Moving to Arizona comes with an unspoken tacit agreement that in exchange for no tornadoes, earthquakes or shoveling snow, you are willing to deal with an occasional scorpion in your home. And by “deal with,” I mean screaming like a banshee until someone else takes care of it.
Two summers ago, we were seeing at least a couple a week. Finally, I reached the “number” and issued an ultimatum to my husband that we needed to do something or I would be moving to a tent in our backyard where there were presumably fewer scorpions.
We called a company that performs a “sealing” process to fill in all the little nooks and crannies by which the scorpions gain ingress. Unfortunately, they could not come out until after my husband returned home from a trip that meant that I would be shacking up with two cats and an indeterminate number of scorpions for about ten days. This did not thrill me.
Tragically, while my husband was away, my best friend was also away and her cat passed on. She knew this was a possibility and we had prepared for it. She had a cat sitter but the cat sitter had instructions to contact me if “it” happened.
I drove nearly an hour to her home and carried out her wishes. As I generally like animals more than people, it was a very sad day and I was exhausted. On my way home, I had eyes on a stiff martini, a shower and crawling into bed with my own cat shaped animals (I love them dearly but they do not exhibit any cat traits except passive aggressiveness and panic when the food bowls are half-full.). Shower and martini acquired, I crawled into bed to watch people inevitably choose the wrong house on House Hunters.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw one of my cat shaped animals posture in a way that was vaguely cat-like. I considered the possibility of pretending that I hadn’t seen it but I knew the moment I closed my eyes, I would start thinking of inventive and torturous ways to kill the little bugger.
I gave up and flipped on the light. Not even my Batman boxers could protect from me the mega-scorpion that was skittering around my bedroom. I considered the Single Mom’s Method of Dealing with Icky Stuff which is to put a bowl over it and wait for help (True story). I dismissed this notion and decided to be strong for my cats (And cats are supposedly immune to scorpions but whatever.).
I got angry. When I get angry, I become creatively spiteful and vindictive. This does not serve me well in the real world but can be incredibly useful for occasions like this. I marched purposefully into the laundry room and located the vacuum with the longest wand attachment.
In case scorpions have the same hearing that bats do, I brought the vacuum very quietly into the bedroom. I flicked on the power and aimed the wand at the scorpion. Through the magic of electricity and suction (thank you Edison and whoever invented the vacuum), the little sucker was now trapped inside the canister.
Concerned that he might want revenge on the lady who unceremoniously sucked him up, I needed another plan. So, what did I do? Duct tape, baby. I duct taped the end of the wand attachment shut and took it out to the garage. And THEN (because I know about physics), I set the wand upright so that if I happened to catch a MENSA scorpion who brought belays and climbing gear, he would get to the top and realize he couldn’t get out. He would snap his little scorpion feet, wink at the camera and say “Humans do the darndest things.”
I finally got to sleep that night and the following nights that my Scorpion Hunter was away. But every morning, on my way to the kitchen for coffee-lifeblood, I peeked in the garage to check on my Duct Tape Physics Scorpion Prison. You never know.
(photo courtesy of Lightzoom/Dreamstime.com)