Why Daddy can never ever leave town again

Many, many years ago when I was single, I lived in Chicago. A girlfriend had just had a difficult break up and passed on these words of wisdom.

“Men,” she said, “are only good for one thing.”

“Really?” I said.

“Yes. And how important is parallel parking anyway?”

We laughed. But this last weekend drove home yet another critical skill Dad brings to the house.

He was out of town and we girls were left on our own for a few days. Everything was fine, until IT showed up. The one thing I totally cannot handle. The one thing that sends me running out of any room, screaming.

Keep in mind, I have been a mouse rancher. I have handled garter snakes, rats, and even tarantulas, no problem. But there’s one part of the Texas Hill Country I cannot handle.


Once, while I was eight months pregnant I completed a seven-foot vertical leap when a scorpion landed on my hand. I spent ten minutes stomping on it until it was completely indistinguishable from the dirt.

I have hopped up on counters, chairs, beds, tables, and on at least one occasion, a person, to avoid scorpions. I couldn't even put a picture of one on this BLOG for god's sake!

Sensing my vulnerability with our in-house exterminator 300 miles away, a scorpion slithered casually into our living room on Sunday. Fighting my abject terror, I managed to quickly grab the fireplace shovel and pin its tail.

Now I had a squirming, clearly not dying scorpion by the tail and I couldn’t move, both because it would escape and because I was completely paralyzed with fear. Fortunately the battle had attracted Mireya who came over to watch.

“Is it dead?” I asked, trying to avoid looking directly at it.

“No,” she said calmly. “Do you want a stick so you can smash it?”

My stomach turned. “Um, yes, I guess so.”

As I worked to smash the scorpion, Mireya called Dad on the phone. “Daddy! Mommy is freaking out.”

“Tell him he is NEVER allowed to go out of town again!” I said. Well, it came out more like a shriek. But if you’re ever trying to smash a scorpion with a stick while keeping its tail pinned and it’s squirming around like an evil monster right out of a horror movie, trust me, you’ll be shrieking too.

So Happy Father’s Day, to all the Dads out there, who parallel park and smash scary things. This one’s for you.

(By the way, there will be no more going out of town during scorpion season. Seriously.)