Bright Lights, Big Cacti

Arizona through the Eyes of a Native

Category: Animals

Procrastination, or Why I’m a Bad Friend

Over the years, I have purchased a remarkable number of items that were intended to be gifts for other people. I have one such item on my desk right now — a white owl I purchased at the end of September. I intended to mail it to a friend whom I believed would enjoy it, yet here it sits. I promised another friend a pan of brownies months ago…I hope she understands when they show up around Christmas. I suppose this proves that I am, in fact, a terrible friend.

I have stacks of greeting cards purchased for birthdays, anniversaries, sympathy, and “just thinking of you.” Does it count that I have thought of these people without actually telling them? I tend to think it doesn’t. On the plus side, my lack of follow-through means that I automatically assume that everyone else is equally forgetful about actually mailing their greetings. I will never sit around wondering why this or that friend failed to send me a card; instead, I am thrilled to get any cards at all!

For those of you who still consider me a friend, please know that I think of you more often than you could ever realize. I reminisce about Ella and Emma at least once a week. I even think about calling — but then I look at the clock and know that they are working. Every time I step into a drugstore, I peruse the cards and find something perfect for one of the many women who have impacted my life — and I usually buy it with the intention of sending them a nice note. But it’s easier to hop on Facebook and read their posts, to leave them a “like” or a comment just so they know I’m still paying attention. The card is added to the stack in my desk drawer. Someday, when my niece clears out my house after I’m gone, she is going to think that I collected blank greeting cards.

I’d like to think that there’s a reason why so many of my cards don’t actually make it to the people I intend them to reach. Maybe those people would think I was ridiculously sentimental. Maybe they would even think I was stalking them. I’m not, of course. Who has that kind of time? But maybe their kindness made a bigger impression on me than it did on them. Maybe those items bought for others are really for me to keep and remember them by after they have left my life.

Probably not. But I think I’m keeping the owl.

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Who knows?

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Truman’s Traumatic Tuesday

There have been many times in my life that I have wondered why God didn’t see fit to give me children.

And then there are weeks like this one, when I have to give the Guy in the sky a big thumbs up on that decision.

Truman, our eight-month-old puppy, was neutered on Tuesday. When I picked him up Tuesday afternoon, they told me that he shouldn’t need any additional pain medication and he should be back to “almost normal” in a day or two.

At two in the morning on Wednesday, Truman woke up shaking and jumping as if something was biting him every few seconds. After a long night, I went straight to the vet’s office at seven in the morning, where I was initially told that they wouldn’t give me any painkillers for my dog because I didn’t bring him with me. I personally didn’t think my little boy’s heart could take another trip to the vet’s, since he had been shaking and jumping for hours at that point. He wouldn’t eat at all, and, because of the Elizabethan collar he has to wear so that he doesn’t chew out his stitches, he pretty much just stands or lays down wherever we put him. I left him standing in the middle of the living room to go to the vets; when I came home, he was still standing in the same spot. My expression must have told the receptionist that she had better find a better answer, because a few minutes later, a vet tech who had assisted in Truman’s surgery appeared. After a brief discussion, she decided to send me home with some “doggie morphine” and an appointment to bring Truman in a few hours later. With twenty minutes of giving Truman the pill, he lay down and fell asleep.

When I took him into the vet’s office a few hours later, Truman shook as if he were on his way to the death chamber.  To make matters worse, it took them nearly an hour to get to him. Once the vet did see me, he gave me some of the details of Truman’s ordeal. Unfortunately, one of his testicles had failed to drop, which meant that the vet had to make two incisions and dig around in the little guy’s fat and muscle to extract it. Because Truman is a mere eight-and-a-half pounds, the vet opted to use gas instead of intravenous anesthesia. As an unexpected result, his blood pressure dropped dangerously low. Now I understood Truman’s lack of enthusiasm for the vet. He didn’t relax until I carried him out of the exam room.

When we finally arrived back home, I was able to get him to eat, but only by hand-feeding him a piece at a time. He drank some water, and lay down again to sleep some more.

