In all of God's green world, there are few creatures that bother me. I grew up catching and playing with snakes, and, although walking into a spider's web is not my favorite thing, I casually brush off the offending arachnid without any thought (assuming it's smaller than a Civic). Mosquitos can make you a little nuts, but I can put up with them until I'm sucked half dry. However, in Honduras lives a creature that I genuinely hate. A creature that preys on your vulnerabilities and lives in your nightmares (and it's not a politician). This delightful creature is the scorpion, or by its more hideous, Spanish name, alacran.

Our first Honduran scorpion was a "Wow, that's wild!" moment. It was a novelty, neat to see, but easily forgettable. We found them from time to time while we were building the house, but it was never any real cause for concern. We were outside. My animosity began to build once we had lived there for a while. You see, here's the thing. Scorpions are different from any other foul creature in that they delight in surprising you. They wait for the ideal moment, find the perfect spot, then reveal themselves. How do I know this? Because most assuredly, I find them when I want to see them least.

Dropping your pants to change clothes? Haha sucker! Here I am in your pants!
Naked and in the shower? Perfect, I'll be waiting here in your towel.
Need silverware, contentedly cooking in the afternoon? Grab the spoon, I'll come along for the ride.

Oh, but my favorite place to find them is in my bedroom. As if sleeping in Honduras is not difficult enough, scorpions like to wait until you're half-naked and comfortable to pop out and just chill on the walls of the bedroom. We've killed at least a half dozen in our room that just came by to visit. But the vileness of these individuals pales in comparison to the cruelty of the ones that actually invade your bed.

Imagine this, you're asleep in bed, having managed to forget about all the animals that are probably transversing the walls, trying to give you images for the night's coming nightmares. You've also ignored the roosters with sleep issues, random screams, minor hurricaine, bat that insists on screeching only as it flies past your window, dogs killing each other, and all other sounds that suggest a break-in and accompanying violent death. So, you're laying there, comfortable, when you pop awake, something ran across your back, something big enough to wake you up. You mumble to your wife, "Something's in the bed." Just as she screams jumping out of the bed holding her throbbing hand. Long story short, the scorpion ends up dead in the toilet.

Another night, I had just fallen asleep when Stacey jumps out of the bed. I also awaken on my feet (your reflexes for leaving your bed rapidly while unconscious improve dramatically after a year of sleeping under these conditions). She tells me "Something fell on me." I assured her that it was probably a rabid moth bouncing off the walls or something. "No," she says assuredly, "something like a gecko." Well crap, that rules out tiny harmless insects. Sure enough, after a vigorous round of "Shake the sheets til they rip apart" the offending scorpion pops out and scutters around the room with out 1 lb. kitten hot on it's tail. Saving a kitten's life and destroying hell monsters are all in a good night's rest for us now apparently.

Not only are these things so evil because of their aptness for inflicting poorly timed heart attacks. It's also because of how they're put together. It's like Satan got into his spare parts drawer and said, "I'd like to make something too. Ah yes, lobster claws, eight legs like a spider, a jillion shiny eyes. Yes, that's shaping up nicely, what's missing? Ah yes, a snake-like tail topped off with a hornet's stinger. Mhmm. Oh, and let's make it as black as death and big enough that you can see it from a helicopter (with smaller, scarier red-clawed models for those hard to reach places)."

But, they have been good for our marriage. We've been bonded together by a mutual hate for these things. We even have a little scorpion routine now built into our day.
  1. Take the towels off the walls gingerly from one side, and check thoroughly before hygiene events.
  2. Check under both pillows (it really shows your spouse you care).
  3. Examine top of sheets thoroughly.
  4. Examine under sheets all around the bed with caution.
  5. In the case of a scorpion event, leave the bedroom, hug each other (grateful for another day together), take some Benadryl, and pray for blissful medicated sleep to carry you away from all this.


  1. I will never forget Esmerelda unloading an entire can of RAID on a scorpion on your kitchen wall! :)

  2. Caleb, I love reading your stories. "check under your pillows...it really shows your spouse you care" lol and the description of Satan's creation. very good :-)