This one time, in Texas……


I have lived in Ontario for most of my life, but in 1998 I moved to Halifax to live with my best friend Sandra. I got a job at a bakery and, with the low-level of pay that was minimum wage, struggled to make ends meet. There was nothing left at the end of a pay period to allow for much of a social life so the internet quickly became a great source of amusement. Back in those days, there was a social site called ICQ and I met a myriad number of people from all over the world. One fellow in particular captured my attention and we developed a friendship that seemed to plant the seed for a greater attraction.

We wrote poetry and song lyrics together and would spend countless hours on the phone talking and singing together while he played guitar. We knew we had to meet face to face. My best friend and I decided we would spend our vacation driving through the States and that Austin, TX would become a stop on our whirlwind tour.

The hours we spent in the car, although amusing, were long and arduous and we would find creative ways to keep each other awake. Sandra knew the steel trap that is my mind stored movie quotes ad nauseam and she would give me a quote and I would quote back from the same movie. She made the mistake of asking me to do some scenes from Arthur, with Dudley Moore, and I began with the introductory theme song and continued to do the movie almost in its entirety. The sign for Austin loomed ahead as I came to the end of my monologue and Sandra breathed a sigh of relief.

The meeting with Danny went extremely well and he was excited to take me to his work the next day. His excitement had a child-like enthusiasm as he toured me around the facility. There are some details that I don’t recall specifically, but he was trying to explain the weight of something and handed me a concrete block so I could comprehend the comparison. I picked up the block and immediately dropped it at my feet. Searing pain registered in one of my fingers and as I looked down at the block, a small scorpion scurried along the ground away from the block. Danny’s shock registered immediately and the color drained from his face. He knew I had been stung and hurried me inside and grabbed his pack of menthol cigarettes. He began chewing some of the tobacco and placed a wad of saliva soaked tobacco on my finger to draw out the poison.


(Image courtesy of Google, but the resemblance is uncanny)

Hind sight being what it is, I should have gone to the hospital, but I’m here telling the tale so the worst never happened. I did spend an inordinate amount of time in a great deal of pain. My lips went numb for a few hours as the diluted poison surfed through my veins and my finger throbbed like a Fred Flintstone toe after being crushed by a boulder. Danny trapped the little bastard that assaulted my digits and after a few minutes of shaking the glass jar that was his tomb, the scorpion committed his own form of Hari Kari by piercing his own skull with his poisonous barb. Although I did feel a small amount of satisfaction watching the life ebb from his crunchy little outer shell, it didn’t alleviate any of the pain.

We said goodbye to Danny and to Texas. Our journey continued and we made more pleasant memories in New Orleans, South Carolina, and enjoyed the pain-free remainder of our vacation as we made our way up the picturesque Eastern Seaboard and crossed the border back into Canada.

Things didn’t work out with Danny. He couldn’t understand my vehement objection when he asked if I would move to Texas. I’m sure I stared at the tip of my violated finger as I broke the news to him. I’ll take mosquitos and black flies any day. Scorpions? ย No thank you.

What is the strangest thing that has happened to you?

26 thoughts on “This one time, in Texas……

  1. There is truly something unpleasantly peculiar about scorpions that really unhinges me. They are a creature that seemingly could be out of science fiction. They appear to be some form of hybrid cross between lobsters ans wasps. The only thing that would make them a little more frightening would be if they could actually fly! I’ve never had any experience with the nasty little creatures down here in south Mississippi, but the closet I have come to a similar experience is a distant memory of myself dancing about and hurling profanities into the air as a wasp found shelter inside my shirt. I guess it was a good time to discover I wasn’t allergic!

  2. There are spiders in Florida that emit a scent when they die, signaling the others in a nearby nest to come out in droves to attack the murderer. My ex was chased through a parking lot by about twenty of them. I tried like hell not to laugh.

  3. When I was a little girl growing up in the piney woods of rural southeast texas, I slept in a bed on a porch that had been enclosed to form a makeshift bedroom. Every night before I went to bed, my grandmother would pull the sheets and covers back to give the bed a looksee. I asked her why she did it and she would just smile and say Oh I’m just checking on things. One night during her checking a scorpion crawled across the sheets and I shrieked as my grandmother carried it away in a mason jar. Now that I’ve returned to live 18 miles from my home after a 50-year sabbatical, I check the sheets every night. I’m sorry the scorpion spoiled your visit to Texas.

  4. They are weird creatures. I like the description of scorpions given in the first comment, a cross between a lobster and a wasp:) They are said to dwell in the desert of Arabia too and most people here swear they know somebody who knows somebody who was stung to death. Creepy!

  5. The strangest thing that ever happened to me was when I was driving home from work one afternoon many years ago,(in Houston,TX,btw). I could see the dark clouds looming in the direction I was headed and hoped I could beat the rain storm coming. I thought I might make it until I saw that the cars coming from that direction all had their windshield wipers and their lights on.
    I was traveling on a two-lane road, one lane going each way, with deep ditches on either side. By this time I couldn’t see anything in front of me; all I saw was white from the torrential rain. I hoped that no one would hit me from behind, nor that I would hit anyone in front of me, since I couldn’t see a thing. I must have been traveling about 25 mph. The rain, lightening and thunder were scaring me and I could hardly wait to get to the end of that long road. After what seemed like 30 minutes or so, I realized that I would be crossing the railroad tracks soon, I just couldn’t see where they were. I started pumping the breaks since they weren’t working so well,because they were so wet.
    Where were the tracks? I hadn’t a clue. If I couldn’t slow down at the tracks, I knew I’d have a high chance of t-boning another car, since after the tracks was a T-intersection and at that time of day, there were going to be lots of cars going by. All of a sudden I felt the car fly over or sail over what I thought were the tracks, I couldn’t feel them like usual. I just knew I would end up on the main road in a major accident. I felt my life was in God’s hands at this point.
    The next thing you know, I had flown over the tracks and ended at a dead stop at the stop sign. The brakes that didn’t seem to be working earlier, now just suddenly allowed the car to come to a complete stop, the car didn’t fishtail or anything. There I was at the stop sign with a couple of cars going by on the main road and it was sunny and beautiful, and not a sign of water on the road. It was as if nothing had ever happened. I felt like I had been dreaming, “what just happened here?”
    When I got home, my father asked me if the weather was bad from where I was coming, and inquired about my trip home. I coolly told him that everything was fine. I didn’t tell him about my hair-raising ordeal since I didn’t want to worry him; he liked worrying about me. I walked straight to my room with legs that felt like spaghetti, and laid down on my bed, grateful I had made it home.

  6. This one time at summer camp my swimsuit was extra itchy on my belly. I scratched and scratched, and finally gave all hell to pulling it down to figure out why (it was a one-piece, hence the pulling down). No one noticed my boobies because everyone was gasping at the huge, ha-uge, cockroach that had been smashed flat and oozie from suffocating inside my suit. Ugh. I shook out my clothes every day after that. I had forgotten all about that.

  7. OUCH! A scorpion sting – that’s awful! I live with a lot of creepy crawlies, but I’ve never seen a scorpion (and hopefully never will).

    I’ve got a couple of strange things that I could post here (you know what I’m like with my ‘luck’), but as far as insects go I think the worst was when I was drinking a can of bourbon and coke one afternoon and I took a mouthful to find a ‘lump’ in there. I spat it out and it was a big orange and black striped wasp that had crawled into the can. The best thing about this story is that it didn’t sting my tongue or mouth! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

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