I’m not going to lie to you; I still think about it. All the time, actually. I can only get around it when I’m in another state. At home, no matter the season, I’m always on high alert, certain a scorpion will try to have his way with me. The times where I’ve actually been traveling, I always return home only to ask the house-sitter to fess up. "Come on, how many scorpions did you find while I was gone?" I actually don’t expect them to answer and instead think I’ll be greeted with a peculiar look.
Recently Norma offered up the obligatory look of strange, then called me nearer. She then whispered to me, "Three, Miss Stephanie. Look, come look." She had saved them, two dead, one still alive, contained in a single Ziplock baggie. How she managed to get the scorpions to parade into her trap wasn’t my first concern. I began to flail, struggling uselessly, hoping my dramatics accurately conveyed my profound revulsion. My tongue, apparently, was involved. "No, look," she said pointing, "One got hungry and has begun to eat the other." I pretended I was a gay little boy who screamed, and then fainted, upon hearing Barbara Streisand was canceling her latest tour.
Norma was saving the scorpions for her thirteen-year-old son, and today, when I made a wrong turn driving, and twisted my face while simultaneously giving the finger to my GPS, I happened to make, what she called, "The Scorpion Face." What? "Yes, Miss Stephanie, you are very funny. I remember the face you a make when I show you the scorpion. You use your tongue. I like it. I told my husband."
The other night, alone in my bedroom with Phil downstairs, struggling to get the nanny-cams to work, I made my way to my bathroom, only to stop dead. There one was. Kinda orange. I had to squint, even though it was about the size of an appropriate portion of beef. The deck of cards sized scorpion didn’t move. Yet. I backed up and reached for the phone, keeping my eyes on the perp. "Phil" I intercomed, "You need to come upstairs immediately." As I waited, I wondered what I’d grab to kill it. Because scorpions aren’t exactly cute little salamanders that need escorting out the door. A leather-soled flip-flop, I determined. Once Phil was in the bedroom, uncertain as to why I’d beseeched him upstairs, I pointed. And the scorpion arched its tail, as if to sting. I have no doubt I made the scorpion face, but I was careful not to scream and wake the taters."Either that thing’s ready to sting, or he’s kinda sweet on you."
Phil slammed it with my shoe, and I walked with him to the bathroom, asking that he please forgo the trashcan and flush it away. "The whole reason I saw it was because I had to pee. I still have to pee."
"So go pee."
"No way! I can’t pee until you flush it!" Like I’m really going to sit while looking at the body of a scorpion between my legs?
Now, each and every time I enter the bathroom, I have to turn on the lights, even if it’s in the middle of the night. I check the sheets, every last shoe, and shake the towel from it’s hook before drying myself off. I am terrified I’ll find another one in my bed one day. I once found one, ALIVE, darting around in a make-up drawer! I can’t take it.
Ironically enough, today I’m wearing a lobster print skirt (it’s quite cute actually), very Fourth of July, and I now totally get why Jews won’t eat shellfish. Lobsters are the cockroaches of the sea, and they’re most certainly a cousin twice removed from the scorpion.