This little missive was doing the rounds at work, through the email
system. I thought it was too good not to share with the rest of you.
CiH - Jan '01
This is why there's a AQIS (Australian Quarantine Inspection Service)
Apparently it's completely true. The source is AQIS in Adelaide.
A bloke and his family were on holiday in the States and went to Mexico
for a week. As he is an avid cactus fan he bought a rare and expensive
cactus there, it was about a metre high and cost about $500 Aus.
He got it home and the customs people were none too impressed so they
said it must stay in quarantine for 3 months, costing $800 or so. He
finally got his cactus home and planted it in his backyard where over
time it grew to about 2 metres or so in height.
One evening after a beautiful warm spring day, he was out watering his
garden and thought he might give the cactus a light spray. This he did
and was amazed to see the plant shiver all over, he gave it another
light spray and it shivered and shook again. All its arms moved.
He was puzzled, so he rang the council who put him on to the state
After a few transfers he got the state's foremost cactus expert who
asked him many pointed questions, how tall is it, how tall was it when
you got it, has it grown well, has it flowered, what type of spines
Finally he asked a most disturbing question, "Is your family in the
The guy answered yes, the cactus expert said "Get them out of the
house. NOW, get on to the front nature strip and wait for me, I will be
there in 15 minutes."
Ten minutes later, 2 fire trucks, two cop cars, and an ambulance, came
screaming around the corner at the end of the street and stopped out
the front of the house. A fireman got out and came up to him, "Are you
the guy with the cactus?".
"I am", he said. The fireman turns to the truck and says "Come on
A guy jumped out of the fire truck wearing what looks like a space
suit, a breathing cylinder and mask attached and what looked like a
scuba backpack on, with a large hose attached. Stay here, says the
first fireman, and they both headed for the backyard.
This was too much for the bloke, so he ran around after them, and found
the guy in the space suit was firing at his prize cactus with a
flamethrower; he sprayed it up and down with this huge flame, which
fried everything within a ten metre radius of the cactus, caught fire
to the back fence and set off the neighbours trees as well. The guy of
course was having kittens, what the *_%^& is going on etc.
After about ten minutes the flamethrower man stopped; the cactus stood
smoking and spitting, half the fence was gone, and the garden was
entirely rooted. Just then the cactus expert appears and laid a calming
hand on the guy's shoulder.
"What the hell is going on?" says the bloke, "Let me show you" says the
cactus man. He went over to the cactus and picked away at a crusty bit
of it, it was almost entirely hollow and filled with tiger striped bird
eating tarantula spiders, about the size of two hand spans!
The story was that this type of spider lays eggs in this type of cactus
and they hatch and live in it, as it and they grow to full size. When
they are all grown to full size, they release themselves, the cactus
just explodes and about 150 plate size tiger striped hairy spiders are
flung from it, dispersing everywhere of course. They had been just
ready to pop, can you imagine??
The aftermath was that his house and the two adjoining houses had to be
vacated and fumigated and sealed up for two weeks; yellow police tape
was put up outside the whole area and no one was allowed in for two
weeks. Then the all clear was given, and they moved back in.
Via Email! - Grabbed by CiH.