continued to do so as these animals are fascinating. I educated the uneducated and actually helped them to better understand them.

However behind my back they labeled me as a nut job. They knew that I cared about arachnids so one day the top manager told me there was a huge spider on the wall outside.

They had me go look at it. I told them it is harmless just a type of wolf spider. She told me she was going to kill it. I begged her to let it be it is beneficial as it is hunting the pest insects and it's harmless to humans.

She egged me on, when I wasn't around she came back in with wasp spray and said she killed it. She taunted me with the fact she killed it, which she did. I yelled at her, said that was cruel, it was outside and was beneficial. It definitely set me off.

Why this story?? I've learned to watch who I share my passion for arachnids with. Being a former severe arachnophobe I understand people's fear and reaction especially to people who keep them.

One place I caution every T keeper to be very careful of where you expose your hobby is your place of employment. Some people might show interest but others will form a negative view of you which may effect your job. Again this is solely dependent on what type of job you have.

Believe it or not the tarantula hobby has a pretty small population. I do find that people generally will listen and seem interested outside of work. Every so often you run into another T keeper but it is extremely rare unless you're at an exotic pet show.

What I find funny are all the myths out there that people still believe about tarantulas. Some of the funny ones are 'don't they shoot their hairs at you?' or 'some are so poisonous they can kill you' which with that one we instinctly start with the correction of poisonous to venomous and no one had ever died from a tarantula bite that is documented.

It is a good thing for us to share and educate people. Not so good in the workplace. It can work out but I would practice caution.

I apologize for this long post. After I posted it I went back to read it and realized I just wrote a book, sorry.
 
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starlight_kitsune

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Normally with strangers if I mention tarantulas or I'm wearing something with one on it etc. just results in a "ew" or a weird look.

I did have a ~ 9 year old kid tackle me once though at the park wanting to know where I bought my hoodie that had a OBT on the back. His mom was embarrassed to death but honestly I thought it was pretty funny. I doubt he would repeat that activity though just based on how the mom responded lol. I had no idea where the hoodie was from though since it was a Christmas gift so he didn't even get his answer.

However behind my back they labeled me as a nut job. They knew that I cared about arachnids so one day the top manager told me there was a huge spider on the wall outside.

They had me go look at it. I told them it is harmless just a type of wolf spider. She told me she was going to kill it. I begged her to let it be it is beneficial as it is hunting the pest insects and it's harmless to humans.

She egged me on, when I wasn't around she came back in with wasp spray and said she killed it. She taunted me with the fact she killed it, which she did. I yelled at her, said that was cruel, it was outside and was beneficial. It definitely set me off.
That would have resulted in a trip to HR for hostile workplace everywhere I've worked. What a horrible nasty woman.
 
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Arthroverts

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*me on the side of a slope with a friend shifting leaves around in search of Apomastus, Aptostichus, and Aliatypus*

Pair o' Strangers:
"What are you doing?"

Me:
"Looking for spiders!"

Pair o' Strangers:
"Oh...good luck!"

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

Arachnophobphile

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Normally with strangers if I mention tarantulas or I'm wearing something with one on it etc. just results in a "ew" or a weird look.

I did have a ~ 9 year old kid tackle me once though at the park wanting to know where I bought my hoodie that had a OBT on the back. His mom was embarrassed to death but honestly I thought it was pretty funny. I doubt he would repeat that activity though just based on how the mom responded lol. I had no idea where the hoodie was from though since it was a Christmas gift so he didn't even get his answer.



That would have resulted in a trip to HR for hostile workplace everywhere I've worked. What a horrible nasty woman.
There's no HR there and she is the general manager so you can see what I had to deal with.

On a positive note I quit that place after working Thursday and start my new job next week on Monday so all is good.
 

starlight_kitsune

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There's no HR there and she is the general manager so you can see what I had to deal with.

