Thursday, January 24, 2013

scary stories aren't just for halloween!

First of all-- thank you so much for your love and support on Wednesday's post. You guys make pouring my soul out so dang easy, and I haven't always had an outlet for thanks. Now...on to much scarier-but-less-serious matters!

I told you I had two scorpion stories, and since I'm not a tease...prepare yourself. Things're 'bout to get REAL, yall. But first- a visual:

I love this meme. I do not, however, condone the poor grammar it contains. Please know that if I were to make this meme, I would have included an apostrophe in "natures" and a comma after "wasps." [Yes, I'm a huge proponent of the serial comma. Anyone care to engage in nerdy dialogue about that issue?]

So back in 2006 I was living with my friend Lacie. 

We lived in this little duplex in a little neighborhood in the woods in Athens. Athens, it should be noted, is a college town. As such, the landlords are notoriously crappy and don't maintain properties, since all of the tenants are college kids who apparently either don't care about having maintained property or are too drunk to notice. One of those. Anyway. So our little duplex was functional and cute enough, but slightly lacking in the well-maintained department. Like the carpet was disgusting. There was little-to-zero insulation around the doors (you could see the daylight shining/feel the cold air blowing through all four sides of the doors). The roaches...oh dear God, the roaches. They were a problem. Ick. Anyways. We more or less made do, which was greatly helped by Matt's frequent trips over (we were engaged at this point) to clean up the bugs we'd trapped under glasses and saved for him to deal with.

So it was late one night, and Matt had just left to go back to his own house. Lacie was hanging out in her room, and I headed to take a shower in my bathroom. As I was finishing my shower and getting ready for bed, I suddenly heard Lacie freaking out. I mean...losing her mind. Screaming. "ERIKA!!!!! ERIKA!!!! OHMYGOD ERIKA!!!!!!!!" I sprinted into her room to find her folding back the comforter on her bed, as she did every night. Nothing appeared to be amiss, except for Lacie shrieking as she pointed at her bed.

Upon closer inspection, I saw it. Yup. A scorpion. Right underneath the comforter she was removing, on top of the sheets she was about to be laying in. Right about where her foot would have been resting. A big ol' freakin' scorpion. In her bed.

I immediately joined Lacie in losing her mind. I don't know what we thought we were accomplishing by standing there screaming-- it certainly wasn't scaring the scorpion into going anywhere. He seemed pretty content to just...linger. To tell you the truth- I'd never seen a scorpion before. Not in real life. I honestly had no idea they even existed in Georgia...if you'd asked me where scorpions lived, I probably would have guessed Egypt, because that's where that mummy movie took place and weren't there scorpions in that movie? I think I would have been equally shocked to find a mummy in Lacie's bed. Or a dragon. Because seriously. A scorpion? What the heck, dude? Sick.

As you can imagine, we spent the rest of the night/early morning frantically Googling ("can you die from a scorpion touching your bed?"), cleaning every single linen in Lacie's room, and generally being freaked out at the thought that there could be/probably were more of them somewhere. I don't actually remember exactly how we killed the one in her bed, but I think it involved scooting it off the bed by tapping it with magazines, then Raid-ing him to death once he hit the floor, then stomping his corpse with our boots and flushing it down the toilet for good measure. Sorry, animal rights activists, if that saddens your heart. It saddens my heart to think of my friend dying by scorpion bite (sting?) in the supposed safety of her own bed. 

Months went by. I married Matt, Lacie moved out, and Matt moved in. I know, right? Why would I ever want to leave a house with such amazing wildlife experiences? Figured I'd stick around a bit longer. The duplex continued to wow us with its apparent red carpet for icky creatures. Mice. Roaches. Those centipede things with billions of legs that sting. Yeah, it was awesome. Not. At least Matt was there full-time to deal with them, though.

One night Matt and I had just crawled in bed (which was now located in the room that Lacie used to live in). The lights were off and we were laying quietly, almost asleep. Suddenly Matt speaks, rousing me from my almost-asleep-ness. "I hear a scorpion," he says.

"You hear a scorpion?

"Yeah. I hear one."

Okay, weird boy. Who are you, the Scorpion Whisperer? Who hears scorpions? I mean...I'm pretty sure they don't make any sounds. It's probably a roach. Or a mouse. Both of which will require investigation and killing, obviously, so I didn't let him waste any time turning on the bedside lamp.

He looks down on the floor next to his nightstand.

"Yep. It's a scorpion."

