I’ve never been the biggest bug-liker in the world. I can trace it back to being a few years old and being chased with a daddy long legs by a little boy my mom used to babysit. He had pulled it down from his living room curtains and ran after me with its little hair-like legs wiggling, trying to grab at me (or so my kid-like brain thought). That was pretty much all that needed to happen, I’ve been scared of spiders (and bugs) since.
Fast forward a few years, and I recall when my fear of crustaceans came into play. My father bringing home lobster once, proud, holding the wiggling bag with a “surprise” inside. My little waist-high self thought it was a puppy or a kitten or something, until my dad turned his back, freed the lobster, and showed me TO MY FACE. My father held the back of it, legs sticking straight out to the side, as if it were pressed against glass for maximum width, legs wiggling familiarly (like the spider above) and coming towards me. It seemed bigger than I was, for crying out loud, and I shrieked, loudly, just as it did when my father boiled it to death. Pretty much hated seafood after that incident.
Eventually, I got over the whole ‘scary-crab’ thing. Would I want to meet one in the water or on a beach anytime soon? HELL NO. But do I mind it in the tank in the supermarket or anything? Truthfully, still a little, but nowhere near as bad as when I was a kid (I couldn’t go near it). But, to date, I’ve never been and will never be comfortable with spiders. You already know that.
Last night I was sitting in my living room, enjoying a little baby-free time on the couch with my iPad. The kids were spread out throughout the house, taking care of chores, showers, pajamas and bedtime rituals while my husband bounced the baby to sleep for me. It was already dark in the living room, the only lights were the TV, my iPad and the light from the bathroom nearby. As I sat there in “my spot,” I felt a tickle on my arm, briefly, before this creepy-crawly thing turned my arm’s corner and WAVED. I sh!t you not, the dang thing waved before I SCREAMED LIKE I WAS ON FIRE, flinging it and my iPad off of me and springing to my feet.
(I paraphrase, because I probably added a few choice curse-words in my Tourrettes-like response to bugs.)
“What!? What!?” My husband runs in, waking up the baby, knowing it’s something bug-esque.
“Something was.. ON me. Like, a lizard… or something…”
The kids all come running down the stairs, wondering what their crazy mother was screaming about this time. My husband is fixated on the floor, waiting for something to move. It doesn’t help that what was on me was brown, and not only is our couch brown but our new flooring, too. Thankfully, it remained on our white carpet we cut out from our flooring demolition and laid down in the living room. It was nestled in the corner near where my feet normally are, just sitting there, waiting.
“Get me a shoe!” My husband calls out.
Oh boy, that ain’t good, I thought to myself. He wouldn’t kill a lizard. He WOULD, however, kill a spider. But this thing was not that shape.
A million thoughts went through my head as to what it might be that was just tickling my arm. Finally, moments later, I muttered, “What is it?!”
Under his breath, he responded, “I’ll tell you later.”
Oh dear Lord, WHAT WAS ON ME! I couldn’t stop shaking. I stood there, bouncing the baby, holding her close, THANKFUL SHE WASN’T ON ME when this crazed bug came crawling onto my forearm. But what the hell was it, already!?
“Get me a tissue!” He called out, like a doctor during surgery, as he crunched my son’s shoe into the carpet, twisting into the floor as he pressed down.
After he had it in his grasp and the kids whisper-speculated what it was, he began investigating it in the kitchen, alone. I could see it from where I stood that it was too big to have been a spider, unless it was some oblong gigantor freakish Texas spider with a tail like a lizard. As he bent over to throw it away, I blurted out excitedly, “Hey, how about we flush it!?”
“Good call!” he agreed.
After the kids finally dispersed, after what seemed agonizingly long, and the toddlers were finally out of earshot, my husband confirmed my suspicions and fears. “It was a scorpion.”
GOOD GRAVY! Welcome to Texas, Lisa.
Despite sweeping and mopping twice a day (thank you new floors supposedly making things easier) and our new house weather-proofed and energy efficient, either we’ve got a remote corner where they can come in or my children brought it in by leaving the door.wide.open.
Whichever is truly the case, the exterminator has been called.
And the shivers never went away.