Sunday, November 11, 2007

Alacrán o escorpión...either way they are dead

I promised another post from Day of the Dead, and that may still be forthcoming but right now I'm going to post about the Day of the Dead for the two scorpions I encountered in the house this week. Alacrán and escorpión are the two Spanish names for scorpion though alacran seems more popular here. When I was in Guanajuato doing my MA research I was also battling scorpions and luckily I came out unscathed, other than some mental damage, from that battle. This time, at the Big House in Oaxaca, so far, I'm winning. Despite being in very different living conditions from Guanajuato they have found me. Apparently scorpions are immune to being impressed and intimidated by large houses and the unnecessary displays of wealth this particular one projects onto the Mexican landscape.

My first encounter was a few nights ago. I was walking down the hall and saw something scuttle away and wondered "what is that?" Upon closer inspection it looked like a scorpion but seemed rather small and to be honest, for some reason, I had forgotten what a scorpion looked like momentarily. Perhaps I had blocked it out. I figured I had better kill it and then I would look up photos of scorpions to determine if this was indeed one of these dreaded insects. Are they insects? Whatever they are they scare the crap out of me. I got a "Big Size" can of Raid (from Sam's Club, where else?) and gave it a Big-Sized ass whooping of chemicals. I really drowned the thing and unfortunately I sprayed so much Raid I had to go to another part of the house. Picture below of my first kill.



This morning just after I woke up I was walking to the kitchen and out of the corner of my eye I noticed something on the floor. Thinking it was a leaf or something I stopped and walked over. Not a leaf! A much bigger, black-colored scorpion! There was no doubt that this was indeed a scorpion and I have to say I was very awake after looking at this thing. Here is picture of him still alive. Not the best picture because I was hiding from him, stealthily snapping this photo from the other side of the dining room table.



Judging by the size of this thing I knew that Raid wasn't going to cut it so I went to my bedroom and got the heaviest shoe I could find. I tip toed out to the dining room area, raised my arm above my head and came down hard on that scorpion! My adrenaline was pumping! Splat! My arm hurt afterwards I hit it so hard. I was rewarded for my outlay of strength by a big satisfying gut puddle. See below, though not for the weak hearted or those averse to gut puddles. I also put a penny next to it for scale, just like the geologists do with their pick axes! Must be scientific about these things you know.



My shoe is still sitting over next to the recorded place of death, I'm a bit afraid of the scorpion juice on the bottom. I really hope that this new rash of scorpions doesn't signify a mass birth that took place somewhere in the house. Have you seen pictures of a momma scorpion with all her babies on her back? It is one of the most disturbing things I have ever seen, I dare you to google it, your life will never be the same.

Another interesting house happening has to do with the current weather we are experiencing here at night. Though the days are still warm the nights are getting quite chilly. I need to stop a man with a donkey loaded down with fire wood and buy some! This is the firewood delivery system here. The past few mornings I have woken up to a "plop" sound somewhere near my pillow. I immediately assumed it was a dead fly who had exhausted himself in the skylight trying to escape and simply died in mid-air and fell onto my bed. It has happened before! Looking around after the plop sound I didn't see any dead flies (or scorpions!) so I thought not much of it. Then the "plop" sound again! I finally discover that the "plop" sounds are droplets of water falling onto my bed from the skylight. Condensation! Apparently I'm a hot, heavy breather. Full of hot air if you will, but then if you are reading this blog you already knew that!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It might be better to squash it with the shoe on, you'll get more pressure. Just don't have a strappy shoe on unless you're brave!