Wednesday, June 06, 2007


No, not Gordon S.

I have discovered three things unexpectedly just now.

1- My wife Terri has a high tolerance for pain.
2- I have a low tolerance for pain.
3- Scorpions sting quickly and it hurts a lot.

I always knew Terri was a Marine, but now I have a direct comparison for calibration, as she endured several scorpion stings with grace over the 2+ years here in Austin.

This morning, as I headed for the office, I saw Jessie the dog investigating something on the floor. Ah HA! A scorpion. No big deal. I shooed her away and as I already had a tightly wadded kleenex in hand, I attempted to squash the little bugger. Unfortunately, the wad wasn't big enough to get the whole body and the stinger just (and I mean just barely) brushed my finger. At first (5 seconds) I thought maybe it got me. 20 seconds later I was hurting - a lot. That's on a finger. I think I will now wear gloves while weeding (and maybe permanently.) Sure wouldn't want that on a more sensitive part of the body!

More than a bee sting? Oh yeah. For the first 3 minutes it was intense. Now it feels like a bee sting. Terri says it'll last all day. No big deal at this level, but at first it was - uh- impressive and - attention grabbing.

More than a fire ant? Well, in a way. A fire ant bite is more immediately intense and 'narrower' - more localized. But the darn ants themselves are tiny. Like a shrunken atomic bomb is how I'd describe it. Your whole reason for living is to get them off you. But an Office Scorpion is more like getting hit with the nail remover side of a hammer, though it comes on a lot slower than the ant bite. A matter of seconds versus instantaneously. With a fire ant there's no time for doubt. With a scorpion - at least for me - this first time - it took maybe 20 seconds to really do me.

Did I return with a bigger piece of Kleenex-'O-Death? Oh yeah. Am I afraid of them now? No. Respectful.

I can't imagine what a poisonous snake would feel like. I plan to run or fly if I have to.

The exterminator is scheduled for June 12th, as if by co-incidence.

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