Mexpatriate-In The Key of Steve


Barra De Navidad, Mexico

Guest blogger Steve Cotton writes about his adventures in Mexico and the reality of living in a hot humid climate. Bugs and the dreaded Scorpions. Have a read and check out some of his other stories.

Scorpio Rising

Man the barricades! We are under attack!

Either it is scorpion season — or God has confused me with pharaoh. Whichever, we are in the midst of a scorpion plague.

That is, if two scorpions constitute a plague. I know more than one person who would claim one scorpion is a plague, and “I’m out of here.”

Not me. I have learned to live with the little beasties.

Even though I have seen them at each of the three places I have lived here on the coast, the largest number I have seen is during my visits to San Miguel de Allende.
That is understandable. It is desert country. I am always a bit disappointed if I do not see at least one every other day. Either in the shower or crawling across my bedroom ceiling.

Luckily, I have been on the stinging end of a scorpion only once — on the finger. Not surprisingly, in San Miguel de Allende. Everyone seems to have a different reaction. Mine stung. But it certainly was not the worst pain I have experienced. That honor goes to a red wasp in Villa Obregon.

My current plague has merely been two. Dora found one of the small, nasty beige scorpions in the bottom of her cleaning pail. After showing me, it was dispatched faster than an Arkansas murderer — that is, if Arkansas was not subject to extensive judicial scrutiny.

I found the second one today. After walking to and from church, I pulled the car out of the garage to go fetch a grilled chicken and some groceries. (I have a kumquat dish ready to assemble.)

When I returned, I noticed what looked like a familiar shape where my car had been parked. I suspected it was just a leaf that looked like a scorpion. I was wrong.

It was a scorpion that looked like a leaf. A dead leaf. And, as it turned out, a dead scorpion. I must have crushed it when I backed the car out of the garage.

And this was a good scorpion to die. It was a mother replete with eggs.

Some of you will undoubtedly tell me I am being speciesist. That scorpions do all kinds of good things. They kill other insects. They compose poetry. And they are a claw’s length away from devising a solution to global warming. (I use the same arguments when people try to kill spiders on my property.)

That is all well and good. But scorpions also sting unsuspecting souls who commit no sin greater than walking to the toilet, slipping into bed, or putting on a robe.

And, like cockroaches, if there are two to be seen, who knows what danger lurks in the dark?

Tonight, during my devotionals, I am going to let God know there are no Israelites being held in slavery at the house with no name. My heart is not hardened. On the other hand, maybe it has to do with that library fine I never paid in high school.

Just in case, I have a can of Raid at hand should one of those well-designed killing machines dare to swing its stinger in my direction. Or, maybe I should ask San Patricio to stop by. It seems he managed to drive something out of Ireland. Maybe snakes.

I bet he would like a bit of diversification.

Steve Cotton