Saturday was a big day for killing in our house. Mere minutes after waking up, I found a tick in the bathroom and killed it. I killed three large spiders. Two of them were carrying around giant egg sacs full of future little spiderlings that unfortunately were sent to a watery grave before eating their first silverfish. The spiders are three or four inches across, and as fast as mice. While I was stalking one of the large spiders, Joie was panicking and cheering me on. Then she got bored and went to get something out of the closet and I heard, "Hey, there's an old dead scorpion in the closet. I'll pick him up, I'm not afraid." I wished that she would kill the spider instead. It takes some quick reflexes to kill these spiders and I have seen them collect themselves from a decent blow and race off pretty quickly on as few as four legs. By the time I had killed the spider, I found Joie still waiting to pick up the dead scorpion so that I could look at it. I looked close, and it looked like it had been there awhile, all dried and dusty and shriveled up. She reached down to grab it with a piece of toilet paper and it crawled away. Quickly it crawled away, unfolding itself like a transformer and waving its poisonous little stinger around. That was unexpected, to say the least. It was our first encounter with a live scorpion, and I was able to kill it with a flip flop. My first scorpion.
I was thinking that it does not seem very fair that a scorpion should have crab pinchers and a big stinging poisonous tail thing. We expect that one cool trait is enough. For example, bears are very strong but not graceful. Humans are very intelligent but can't take care of themselves until they are well past 12th grade, by the looks of it. Lichen has longevity, but no personality. It's like a law. It's why earwigs can't fly and clams can't walk and venus flytraps have roots. Comic book superheros all have weaknesses or vulnerabilities to offset their strengths, because even the most imaginative of us learned a long time ago that it would be boring to watch a bunch of invincibles duke it out for all of eternity. There is always a give and take. The scorpion seems to be the exception, with these two great features, where one would be ample. It hardly seems fair that nature should have to deal with this. The only other animal that comes to mind with such an unfair advantage is the vampire bat, which can fly in the dark AND suck blood. Nobody should be allowed to do that.
Anyway, I killed the scorpion.