On a positive note I quit that place after working Thursday and start my new job next week on Monday so all is good.
Ooph. Everywhere I've worked that didn't have an HR was ALWAYS rough and full of total... forum inappropriate language that I won't use... Yeah she sounds like a peach so I'm sure having her for a general manager was terrible.

Congrats on the new job and getting away from her!
 

Craig73

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Not strangers so much, but the other day I sent my team at work an email praising (high five) all the accomplishments on various projects and sent them a pic of one of my T’s giving me a high five and all I got back was ‘creepy’. It was a cute pic too. I guess if it doesn’t wag a tail, wear a collar, or piss on the carpet I should keep it to myself.
 

RezonantVoid

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*me on the side of a slope with a friend shifting leaves around in search of Apomastus, Aptostichus, and Aliatypus*

Pair o' Strangers:
"What are you doing?"

Me:
"Looking for spiders!"

Pair o' Strangers:
"Oh...good luck!"

Thanks,

Arthroverts
Had plenty of those short but entertaining experiences too :rofl:
 

Arachnophobphile

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Ooph. Everywhere I've worked that didn't have an HR was ALWAYS rough and full of total... forum inappropriate language that I won't use... Yeah she sounds like a peach so I'm sure having her for a general manager was terrible.

Congrats on the new job and getting away from her!
Thank you so much, this was a long time coming just took too long to get out of there.
 

Beckieeeee

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Oh my I'm glad it's not just me! I got 3 slings a month and half ago never had t's before now - I'm terrified of spiders but my 8yr old autistic son is obsessed with them and so we got them for us both to watch and appreciate ( we find it relaxing just sitting down and in silence observing them in the evening). Every time I've told someone though be it family ( apart from my sister) or even the guy in a very well uk based pet shop when I asked about a size of cricket I needed, they have been more negative then positive and the replies like why would you want one of them??? There awful things. Since getting them I have got out 3 house spiders which I've never ever done in my life and it's fair to say I've overcome most of the fear I had - I didn't get these t's to handle that's not what their for but the amount of why don't you hold it or even my neighbour going well "i'm avoiding you then and locking my doors " its like is there any need for it? I don't moan your got a barking dog or cat that uses a garden as a toilet (we also have 2 chinchillas and 2 cats so I'm not against keeping any other animal!) But I was so shocked by the amount of negativity soon as you mention spider :sad: its such a shame these people can't see how beautiful these creatures are... rant over!
 

Marlana

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Oh my I'm glad it's not just me! I got 3 slings a month and half ago never had t's before now - I'm terrified of spiders but my 8yr old autistic son is obsessed with them and so we got them for us both to watch and appreciate ( we find it relaxing just sitting down and in silence observing them in the evening). Every time I've told someone though be it family ( apart from my sister) or even the guy in a very well uk based pet shop when I asked about a size of cricket I needed, they have been more negative then positive and the replies like why would you want one of them??? There awful things. Since getting them I have got out 3 house spiders which I've never ever done in my life and it's fair to say I've overcome most of the fear I had - I didn't get these t's to handle that's not what their for but the amount of why don't you hold it or even my neighbour going well "i'm avoiding you then and locking my doors " its like is there any need for it? I don't moan your got a barking dog or cat that uses a garden as a toilet (we also have 2 chinchillas and 2 cats so I'm not against keeping any other animal!) But I was so shocked by the amount of negativity soon as you mention spider :sad: its such a shame these people can't see how beautiful these creatures are... rant over!
Exactly. My favorite is when someone is a self proclaimed animal lover but the second you mention a spider you realize they didn’t mean ALL animals.

I’m the weird spider lady and I’m okay with that. My favorite thing is my daughter teaching her friends that spiders aren’t scary and dangerous. She’s converted a couple little girls into spider lovers. It warms my heart when they come get me to show me a jumping spider they found or wolf spider. Or when they beg to check out my collection and have complete awe on their faces watching a tarantula. So I’ll be the weird spider lady to grown ups...worth it.
 
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