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Monday, October 1, 2012

Special Report from the Trenches

I am typing this thirty miles from home base at a Starbucks with a hotspot. 

My special ops dog team and I were compromised on Sunday at 0830 when the power was cut. Some might say it was the relentless rain, but it had to be the scorpions. The signs were there, I was just too preoccupied with admin stuff to notice. 

My mission: Retake ground zero.

Day One: A scorpion rappelled from the ceiling. He landed on my foot as I was relaxing on the couch. My lightning reflexes and commando training from Kitty Kat Academy flipped the paratrooper into the air. He landed stinger side first where I quickly crushed him into another dimension. (I'm really good at that.)

Later that day, another scorpion infiltrated my office. Sergeant Iko was on patrol but he must’ve been sleeping on duty because the infiltrator walked right past him. After dispatching the insurgent to hell, I reprimanded Iko and busted him down to private. Nobody sleeps on duty in my team.

We had a situation later that night when Seadog Mama, our underwater specialist yelped in agony. I was afraid the enemy had capped her, but I think she just got up wrong and twisted her ankle. Seadog Mama should’ve retired a year ago, but she’s tough and wants to stay with the team. 

Day Two: After discussing the situation with Captain Tank, we agreed to take the fight to the enemy. I’ve been laying sticky pad traps everywhere.

So far, I've had only one escape. That scorpion must've had the strength of ten because he not only dragged the pad several feet, but escaped intact. We’ll meet again, Scorpi. I promise.

It’s now been 22 hours since we’ve been compromised. The power has tried to come back on twice but nothing permanent. My dog team and I are on dry rations. 

…okay, I did have a cranberry scone at Starbucks, but being a team leader with a driver’s license has its perks.

I have to go back now. I'm setting this post to appear at zulu time 0700. My team and I will see this out to the end. If we don’t make it, tell my husband I love him and that I’ll see him on the other side. I’ll be the one with the scorpion kills carved into the soles of my shoes.

Dog Team Alpha signing out.


Darke Conteur said...

You do your platoon proud. Don't be too hard on Iko, those tricky buggers are silent killers.:D

Geez, scorpions. Only ones I ever saw where that German heavy metal band from the 80's.

Renee Miller said...

You're awesome. This made my whole morning, which has not had scorpions, but did include screaming and running with rocks, followed by tears and poop.

I'm very glad Tweed doesn't have scorpions.

E.J. Wesley said...

Watch the shadows and trust no one! :-D

Stacy McKitrick said...

I am SOOOOOO glad I don't live in Texas!

Here's to winning the war!

Mike Keyton said...

Very, very funny, Maria. I'll wear strong boots with my trousers tucked in should I ever make Texas : )

Giacomo Giammatteo said...

Hilarious, Maria. Had me busting a gut. Stay alert!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

That's one scary enemy. Dang power. We've been lucky the past few months and only lost it once for a few hours.

Maria Zannini said...

My power is back! Time to answer comments.

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: Well, I'll probably promote him again when he spots the next one. I can't stay mad at the big lug. :)


Renee: Well at least you're not running with scissors. That can be dangerous. I hope you weren't running with poop either. That's just nasty. LOL.

Maria Zannini said...

EJ: Aye, aye, Captain! I can't believe I reacted faster than the scorpion when he landed on me. Getting stung is not an experience I want to repeat.


Stacy: If it's any comfort, they hibernate in the winter.

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: Well, this is no Clay Cross story, but it'll do.

Actually, we are taking steps to seal the house from the little intruders. It's a slow process though.

Maria Zannini said...

Jim: Never a dull moment here. I had to write something while I was sitting in the semi-dark.


Susan: This power outtage took us off guard. I have a feeling the power company must've been either repairing lines or putting a new one in since it went up and down several times. I think we're safe now. I was afraid I was going to have to drag the generator to the house so I could keep my freezers working.

Angela Brown said...

Ugh! to the power outage. Dealing with those is definitely no fun.

