We live in the woods now. People ask how many trees we have on the property and the answer is, “We have no damn idea.”
There was what is now referred to as “The Incident” where a branch broke off and wreaked some havoc and so we had to follow up with tree work to the tune of one nice vacation. Because who wouldn’t want to trade a trip across Europe for a dozen tree stumps and a pile of wood chips the size of Mount Rushmore?
And the impact of that radical tree maintenance? YOU COULDN’T EVEN TELL WE’D HAD THE WORK DONE.
That’s how many trees we have.
Now, this may be news to some of you, but…..things live in the woods.
Things that we simply did not have to contend with when we were suburban-dwelling, water-and-sewer-hooked town-folk.
For instance, I never once – not a single time in all of my urban living days – had to get a bat out of my bedroom.
And never before have I had a neighbor tell me that a bear wandered through his back yard. And no, I don’t think it was his consumption of herbal refreshment that led to this pronouncement. There were witnesses.
Yet it is not the bat nor the bear that screw with my sleep.
It’s a critter about the size of a quarter.
You heard me.
Black, scaly, upward-tail-pointing, pincer wielding scorpions.
What the honest fuck, people??
There is something about the shape of a scorpion that is inherently freaky. The shape is unmistakable. You can’t look at a scorpion and think you’re looking at anything else.
Here is a conversation that never happens:
“Ethel, honey, is that a ring-tailed lemur?”
“No, George, that is a scorpion. And you are an ignorant, knuckle-dragging waste of a toupee.”
And they are menacing. They’re seriously like the organized crime enforcement brigade of the insect kingdom. You know just by looking at them they’re ready to mess you up. Just seeing them makes you want to relinquish your PIN number and rat out the neighbors.
To those who would say to me, “It’s not any worse than a bee sting (true of this species of scorpion) and they’re very shy and they’d rather be anywhere you aren’t (also true),” I say, “GAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!” while running away and waving my arms violently.
We’ve found a couple in the house. They were all dead. We don’t know why. We suspect the cats (good kitty! have a tuna!) but we’ve never witnessed the actual demise, so we don’t for sure.
But then…one night…one fateful, horrible night…
I found one in the upstairs bathroom.
In a feat of cognitive dissonance that would rival Russian gymnasts for flexibility, I decided that scorpions didn’t go upstairs. Because gravity. And stairs. And death-cats. And clapping to keep Tinkerbell alive. And bats.
Seriously, I have no sane reason to have decided that this was true. I just did.
So imagine my
hysterical-window-shattering-screams surprise when I turned the corner of the bathroom and spotted the forest-dwelling-Loch-Ness-Monster wee buggie on a towel.
For scale, this is the size of scorpion compared to the size of the room I found it in: Here is how it looked to me: I know what you’re thinking. “Lori,” you say, in what you think is a calm but is really an annoyingly patronizing tone of voice, “Scorpions can’t fly.”
They could totally fly.
I’m sure they can also pick locks, hot-wire cars, get your kids busted for drug possession and ruin your credit rating.
You don’t know.
So after waking Himself with a rousing chorus of “Scream Like You’ve Been Stabbed With an Ice-Pick,” I allowed him to dispose of the insect by flushing it down the toilet.
Then I made him check the bathroom for accomplices.
And then check again.
And then check again before I would use the bathroom in the morning.
And then twice a day for the next three weeks.
But it’s fiiiiiiiine.
Because I’m totally okay with being a 47-year-old woman who sleeps with the light on.
I am way okay with that.