Thursday went pretty much the same as Wednesday, at least until bedtime. Last night, for whatever reason, Truman was more restless. I think the stitches must be ridiculously itchy at this point, because he is spending more and more time trying to outwit the stupid cone-shaped collar. He woke Dan up twice within the space of an hour. Finally, frustration set in. I grabbed Truman up – he had been sleeping on our bed due to his surgery and cone collar – and put him in his cage. Yes, I know – I’m the world’s worst pet mother. In any case, his restlessness caused the cone to hit the sides of his kennel about every minute or so. The noise and the guilt I felt conspired to keep me from sleeping.

Less than half an hour later, I pulled him out of his cage and left the bedroom. As soon as I set him on his furry pillow in the living room, he seemed to calm down. He was asleep within a few minutes. It took me another hour of watching bad television to finally doze off on the couch.

On the plus side, Dan got a good night’s sleep for the first time since Tuesday. He thanked me for that when he got up this morning. He says he missed me, but I know the truth: he was far too deeply asleep to even notice I was gone.

As I dragged myself into the bedroom at six o’clock this morning, I realized: this must be sort of like having a baby. Truman is currently more helpless than when we first brought him home. I have been hand-feeding him, one piece of food at a time, because otherwise he won’t eat. If Dan or I leave his sight, he immediately begins to cry. And I, who have never changed a diaper, have now been peed upon (eww!). Yes, this must be a bit like being a parent.

God definitely knew what he was doing.

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Our Other Dog

Our office was originally meant to be a library/office. Dan and I intended to put two comfortable – possibly reclining – reading chairs in here. However, after giving a little thought to the matter, we decided to hold off on that plan because the office is also Scrappy’s primary residence.

Who is Scrappy, you ask? Scrappy is the half-terrier-half-werewolf Dan rescued before we met. He didn’t mean to rescue him – it just sort of happened. One day, Dan was out jogging. (I can only assume he took up jogging as an excuse to stay out of the house he shared with his first wife, since he hasn’t shown much of a proclivity to jog in the nearly nine years we’ve been together.) As he rounded a corner, a beat-up-looking pup began trotting along behind him. He had apparently been run over, because he was missing a strip of fur down his back. His tongue was swollen from dehydration. Yet, the little guy just kept trotting along next to Dan as if he were perfectly okay.

A block later, the pup wandered over to a fenced yard containing three other small dogs. About that time, the gate to the yard slid open and the owner’s car pulled up the driveway. The stray dog took the opportunity to slip into the yard. Dan sighed with relief, thinking that the owner would surely take care of the pup, since she was clearly a dog lover. Dan jogged on. As he turned the next corner though, he saw the woman drop the stray over the fence and back onto the street. Now feeling sorry for the poor thing, Dan stopped and waited for the pup to catch up with him.

When he got home, Dan bundled the dog up and took him to the vet, who told him the dog was seriously dehydrated but was otherwise okay. The vet estimated he was about a year old. Dan decided to nurse him back to health. He named the dog Scrappy.

Scrappy is a sweet-tempered animal, but he’s not attractive. He has a protruding lower jaw that causes his incisors to stick out menacingly and his black-gray coat is unruly under the best conditions. When we first read the Harry Potter novels, Dan and I decided that Scrappy was actually Padfoot. My friend Nikki always gives him extra love because she feels sorry for him. However, even she thinks he looks like a werewolf.

Scrappy is now at least twelve years old. He has slowed down some, but I wouldn’t call him a calm dog. And he thinks that any furniture in the office is essentially his to do with as he pleases. Therefore, we decided to hold off on the comfy recliners…until he is gone. Instead, we put a black leather loveseat Dan had owned before we were together in the office. For the last few years, he and Dewey would both lay on it while I wrote.

A few months ago though, we decided to remove the loveseat. We gave Scrappy a blanket to sleep on instead, but he didn’t really like it. He kept trying to scrunch it up into something thicker and softer than that particular blanket was ever meant to be. Also, the blanket wasn’t big enough for all three dogs to share, which inevitably led to little squabbles between them. So, this past weekend, we bought a big dog pillow. Now, by all rights, this pillow should be big enough for all three dogs to sleep on. However, there seems to be some dispute about to whom the pillow belongs.

At least Scrappy has a comfortable bed when Dewey and Truman aren’t in the office with him.

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That’s Truman in the softest spot. Scrappy is the one in the foreground with only his paws on the pillow.

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You Only Need One Shot to Take Down a Deer

I write these little pieces and set them up to post the day before they actually do. Last Friday, I had already set up my post for Saturday when I heard about Newtown. I chose not to change that post because I didn’t know what to say. I, like a lot of others, needed time to process the tragedy.

