My hair stood on end, a shiver raced down my spine, and a lump came to my throat when I saw that scorpion by the hot tub. My wife and I were vacationing in Key West and one night we went out by the jacuzzi tub for a dip to relax, when four scorpions decided to crawl out there. My wife screamed and told me to get them out of here, but I had never seen a scorpion before and I had no idea what to do. That menacing stinger tail is so creepy and those two large claws or pincers make it look like a very dangerous beast, so I just kept splashing water on them till they all took off. I guess it is because scorpions are so much larger and creepier looking than spiders are, that I am more afraid of them.
We told some people about the event and they all acted like it was no big deal, but they warned us that scorpions like to crawl into your shoes at night. I told my wife that before I ever reach for another shoe again, I will make sure that I flip them over first to dislodge any scorpions that could be concealed there. I heard that none of the three Florida scorpion species are capable of producing a fatal sting, but that their sting can be painful and it may cause swelling and allergic reactions. Florida scorpions are not aggressive, but may sting when pinned against the skin as like if they were trapped in clothing or bed sheets.
In the Russian fable that was popularized by Orson Welles in the 1955 movie Mr. Arkadin about the scorpion and the frog, there was no logic in the scorpion stinging the frog, as by doing that he was sure to drown, but it could not repress what was in its nature. It is odd that after hearing this story that most people feel scorpions are not able to swim, but I found out that although scorpions aren’t good swimmers, they can survive in water for some time. They don’t have lungs, so they breathe through their exoskeletons, allowing them to survive for up to 48 hours in water. Spiders and snakes reign supreme in the world of animal phobias, and even though many of these creatures are harmless, I want them all to be dead. Spiders are easily squishable, but if I were able to catch one and chase it out of the house, I would try to do that. You can’t squish a scorpion by stomping on it, as they have the ability to completely flatten themselves, so it might be best to attack one with a brick or a sledge hammer, or you could try using a knife to pierce their outer shell.
Written for Fandango’s Story Starter #10.