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Saturday, June 5, 2010

This is WAR!

Thursday night, not ten minutes after we had gotten into bed I felt something fluff my hair. I thought it was the air conditioner blowing on me.

It was not.

I brushed my hair out of my eyes and felt something skitter across my fingers and then NAIL me.

I jumped out of bed and screamed. I probably took two steps when I realized it had to be a scorpion. It burned! And then it felt like someone had smashed my little finger with a ten pound hammer.

I turned on the lights and Greg was still in bed. Smart guy. He didn't know where this scorpion was and he didn't want to take a chance of moving in its di
rection in the dark.

We found that miscreant from hell and made a good scorpion out of it. (read: mincemeat)

Meanwhile my finger is throbbing like you wouldn't believe. I am cussing a blue streak with words even the crudest longshoremen won't utter. If you know me, you know I rarely cuss. I don't cuss on the blog, on email, or in person unless an expletive is the only option.

But that night, I cursed that scorpion from here to Underverse. This is WAR, scorpi. You messed with the wrong woman.

The sad part is...I had a warning. Iko, aka, the Scorpion King was sniffing at a bedside table. He was telling me something was not right, but I scolded him and told him to go to bed. So he did. And I did. Big mistake!

We stayed up for hours. Neither of us anxious to go back to bed. Greg checked every room with an ultraviolet flashlight, (scorpions glow in ultraviolet) while I hopped around on one foot, still cursing that scorpion. The pain was intense! The only thing that helped was numbing it with an ice cube.

It is hard to believe how one tiny prick from a scorpion could inflict that much pain. Bee and wasp stings don't even come close and they don't last as long either. Here it is Friday night when I'm writing this and my finger is still tingling.

I learned two things that night. #1: I discovered I have a very rich vocabulary of curse words. (Who knew?) And #2: Never, EVER dismiss Iko's nose again. He knew it was there. He tried to save me and I ignored him at my own peril.

I'm thinking about hosting Bite Week at the Za
nnini Homestead. In three days, I've tangled with a scorpion, I came across a giant black widow spider in my garden shed (notice the red hourglass on her abdomen), and a copperhead snake slithered past me as I traipsed to the front yard.

No photo op for the snake. He was too fast. The scorpion shown here is an earlier casualty of war. I was in no mood to take photos of the one that nearly murdalized me.

Never a dull moment. What's your worst Bite Week moment? Please share. I don't want to feel all alone.

Please send sympathy karma. My pinky still hurts. :(

PS Don't forget the contest.


Joanne said...

Yow, Maria! What an onslaught this week! I've never seen a scorpion before, and hope never to see one. I hope the bite heals quickly. I don't even think I suffered a mosquito bite this week ... I've been safe from the critters :)

Maria Zannini said...

Joanne: I have not yet begun to fight. :grin:

My finger feels normal today. But two days of throbbing. Owwie!

Thanks for the sympathy.

Dru said...

oh man, I would have died if one came on me. Spiders and snakes, you might as well bury me now. Curses, yeah, like you I don't curse, but I'm sure I would have made up some that was never known to man.

I glad the fingers are back to normal.

Maria Zannini said...

Dru: It was an experience I won't soon forget.

At least I have Iko, the wonder dog. I'm going to listen to his nose from now on.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

We have all those critters at my house, too, but I've never been stung or bitten by any of them. It's the wasps and bees that get me. I'm really allergic to bees, but I've got a sensitivity to all stinging insects and arachnids. Even mosquito bites turn into big welts on me.

James Garcia Jr said...

Hi, Maria. I hope you're feeling better.
I don't have a bite story, but I do have a Black widow running up my arm story.
My wife does not have a green thumb. She'll be the first to tell you that giving her a plant causes Billy Joel's song, "Pressure", to begin playing in her head. Okay, perhaps the Billy Joel part was me, but I digress.
She was given a small potted flower or plant and forgot about it. I can't tell you what it was because when she asked me to move it it was unrecognizable. In any event, much like the warning that you ignored, I missed the sign. "Why was she asking me to move this?" So I picked up the remains, seeing nothing, and only realizing my error when the thing ran up my arm. I yelled a expletive deleted or two, dropped the pot and swatted the thing off of me. Praise God, no bite. Just a scare.

Lynn Colt said...

Black widows, scorpions and copperheads all scare the bejeezus out of me! Odd thing is I like to look at them, but only from a safe distance (or from the other side of a panel of glass). Hope you feel better soon!

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: My hubby is allergic to bee stings too. Which means I will never have honey bees on my property. :(

PS I wouldn't wish a scorpion sting on anyone.

Maria Zannini said...

James: Oh, eeek!!!

I would have had a coronary!

Glad it didn't bite you. BTW...your wife doesn't have an extra life insurance policy on you, does she? Just wondering... :grin:

Maria Zannini said...

Lynn: I have a live and let live philosophy with most critters--even with spiders who nail me ALL the time.

But I think I am going to draw the line at scorpions. No more Mr. Nice Guy. :)

Sherri said...

Ouch, Maria! I've heard scorpions are the worst. Feel better soon.

Wasp sting is the worst I've personally suffered...but as the thing was crawling on my baby's face at the time, I'd risk it again in a heartbeat.

Nasty crawling on me...that'd be the Palmetto bug (basically a cockroach the size of a small rodent) that woke me up by crawling across my arm. Probably woke the neighbors with my scream and I'm generally not a screamer LOL.