I come from a gun-owning family. Grandpa John owned a gun shop when I was a young, and both sides of the family were hunters – not trophy hunters, but the kind that actually eat what they kill because they like the taste of wild game. When I was very young, my father and grandfather taught me how to handle a gun, how to shoot, and the finer points of gun safety. However, as an adult, I choose not to own a gun.

The argument that assault weapons should be available to sportsmen is invalid. In all my family’s years of hunting, not one of my relatives thought an assault rifle was an appropriate weapon for the sport. You see, assault weapons are designed to do the most damage in the least amount of time. If you are a hunter, you don’t want to do too much damage to your prey – you want a clean shot. No one wants to pull a hundred rounds out of their venison stew.

Two things could have prevented or, at least, lessened the number of victims: psychological testing before gun licensing and a ban on assault weapons. Just like the banks should not have been allowed to self-regulate, gun sellers should not be in control of the gun ownership process. We don’t have car salesmen giving driving tests, do we? A gun salesman wants to sell guns, not tell some guy with cash in hand that he isn’t mentally fit to handle one. An assault-weapons ban would be practical. Without the ability to spray bullets, potential shooters would find their killing-spree casualties significantly reduced. That doesn’t mean these tragedies won’t happen – only that fewer people will die.

I’m a realist, though: as much as I personally would like to see all guns removed from society, I know that too many Americans (including my own family) disagree. I respect them and their right to hunt. I pray that nothing so tragic as what happened in Newtown ever happens to them.

My heart is broken for those families in Connecticut.

Soldier demonstrating gun safety by keeping th...

Soldier demonstrating gun safety. Pretty sure he’s not hunting deer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Superdog and the Gate

For anyone who is wondering what I do with all of my time other than eat, exercise, and occasionally leave the house, I finished editing my tenth novel this weekend. I’m happy to say it is now with my publisher, Inknbeans Press. Look for Just One Note in a webstore near you with in the next few months.

On with today’s story:

Because I am a writer with dogs, Dan and I had to devise some way of keeping said dogs contained when I am absorbed in my craft. For years, we used an old “baby gate” – a wood-and-wire contraption that looked ugly and scarred up our walls. Last spring, Dan bought a white metal gate that mounted to one wall and swings on hinges – a vast improvement over the previous eyesore.

Then we got Truman…or, as he prefers to think of himself, Superdog. Faster than a speeding bullet! Able to leap off ottomans with amazing precision (just ask Dewey, the landing target)! Able to slide under gates meant to keep him contained! Seriously – he had perfected his run-slide combo. He would speed around the corner of the kitchen and, about a foot from the gate, flop onto his belly and slide under it and into the office. How can a dog be so cute and so irritating at the same time? Truman, who is now six months old, is still only about eight pounds; we don’t think he’s going to get much bigger. Therefore, the gate – at least in its previous position – would never contain him.

Sunday afternoon, as I was finishing the “listen-through” portion of my editing, Dan decided to amend the situation and re-position the gate, lowering it about three inches. All three of the dogs watched him do it; Truman even approached the gate and tried to get under it. I think I heard him mutter, “Curse you, Big Guy.”

That night, a few minutes after I put the puppy in his kennel in preparation for bed, Dan told me that Truman might need another trip outside. Uttering my own curses as I got out of bed again, I opened Truman’s cage door and said, “Let’s go out!” Stopping only briefly to harass Dewey, Truman headed for the back door, which happens to be in my office. I came around the kitchen corner just in time to see him flop onto his belly as he approached the gate. “Ooh, that’s gonna—”

*BONG!* The gate sounded more like a gong for a moment. Truman stood up and backed away from it warily. Meanwhile, I could hear Dan laughing in the bedroom, which started me laughing. Truman looked at me like I’d be dead if he had opposable thumbs. When I opened the gate so that he could get to the back door, he gave it the meanest look I’ve ever seen a dog give an inanimate object. It took Dan and I fifteen minutes to stop laughing. Even now, whenever the image flashes through my mind – Whoosh! *BONG* – I can’t help giggling.

One superpower eliminated. Now, if I could just convince him not to stealth-attack Dewey from the ottoman…

Truman and Dewey at the gate.

Truman and Dewey at the gate.