Those sneaky scorpions. They do seem intent on infiltrating your property. Have you seen if there are any miniaturized Wanted poster signs with your face and name on them?

LD Masterson said...

So...when the team has beaten back the scorpion hoard, would you care to taken on my invasion of field mice?

(And how bad are the scorpions in the winter?)

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: I've always had a live and let live philosophy with all animals and insects, but those scorpions will actually seek you out. They are just plain grumpy. Worse yet, there are so many ways for them to come in. All they need is a fraction of an inch.


Linda: Not to worry. They hibernate in the winter.

Ref: field mice
I thought Sophie handled that for you. :)

James Garcia Jr. said...

Seriously, come to California. There's no way I'm going there. The only Scorpions I want to see better be singing "Rock You Like A Hurricane". Sorry, it's the 80's coming out of me. *grins*
Very cute post by the way.


Jenny Schwartz said...

You made it sound funny, but how scary. Scorpions in the dark! take care

FastBusa said...

To: Dog Team Alpha
From: South Texas Headquarters

The war goes badly for us, you must fight on to the last pup.
Reinforcements will arrive on 10-8-12. You must hang on until then. The breach in the defense line will then be repaired.

Good luck to you and your team
General FastBusa
South Texas Headquarters command

Gwen Gardner said...

Oh dear God, Maria, you don't really have all those scorpions in your house, do you? *shivers*

Maria Zannini said...

Jimmy: They only come out at night. (Unfortunately for me)


Jenny: I gotta be funny now cuz if I get stung I'll be too busy cussing.

Maria Zannini said...

Gwen: Some nights are worse than others. But we're slowly finding all the ways they can get in. I could use chemicals, but we're trying to avoid that because they are toxic.

Maria Zannini said...

Greg/Fast Busa: ROTFL!

General, my team is committed. Well...they were committed up to a half hour ago. Captain Tank and Private Iko have retired for the night. They're hogging the entire bed. I don't know where the heck I'm going to sleep.

But so far, so good. No new sightings to report.

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Yikes, scorpions. Urgh... give me a snake anyday. I'm so glad we don't have them here, well in the outback we do, but not so much in rural areas.

Oh, sleeping. How on earth do you manage to sleep? *suzanne grimaces*
What with crawling things everywhere. Yikes. :)

Dru said...

Love this post and I hope you got your power back.


Jennifer Shirk said...


I'm calling in your Special Ops teM when I have a Scorpion problem!

Maria Zannini said...

Suzanne: We've never had a scorpion on the bed in the master bedroom. I think it's because we have no recessed lighting directly over the bed.

If they are getting in through the attic, they're falling through the tiny openings in the electrical compartment of the lights when the lights are off (and cool).

But usually they walk in from the outside under the door. We're replacing the weatherstripping to take care of that little problem.

Their "let's try to sting Maria parade" is all seasonal and weather related.

Maria Zannini said...

Dru: Power came back, so all is well. :)


Jennifer: My poor dogs are at the center of all my adventures. LOL.

Nadja Notariani said...

Too funny, Maria! Hope you and your special ops dog team are no worse for the wear!
And scorpions??? Ack! I think I'd take a heart attack. LOL.
The worst my Zutchka has dealt with is carpenter bees and centipedes...ha.

Ellie Garratt said...

The Scorpion Apocalypse began and ended as quickly as it began; the Zannini Unit proved too overwhelming in both human and canine terms.

Extract from 'Memoirs of a Scorpion Fighter by Spec Ops M. Zannini'.

Maria Zannini said...

Nadja: Hey those centipedes are bad news. Those bites hurt. I don't allow them in the house either.

Maria Zannini said...

Ellie: That was too funny! I need you as my publicist.

Clarissa Draper said...

Crap! Your post scared me to death! I'm glad I don't have to deal with many scorpions. Although, I don't know why, I live in Mexico...

Maria Zannini said...

Clarissa: Sorry! LOL. All's well that ends well though.

I hate the scorpions in Mexico. They're a lot bigger than the ones I see. Eek!