I'm damn near old enough to have been afoot with Teddy Roosevelt as he stormed Battle Creek with the Rough Rump Rangers and took Kellogg’s back from the evil forces of the Crispy Empire. But one thing I'd never seen up close-up and personal was a scorpion.

My daughter, who was around 11 at the time, called out to me (at just about this same time of night, come to think of it) in terror and said, "Daddy! There's a scorpion in my closet!"

I'm like, "Yeah, right." She sounded terrified enough, but I figured that I needed to finish that beer before it got hot and that it was probably a spider or an hallucination. (Do flashbacks transfer generationally?) So I said, "I'll handle it tomorrow, honey. Go to bed."

She was adamant. "No, really! I saw it!" So I went upstairs to her room and looked around. I didn't see anything. I asked where she had seen it, and she pointed to a spot in the closet. I stuck my hand in there and just fished around to see what I could find.


I guess I've had things hurt worse, but I'll be damned if I could think of them then. This thing hit me on my right thumb, and it began to swell up. It was almost the size of Hugh Grant's turgid member by the time it was done! (Well, maybe bigger.) I did manage to find and kill it. It was big. Maybe 1 1/2 inches long. (I hear the smaller ones are more deadly; I don't know.)

I called the emergency room and asked them if I needed to come in, and they said if a red circle didn't form around the bite and begin to radiate, that I'd probably live. (My wife uttered a phrase under her breath just then. (Was it, "Damn!"?))

Well, I got over it. Yeah, I know many of you would like to see my thumbs and all opposing digits fall off, but just get over that, OK?

So, tonight, just a few minutes ago, three years later, my daughter sticks her head in the stairwell and says, "Daddy, there's scorpion in my room." I believed her and went up there. This time, the devil in question was right in the middle of the floor. I killed it slowly.

I'm taking this as a sign of some sort.

I'm thinking, "Speed Limit: 30 MPH." Or, "Deer Crossing."

I'm not sure which.