It’s a Dog’s Life

If there were such a thing as reincarnation, I would want to come back as a dog. More specifically (and more improbably), I’d like to come back as one of my dogs.

This is the world according to Dewey, our six-year-old Shih Tzu:

“If I jump against Mom’s leg enough times, she will get up and figure out what I want, whether that is outside, food, water, or attention.”

“I don’t know who that guy in the blue uniform* thinks he is, but when the light in the living room comes on, I know he’s about to show up. If there weren’t a door between us, I’d teach him not to mess around outside my house!”

“If I want up on the bed, all I have to do is go to Mom’s sideand she’ll put a hand down to help me up. She’s helpful that way.”

“The guy who lives with Mom is always good for a snack. Anytime he sits down in the living room with food, it’s a good idea to ‘sit pretty’ and wait.”

“There’s nothing better than a good brushing – Mom gets all the itchy spots for me.”

“I’m not sure why Mom thought I wanted a brother for my birthday, but Truman is all right – for a puppy. At least he’s small enough that I can sit on him if he gets annoying.”

And now, our puppy Truman’s thoughts:

“If it’s on the floor, it’s MINE!”

“WORLD DOMINATION is within my grasp – if only I had opposable thumbs!”

“It was so thoughtful of my human subjects to have a companion here waiting for me. Dewey the Serf makes an excellent subject on whom to hone my attack skills.”

“I do not understand why the serf receives his treats before I do. I can only assume it has something to do with charity.”

“No matter how late YOU fall asleep, I, Emperor Truman, demand that my subjects rise and pay obeisance at four each morning! This includes YOU!”

“Why is my perch** so high? I enjoy surveying my kingdom from it, but regret that I am unable to descend without assistance.”

“The tiny gray jail*** the woman sometimes puts me in is not strong enough to contain me. I know that I will one day dig my way out.”

“Gates are no obstacle to me! I laugh in the face of gates! Wait…I think the gates are getting lower…” (as he bangs his head loudly against bottom rail)

“Thou seekest to dominate me, oh Brush of the Infidels? You will never win! I will not surrender to your siren-like qualities! Charge!”

*Also known as the mailman.

** Dan’s and my bed.

***The plastic kennel next to our bed.

Dewey (with his tongue sticking out) and Truman.

My “Power Days”

For anyone who is curious about how my recent decision to lose weight and get healthy is going, I am proud to report that I am no longer “obese” according to the BMI calculator. No, now I am merely “overweight.” Yay, me! Additionally, I have worked out five times a week for more than a month now, which I believe is considered an amazing feat of endurance – at least in my world.

My birthday weekend was great. Since my mother-in-law and I share the same birthday, my brother- and sister-in-law served up a home-cooked meal of filet mignon and assorted sides on Saturday. The whole Bennett clan (at least the ones who live in Arizona) showed up to celebrate.

My husband and I also celebrated seven years of marriage Monday. This weekend, I discovered something that hadn’t occurred to me on any of my last six birthday/anniversary occasions: Dan cannot say no to me. He’s caught in a three-day perfect storm of celebration. When I asked him Saturday morning if he would take me to the zoo on Sunday, he didn’t hesitate to say yes, even though I know that he wanted to go to the zoo about as much as he would like a prostate exam. I must be careful with my new-found “power days” – I don’t want to use them for evil…only for good.

Even though Dan was suffering from a slight cold, we had a great time at the zoo. The animals weren’t all that cooperative, though. I was hoping to see the newborn giraffes, but alas, they were not out. Even the orangutans were inside – though at least I could see them through the windows. Apparently, they don’t like the chilly (around seventy degrees) weather. I did get a good picture of a squirrel monkey at least.

Sunday night, we had dinner at my parents’ home, where Mom prepared my requested birthday meal: chicken pot pie and rum cake. Dan and I picked Fuzzy up and one of Mom’s good friends also attended the dinner. Afterwards, we played a game of cards.

I’m thinking I’ll use next year’s three-day perfect storm to request a trip to Disneyland. Dan hates Disneyland a lot more than he hates the zoo…let’s see what these power days can really do!

A squirrel monkey at the Phoenix Zoo Monkey Village

Puppies…Like Meth, but Cuddlier

For all of my husband’s good traits (and, believe me, there are a multitude of them), he does have a few quirks that occasionally throw a certain amount of turmoil my way. Puppy-browsing is one of these habits that can make — and has made — me crazy.

