Creepy Crawlies I’ve Known and Not Loved

First off is scorpions. We now live in the desert and those little devils are around.

Last spring two dared to creep along the wall, near the ceiling. Capt. Mark stood on a stepladder and dispatched them. He’s still fearsome with a shoe, even in his incapacitated state. He found one on his shirt last week while quietly reading, flicked it off, and stomped it without losing his place.

Me? I would have hopped up and down, screaming, “Get it! Get it!” while it skittered into a dark place.

Our doctor assured us the Las Vegas scorpions are not lethal, but it will still hurt like a bitch if they bite you. “What do I do?” I asked. “Take two aspirin. Nothing else you can do.”

My second candidate is a guy I thought I saw perched arrogantly on the bowsprit of our boat while in the Cumberland River.

“No. It can’t be a spider. It’s too big.”

I did not see it later, but after we tied up in a marina, I saw long heavy strands of web from bow to the cabin top. I tugged on those thick suckers, afraid of what might pop up. But no, the strands continued to appear, but I never saw what made them. Thank God.

They disappeared after a few days.

Then there was that enormous bug on the floor at the entrance to a Super Target in Trussville, Alabama. Visiting relatives, I had gone to the store to pick up something and there it was, a Palmetto Bug (nice name for giant flying cockroach) in all its glory. Like everyone else, I carefully walked around it, wondering if I should point it out to someone.

How could all those people walking in not see it?

When I left, it was gone. No spots on the floor. I assume it reached its destination in one piece. Hopefully, it wasn’t the grocery department.

The Southeast seems to have more than its share of critters. I’ve blogged before about no-see-ums, those pesky gnat-sized flying vampires who know how to spoil a nice glass of wine at sunset. Outside, I sip wine and they sip blood—mine.

Now for my favorite. I once lived in San Juan Capistrano, California, in a new hillside development. Once a year tarantulas would parade down the street. I’d lock up the house, frantically call my neighbor’s teen-age son, and he’d come over, catch them, and wrap them in newspaper. He stored them in his mother’s freezer in the garage. She she told me once she had to be careful which package was pulled out for dinner. She never chose one that moved.

Enough said.

1 thought on “Creepy Crawlies I’ve Known and Not Loved”

  1. Really? In San Juan Capistrano? I never saw one…well, except one that was the pet of a friend.

    I’m with you about scorpions, though.

    And plague-bearing squirrels and chipmunks (their fleas are the actual carriers, I think). Kinda took the fun out of a beautiful camping spot in the California desert when Julia was just three years old, and I also worried about our old, creaky standard poodle.

    What do you wanna bet I dream about this stuff tonight?

    Cheers, F


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