HOLY MOTHER OF WHAT THE CRAP??!! Sure enough, a scorpion is just taking a sweet and slow little cruise across a piece of paper on the floor...the sound of which was distinct enough that Matt could discern the very genus and species of the creature that made it. Weird skill, Matt. But handy! That skill probably just saved my life! Swoon!

Matt, being much braver and less prone to shrieking than Lacie and I, quickly dispatched of the horrid beast, but I'm fairly certain I didn't sleep any that night anyway. And I don't remember the exact day and month of that occurrence, but I'm pretty sure that shortly thereafter we found ourselves doing some serious house hunting. And getting the heck out of Athens and away from its creepy wildlife.

For the record, we may live in the sticks now, but we have never ever seen a roach, scorpion, or mouse in our house. EVER. In almost four years. And that, my friends, is priceless.

We did have a rat in the garage once. But that's another story.


  1. Perhaps I should have read this in the morning, you know, AFTER I have slept...

  2. A- My graduate English teacher who was a psycho about grammar told me that the comma is not required. What IS required is constancy. If you use it, use it EVERY TIME. I'm pro comma myself.

    B- The start of your marriage sounds a lot like mine. I stuck my hand in the laundry room cabinet and a cockroach the size of godzilla FLEW at me our first month. It freaking tried to attack me. There were cockroaches everywhere in that house. I got to the point where I had Matt's skill of hearing them. I'd scream, turn on the light, and sure enough, it would be on the prowl headed straight for me. Ughhhh. I hated that place.

    C- I'm glad you're current home is creepy creature free. That's kind of a priority for me going forward.

  3. I never saw a scorpion until we moved to Texas... and I can't get outta here soon enough! I'm very impressed with Matt's scorpion sixth sense. That will come in handy during the apocalypse when radiation causes scorpions to be the size of horses. ::shudders:: Thanks for the sweet dreams, E!

  4. Ewww ewwww ewwww. Yuck. And terrifying too. I can't believe you stayed in that house after the first event. The worst we had was mice which would run around Dave's feet. And then around Sam's crib, at which point I burst into tears, exclaimed we were moving the next day (so unrealistic) and took Sam to sleep in bed with us. It was awful but not life threatening. Good thing you married The Scorpion Whisperer and Murderer. Sounds like a handy guy to know.

  5. NO. NO. NO. Gross. I would have moved out the minute a creature was in my covers. (Well, probably not, but I like to think that.) I have never seen a scorpion except for at the zoo. (My husband likes the insect section the best. Who likes that part??)

  6. hahaha, oh the memories of Athens rental living!

    Okay, and Matt's ability to hear the! I forgot about that detail of the second scorpion story.

    Thankfully, even though we live in the scorpion capital of the US, I have yet to find one in our bed or living space since moving here!

  7. Ha this totally sounds like something Brian would do! Boys have the weirdest senses... but maybe Matt should have his own show like the Dog Whisperer and make you lots of money??

    Also, TOTALLY agree with you about that comma.

  8. Ahh! I've never seen a scorpian in my entire life. I can't believe that you've seen TWO!! Thank goodness Matt moved into that house with you to assist with the disposal of the creepy crawlers!

  9. Ha! GREAT story and that first meme is awesome.

  10. I'm a total fan of the serial comma. In fact, I used that as my deciding factor when choosing between two homeschool grammar programs. (That and diagramming.. gotta totally nerd it up, ya know?)

    The scorpion story is so fitting today! Today I'm writing about spiders. I never knew that Richmond had so many. I mean, we even have a basketball team named after them!

  11. Oh dear Lord. I would die. Simply die. I got bit by a spider (brown recluse too) in my bed once and that scarred me for years. But a scorpion?? A scorpion?!?

    (Oh, and I totally agree with you on the Athens landlords...craptastic houses, but cheap rent!)

  12. I heard the story about the scorpion in Lacie's bed years ago and I still think (and shudder) about it occasionally. Ugh.

  13. Wow. Yech! That totally creeped me out!

  14. Ick!!! I, too, was of the mind that scorpions were only in the Wild Wild West when I moved to GA. I was sorely mistaken. I once saw one in my parents' in my old room and I was alone. I sprayed that sucker with hairspray till he couldn't move and still freaked out about it. The second was after we moved to Jessica's last March - we were out of town a couple weeks after moving in, so there were things piled everywhere. This one was under the laundry soap on the floor near the back door. I flipped when I picked it up and saw it! Thankfully, I learned that they are loners and don't travel with families like roaches. Also, we haven't seen another since and it's been 11 mos. WOOT.


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