I only look at puppies when I am seriously considering making a purchase. Okay – this is not entirely true. I puppy-browse at pet stores and never intend to buy because (a) I disapprove of pet stores and (b) the prices are way out of my range for what I’m willing to spend on a dog. Dan, on the other hand, regularly cruises Craig’s List for hits of puppy cuteness – which he then shares with me.

I am a dog addict. I feel about puppies the way alcoholics feel about their next drink – I want what I know I shouldn’t have. My last four dog purchases have been a direct result of Dan’s puppy-browsing habits. Because if you repeatedly show me puppies, I will eventually need a puppy.

That’s right – I said four puppies…in eight years. Don’t judge me.

Mimi, the pug we bought not long after we first met, was a poor fit for us. Dan, as it turns out, finds shedding dogs unbearable to live with. We re-homed her with my cousin, who has had a succession of pugs with “M” names: Mugsy, Molly, Maya, and Mimi.

We got Dewey, a Shih Tzu, while I was finishing college in 2006. He was named for a character in a book – a politician named Dewey Knot – in case you are wondering. He turned six on the ninth and is a well-loved and permanent member of the family. Dan thinks he favors me over him, and he’s probably right.

Last spring, we were driving down Grand Avenue when Dan spotted a woman selling a litter of poodle puppies. We stopped to check them out and a little black female puppy literally threw herself at Dan’s feet, proclaiming her undying love for him. I couldn’t resist – we went home with Lola. When my brother- and sister-in-law walked over to meet the new addition, a love triangle was formed – my sister-in-law couldn’t picture life without Lola. The next day, Lola moved in with them, though she visits our home regularly and still adores Dan.

So, this past weekend, Dan was cruising Craig’s List again. He spotted a litter of Maltese-Shih Tzu puppies and showed them to me. Within a few hours, I was practically pacing the floor, jonesing for puppy breath. Never mind that he was “just showing” me the pictures. Never mind that the puppies in question lived an hour and a half away. I wanted…no, I needed a puppy. Not just any puppy, either – the puppy in the picture with the fluffy hair and cute Shih Tzu face!

I called and made the arrangements and Dan, my sister-in-law, and I piled in the car and headed to the far edge of the east valley. When we arrived, we were greeted by the parents – an adorable little Shi Tzu mama and a slightly irritable Maltese daddy – and three cute-as-a-button pups. Their humans – a very nice couple who welcomed us into their home so that we could acquaint ourselves with our puppy options – explained that they had waited just a little too long before having the Maltese daddy neutered. The parents and their puppies were clean and healthy and obviously well socialized. Before long, the smallest of the remaining pups made an imprint on both Dan and me.

So please join us in welcoming Truman Jack Bennett to the family. He is adjusting well and hasn’t made a single “mistake” in the house yet. His big brother Dewey seems genuinely fond of him, too. Complete puppy spoilage cannot be far behind.

Truman makes himself at home.

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Never Name Your Food

Even as a very young child, I had a realistic view of nature. I never believed that claptrap about all the animals living together in some sort of vegan paradise – I knew better.

This authentic view probably came from the fact that I am the daughter of a farming and hunting family. My mom likes to recount the story about the pig roast when I was three or four years old. She wanted to protect me by keeping me inside and away from the blood and gore of killing an animal, but all I wanted was to be outside. Finally, Fuzzy told her that if I wanted out so badly, she should let me go. My mother remembers me dancing around the fire pit “like a wild indian” as the pig was roasted. I don’t actually remember the event at all, but I don’t doubt the veracity of my mom’s account.

When I was in grade school – probably around the first or second grade – my mom volunteered to be a chaperone on a school zoo trip. My mom was left with five little girls, including me. As we were watching the crocodiles that day, a duck landed in the water near a lurking amphibious creature. Mom, being a relatively squeamish person, attempted to turn the group’s attention away from the bird’s impending death. However, I was quick to get everyone’s attention with my announcement that the crocodile was going to “have lunch.” Sure enough, a few seconds later we were rewarded with the sight a crocodile smiling around the spread wings of his unsuspecting – and now very dead – prey. The other girls were screaming bloody murder, my mother was trying to draw them away from the traumatic scene, and I was saying, “What? Why are you crying? Crocodiles have to eat too!” Needless to say, I was the most popular girl in class – at least as far as the boys were concerned. The girls…not so much.