Freaky would be the rattle snake I nearly stepped on while camping.

Gross would be the leeches I encountered while swimming at a family reunion.

Annoying would be mosquitos who seem to find me no matter what! Glad we don't have any around here, LOL, it's nice not to be eaten alive every evening.

And thankfully, our scorpions are of the small, generally not a threat, type. Only seen one so far, it was the night we moved in, a little milk white thing about a half inch long. We do have to watch out for the black widows tho' and they can be monster big here compared to the ones I remember growing up with in California.

Maria Zannini said...


Okay...I don't know that I could handle the leeches. :shudders:

Ref: wasp
Oh those hurt like heck. Glad you saved your baby from that.

Mike Keyton said...

Bags of sympathy but no deep down empathy - I'm sorry - because I've never, ever, been bitten by anything or anyone...unless...does a jelly-fish sting count? That was bad...then there's been the odd midge or mosquito... but again, they don't really come in the scorpion range.

But a bouquet of sympathy and hope the finger's getting better. Damn useful fingers

catie james said...

Like Mike I can only send sympathy and "hope the stinging ends soon" karma, 'cause I've been lucky enough to never have been bitten. I think my dad's run across a brown recluse now and then, but never managed to see anything myself. I'm so sorry you're in pain! (And three cheers for Iko!)

Wendy Ramer said...

Love that word: murdalize ;-)

I've never been bitten by a scorpion, but when I lived in Italy, they frequented the house. I learned to ALWAYS check my shoes before slipping my feet into them.

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: Jellyfish stings are supposed to be pretty painful. You are allowed into the Bite Week Club. LOL

Thanks, Mike.

Maria Zannini said...

Catie, you've never been bitten? Holy cow, you've led a charmed life. Where do I sign up?

Ref: Iko

Yes, even though I got stung, he is definitely the hero of the day.

He's been eating up all the attention I've been giving him.

Maria Zannini said...


I found out that scorpions usually come into the house looking for water. We've been in triple digits this week and that could be why I've seen so many lately.

And yes, checking shoes. In Texas, we always shake our boots.

Ref: murdalize
Compliments of the Three Stooges.
Soitenly! Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

Marianne Arkins said...

Okay... you know I'm not squeamish. I handle spideys and snakes and toads with no fear.

Your story made my stomach roil. :::shudders:::

And, you reminded me why, though I hate the winters here, I love the dearth of venomous anything. Worst we have is yellow jackets (buggers have stung me more than once near my composter -- which is why I no longer compost fruit).

Oddly, when I lived in California, I had the occasionally run-in with rattlers, but they never bothered me. And I knew that Black Widows lived there, but I never saw them.

So, I guess that yellow jackets are the worst I've had. Unless you count the Chihuahua....

Maria Zannini said...


Oh, yellow jackets are horrible! They are so relentless.

And I never discount killer Chihuahuas. :grin:

It's Saturday night and my finger seems to be fine now. Thank goodness!
Of course, now I'm paranoid.

Kaz Augustin said...

Well, having lived in Australia, you can bet I was always extra careful around stuff I hadn't been near in a while. Redbacks (the spider you showed) were an occupational hazard.

But one thing I hadn't figured on was being bitten by a giant damn ant (almost an inch long) while I was doing some groundcover planting. I crushed the bugger and thought nothing of it...until the throbbing started!

Oh my, it stung like ... well, insert appropriate word here ... for two weeks! The swelling eventually went down but I was left with a discolouration on my skin for years. It has only now faded. Bloody ants!

So sympathies M, and you're not alone! LOL

Hey, popular thread this one. People must like hearing about your mishaps!

India Drummond said...

I grew up in the American Southwest, and was very familiar with snakes, spiders and scorpians being a part of life. The one thing I love about Scotland is we have very few dangerous critters! Even still, force of habit makes me shake out my shoes before I put them on!

Maria Zannini said...


Ants are tough. And that blister itches for a long time. That's one bad ant bite that leaves a discoloration for that long. Amazing!

But then most things in your part of the world will kill you. I'm relatively safe compared to you.

Maria Zannini said...


Ref: shaking out the shoes

I know there's gotta be a YouTube video we can make out of this. LOL.

It's a good habit to keep.

Arizona has the most poisonous scorpions and snakes in the southwest. But then Texas lives next door. Do those baddies know not to cross the border?

Jennifer Shirk said...

OH MY GOSH! My mouth dropped open reading your post. I don't do well with spiders, snakes, or scorpions. I'd be sleeping with one eye open for sure!
Hope your bite feels better today.

Jannette Johnson said...

Scorpions? Black Widows? Copperheads? Where do you live so I know to stay away!!

I got stung by something the other day. Went to sit outside and it got me on the leg as I sat down. Don't know what it was, flew off before I had a chance to kill it.

How long with Iko look at you with that 'I told you so' stare? :D

brokenbiro said...

Bloody hell! It's obviously a jungle out there!
The only thing that's ever bitten me (apart from many, many mozzies on my travels) was Mr Wuffles, the white rabbit in the magic act I was part of - very fractious creature, must have been all that levitating.

Maria Zannini said...


Yeah, unsolicited levitating will do that to bunnies. LOL.

Maria Zannini said...

Jennifer, Jannette, I just now saw your comments. Blogger was holding them up in limbo.

Thanks for your condolences.

Jannette: Iko was a gentleman. He didn't rub it in, though I did catch him snickering. ;)