In no particular order, I am deathly afraid of the following: cockroaches, needles and heights. Before I moved to Arizona, I had no reason to be knowledgeable (and therefore, fearful) about scorpions. I dodged numerous stories told by co-workers who found these critters squatting in their homes and pretended it would never happen to me … until it did.
On Sunday night, I came home from book club, sat on my bed and plugged my phone into its charger. Facing my headboard, I took my turn on Words with Friends and my eyes wandered to the sea of cords underneath my night table. And amidst the cords, slowly meandering across the beige carpet (NEXT TO MY BED) was the most horrifying thing I’ve ever seen.
My first scorpion.
For those of you unfamiliar with scorpions, consider yourself lucky. Before this moment, I considered palmetto bugs (aka giant winged roaches) to be the most horrifying creature I’d ever encounter in my home. This miniature horned (clawed?) beast was about to take home the gold.
Here are its stats: it was about as long as the width of my three middle fingers. Evidently this is good, as the small ones have more concentrated venom. It was roughly the same color as my bedroom carpet. And thank God, it was moving rather slowly.
I didn’t scream. I do, however, think I entered some sort of fugue.
While (rather silently) panicking, I made my way towards the kitchen and was immediately grateful that I hadn’t put away Solo cups from a party I hosted about two months ago. I grabbed two Solo cups and made my way back to the offending creature (who thankfully hadn’t moved far). As he moved towards my closet, I deftly trapped him between two Solo cups, ran quickly towards my front door and hurled him off my balcony.
Yes, I’m grateful he didn’t fly back at me in a rogue gust of wind. No, I didn’t try to crush him. One, I hate the idea of trying to crush any creature which makes a crunching noise. Two, this is Arizona in September. Minus my running shoes, I am 100% in open-toed shoes. And I doubt a ballet flat would do much damage. Three, I wasn’t sure how Senor Scorpion would react. What if I aimed with a shoe, didn’t manage to finish him off and he either (a) ran under my bed or (b) started throwing poisonous daggers at me? Here’s a fun fact – scorpion anti-venom has now gone down to $8,000 per dose. Of all the things I’d love to spend $8K on, anti-venom is not high on my wish list.
Needless to say, Sunday was a rough night for sleep. Yesterday, I made a purchase I hope I never use – scorpion spray. Oh, and a bottle of wine. I figure if I encounter another scorpion and have to spray it, I’ll be grateful I bought that pinot grigio. And if not (fingers crossed), I’ll be more than happy to celebrate my arachnid-free home.