My cavalier attitude toward animal deaths came to an abrupt end around the age of nine. Fuzzy took me out to meet the new calves my grandfather had bought at auction. There were four of them, and I named them Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They were cute, all black and white and still a little playful (well, as playful as livestock can be). I visited and petted them over the course of a summer. In short, I thought of them as pets – not food.

Several months passed. One night, my parents and I went to my grandparents’ house for dinner. Now, I am anything but a vegetarian – I enjoy meat, especially steak. Grandpa dropped a nice cut of beef onto my plate, and I dug in. I was maybe a quarter of the way through that steak when Grandpa said, “That’s Matthew you’re eating there! Tastes good, huh?”

My stomach rolled in horror and I seriously thought I was going to throw up right there on my plate. I must have blanched, because all of the adults looked at me with a mixture of concern and amusement. I pushed the plate away with three-quarters of a tasty steak on it. No matter how the adults cajoled me, I would not eat another bite.

That was the night I learned the most important lesson of an omnivore: if it might end up on your plate, don’t hang a moniker on it – no matter how cute it is.

English: Rump steak on griddle pan

Steak — not Matthew. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Scorpion Queen

I was thirty years old before I ever encountered a live scorpion —  outside of a zoo exhibit, that is. Unfortunately, I found it in my dream apartment: a thousand-square-foot loft-style space overlooking a pool and with a garage underneath.

The scorpion – about two inches long and creepy looking – was brought to my attention by my two pugs, who were both just as freaked out by it as I was. I trapped it under a glass and put a telephone book on top. You never know – that sucker might have been strong enough to turn the glass over! Then I called apartment maintenance to come and remove it, all the while making a wide circle around the glass and warning my dogs to stay away from it.

I thought that would be the end of it – after all, it was just a single bug, right? Wrong. A few days later, I picked up my washcloth and jumped three feet off the ground – a scorpion was soaking up the moisture underneath! Once more, I captured it under a glass and called maintenance.

Now, one scorpion is a fluke. Two are a trend. The next day, I went to the office and asked to be moved to another apartment or released from my lease. I was told there were no other apartments like mine available at that time and that the complex was not responsible for scorpion infestations because they are indigenous to the area. When I pointed out that I, a Phoenix native, had never seen one in any of my various homes, they said I must have been lucky. In an effort to reassure me that the apartment was clear of the poisonous arachnids, they agreed to have it searched via blacklight. They found half a dozen small scorpions – babies. Now, the smaller a scorpion is, the more poisonous. Despite the complex’s effort to exterminate them, I was in full freak-out mode. I shook my shoes every time I went to put them on; I never went barefoot in my apartment; I even shook my clothes and towels with vigor. Scared for my dogs, I asked my grandfather to take them in – leaving me alone in the infested apartment.

I was only six months into a year-long lease. I was irritated, but I didn’t have a legal leg to stand on. However, that didn’t mean I had to be silent. In a move that earned me the nickname of Scorpion Queen from my friends, I made a sign: “Ask me about the scorpions in my apartment at T** T***.” I taped it in the back window of my car. Every afternoon when I gathered my mail, I parked the car right next to the Prospective Residents’ spaces. More than one person asked me about them, even as my friends laughed at me and my sign.

The next time I went into the office to pay my rent, the apartment manager took me aside and asked what she could do to help me in my situation (and get me to take the sign out of my car window).

“Let me out of my lease.”

“I can’t do that.”

“Then I guess I’ll be leaving the sign in my car.”

With only four months left on the lease, the agreement we came to was this: she would have an exterminator visit my apartment weekly to check for scorpions. After that, I never found another one in my apartment. In fact, I only saw one more while I lived there: a huge granddaddy of a scorpion that seemed to stare at me through the glass doors leading to my balcony for at least an hour one afternoon. I didn’t have a glass big enough to trap him under – and besides, he was on the wall. There was no way in Hell I was going to knock that sucker down. He was gone before the maintenance guy showed up.

Ten years later, the thought of that apartment still gives me chills. And, by the way, I’ve never seen a scorpion, outside of a zoo, since.

English: Line art drawing of a scorpion

English: Line art drawing of a scorpion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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